5 of the best graphic designer careers

Interested in a career as a graphic designer - Shaw Academy Reviews.

5 of the best graphic designer careers

Online learning has never been more popular with many looking for a new graphic design career. At Shaw Academy, we are experiencing record online student numbers. Some of this growth is directly linked to the global pandemic. With millions of people stuck in lockdown for at least some of 2020, turning to online learning was a logical choice. Working remotely is now the new reality for the corporate world and naturally, people are choosing to supplement their knowledge with online courses.

Diversifying your skillset opens up more potential job opportunities. For experienced graphic designers, there is always something new to learn. And for those considering the sector, an online graphic design course is the ideal way to find out whether it’s truly for you.

What kind of careers can graphic designers move into?
Graphic design is a wide-ranging sector and includes all kinds of job roles across many different industries. It also gives you a chance to work for an agency, whether that’s advertising, PR or comms, or as a freelancer. There is also the option of working in-house for a company within their marketing or advertising team.

If you love creating visually pleasing graphics and enjoy the idea of working in branding, content creation and advertising then graphic design could be ideal. There are so many career options for graphic designers who have the skills, qualification and understanding of the sector.

Ideal for people who need to be creative during their work, and those who love communicating visually, graphic design is an option for just about anyone with a passion for it. Online courses at Shaw Academy include those suitable for total beginners, and plenty for experienced graphic designers looking to top up their skills.

What sort of skills do you need for a graphic designers career?

Many jobs within graphic design demand a wide-ranging skillset. You need to understand the full range of tools and programmes that companies use, and ideally narrow your focus to a few specialisms. If you have the basic core skills then you should consider adding to these with some more related online courses to make your CV as attractive as possible.

Some of the skills that will make you stand out as a graphic designer include:

  • High level of general design skills.
  • Ability to design websites to client specs.
  • Understanding of how to design an effective user interface (UX).
  • Print layout for physical media.
  • The creation of infographics.
  • Creation of graphics that work for different social media channels.
  • Marketing and advertising design skills.
  • Content creation.
  • Packaging design.
  • Branding creation.
  • Design of presentations.
  • Project management,
  • Industrial design.
  • Web development.
  • Back-end coding for websites.


It’s vital to also include the usual soft skills within your arsenal. Graphic designers invariably have to interact with all kinds of people, ranging from clients to editors, project managers and production staff. To excel in a graphic design career, you need to be able to manage these skills too.

5 of the most popular careers for graphic designers

Here are just a few of the career paths available to qualified and experienced graphic designers.

  1. General graphic design for advertising/PR/communications

Whether you work as a freelance graphic designer, in-house or for an agency, there are plenty of broad strokes graphic design roles available. These will generally include many different design elements and often will include print and digital projects. This is an ideal position for entry-level designers, particularly if you’re happy to join an established studio. You can learn an awful lot on the job and refine your design, communication and client liaison skills along the way. Supplement your role with online courses and you’ll have more chance of progressing.

  1. Illustrator

If you look at adverts, magazines, posters and many other forms of communication collateral, you’ll see that there are often illustrative elements as part of the design. Illustrators for graphic design agencies often draw design elements by hand (digitally for the most part) and have a good understanding and command of text-based design and layout design.

  1. Creative or art directors

These are senior level job roles within graphic design. To obtain a position at this level, you will need to already have plenty of design experience along with management skills. You will need to work closely with clients, designers and other stakeholders while strategising along the way. Many of these roles will demand you are willing and able to get stuck in designing when necessary as well as briefing other designers. While you could feasibly work at this level as a consultant or contractor, art director or creative director positions are usually within agencies or in-house for large businesses. The more experience you can demonstrate, the higher the salary that you can command.

  1. Web designer

This is another broad career path for graphic designers. It includes designing every aspect of a website, including the layout, image design, social media graphics, font choice and everything else associated with websites. You’ll often find entry level roles for these positions at agencies and small businesses, and there are plenty of senior level freelancers too.

  1. UX designer

Do you have an innate understanding of how people want to use online platforms? If you do then this could be the right choice for you. It’s a technical graphic design career that needs the designer to understand how to create user-friendly online designs. These designs should look simple and accessible but offer complex usability for people to navigate online systems, platforms and websites.

Study graphic design courses online with Shaw Academy
If you’re starting out in graphic design, the most important thing is to get the right skills under your belt. Shaw Academy graphic design courses for every level. From the basic Graphic Design course to Online Photoshop, Web Design, Budget Graphic Design and Adobe Illustrator.