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Exploring Where to Take Your Degree

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I won't lie - if you have read my first blog post, you will know that I was a little hesitant and unsure when I transferred into the College of Design my sophomore year of school. Sure, graphic design sounded pretty cool and it definitely interested me, but I still wasn't exactly sure I was in the right place. When starting the program, I thought of graphic design mainly as print design- posters, advertisements, clothing graphics, album art- etc. I love all of this type of design, but didn't see myself pursuing print design as a career for the rest of my life. Luckily, I learned that there are a huge number of different ways you can take your graphic design degree!

Recently, I have become very interested in web and interactive design and spend a lot of time seeing what's new and where the field is going in my free time. Jobs in the field of the web and mobile environments are changing rapidly with new technologies and many job titles that didn't even exist a few years ago are becoming increasingly in-demand. The explosion of internet websites and applications - as well as smartphones, tablets, and more have opened up a lot of different doors for us as future graphic designers! Best of all, the College of Design has been restructuring parts of the program in order to provide students more opportunities to prepare themselves for this type of work, should they choose to go in that direction.

Here are a few examples of areas that I have recently become quite interested in:

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Interaction design (interactive design)- Encompasses a number of different more specific focuses, but largely refers to creating digital products and interfaces to specifically satisfy the needs and desires of a user.

User Experience Design- UX design can be thought of as a branch of interaction design- focusing largely on the way people work, communicate and interact with a product, whether physical or digital.

User Interface Design- UI design is similar to UX design in that the focus is to create an interface that makes a user's experience as simple and efficient as possible. However, UI design is usually more heavily focused on visual design of an interface.
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These growing positions are just a small taste of the new directions you can take your graphic design degree, but in no means are where you need to focus your degree. What is most important is that you begin to explore your options early and often. I will be talking more about how to connect with professionals and learn about different ways you can take your design degree in future blogs! Until then, enjoy the summer!

Sean M.
Graphic Design

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