Graphic Designer: Career Path & Progression


Graphic designers are a special type of designer who create visual impact using computer-software. They understand the requirements and needs of their users before making design decisions. They work on numerous activities and products, such as advertising, websites, magazines, books, computer games, posters, exhibitions, product packaging, etc. The important skills required include creative flair, informed knowledge of industry software and an expert approach to costs, time and deadlines.

Academic Entry Requirement

  • Grade 12 – Class XII with any stream (Science for some).
  • Graduation – Pursue Bachelors in Design (Graphics) or pursue Diploma in Graphic Design or pursue graduation in any field.
  • After Graduation – Pursue Masters in Design (Graphics) or pursue PG Diploma in Graphic Design or pursue Post Graduate Diploma in Design/Graphic Design.

Degree In

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic & Multimedia Design
  • Master’s degrees in Graphic Design
  • Master of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
  • Master’s in Visual Communication

Who hires Graphic Designers?

The private sector, Government sector, publishing sector, corporate sector, local authorities, hospitals, school and colleges.

Professional Career

The professional career of Graphic Designers holds a bright future; job opportunities increasing day by day. Internships are a more common method of finding work, making contacts, building up experience and increasing your selection. The design world is small and design agencies will commend interns who have contacted them or impressed them, if there are suitable chances in the future. Courses often provide the chance to work on projects with important organisations and businesses. There may also be chances to take optional work placements in industry.


  • Creativity
  • Originality
  • Flexibility
  • Resilience
  • Strong knowledge of design programs, like Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, etc.
  • Ability to understand clients’ needs and find practical solutions
  • Good teamwork skills
  • Strong computer skills
  • Strong artistic sense
  • Ability to work to briefs
  • Ability to multi-task on many projects at a time
  • Ability to cope with design rejection
  • Confidence in presenting and  explaining ideas
  • Ability to pay attention  to detail

Career Progression

Below illustrates the common career paths within the design industry:

Progression Tips

  • The main route to successful progression is by; developing a reputation, networking and making contacts.
  • Developing your career further depends on frequent job movement in order to widen experience and develop your portfolio. You need to think strategically about any moves you make.
  • Smaller companies rarely have a career structure, but they may have a better work environment than larger companies. You may want to go freelance/self-employed to progress your career.
    • Junior Graphic Designers generally progress after 2 or 3 years.
    • Graphic Designers generally progress between 3 to 5 years.
    • A lot of designers choose to go Freelance/Self-Employed within 5 to 10 years of having their first job.

Final Tips

  • Ensure your CV is typographically great with a clear layout and no spelling errors or incorrect spacing. Giving it a creative design can be helpful but it is risky.
  • Work on your Portfolio – Try tailoring it to the design of the company you’re applying to.
  • Get as much experience as possible!
  • Network, network, network.
  • Learn and train as you go!  Always make sure to keep up-to-date with the latest design software available.

Be very enthusiastic and positive