An internship is an opportunity for students to work in their chosen profession while attending school in order to gain valuable knowledge and work experience.

Most often, interns are not paid for the work they do monetarily, but are instead rewarded by the sharing of knowledge, ideas, opportunities for their portfolio, networks and possibly a permanent job offer if the intern takes advantage of the opportunity to be a valuable employee.
Students in the Valencia Graphics Department are required to take an internship. Students cannot take an internship until they have passed GRA2182C Advanced Graphic Design II OR GRA2143 Advanced Web Page Design with a C or higher. Students probably won’t qualify for a Graphics Internship until their final two semesters enrolled.

You will not be able to register for an internship without following the steps outlined on our blog:

East Campus Lab Building 1 Room 213 

Students have access to large and small format laser and ink jet printers, various format paper cutters, board cutters, headphone check-out, loupe check-out, spray booth, viewing booth, light table, camera check-out, scanners, wacom tablet check-out and Cintiq monitors. All this in a friendly social working environment with a modern resources for students to browse and lounge while working on their laptops.

Phone: 407-582-2762           Visit for current hours and closed dates. Check before you drive.

No Food or Drink Allowed. Certain supplies like custom printing paper, staples, paperclips, xacto blades, adhesive, etc. not supplied to students in the lab.

West Campus Lab 3-150

Students have access to large and small format laser and ink jet printers, various cutting areas, headphone check-out, camera check-out, light table, scanners, loupe check-out, photo tent and wacom tablet check-out. Please be mindful if there are classes in session when using this lab by using only the computers in the back of the room.

Phone: 407-582-1592

No Food or Drink Allowed. Certain supplies like custom printing paper, staples, paperclips, xacto blades, adhesive, etc. not supplied to students in the lab.

Osceola Campus Lab 1-244

Students have access to large and small format laser and ink jet printers, various cutting areas, camera check-out, lights and light cube, media card readers, scanners, loupe check-out, Pantone swatch books, and wacom tablet check-out. Please be patient while we work on making lab improvements you’re going to love.

Phone 407-582-4953

No Food or Drink Allowed. Certain supplies like custom printing paper, staples, paperclips, xacto blades, adhesive, etc. might not be available for students in the lab.

Feel free to request more information! You can also stay up-to-date by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Pinterest.

Kristy Pennino
East Campus Program Chair /

Meg Curtiss
West Campus Program Chair /

Complete list of all campus contacts

What the Industry Expects from Graduates

by Amanda Kern on August 17, 2006

I wrote the following article this past March, but due to the fact that we have since developed this blog we felt it was worth republishing to share with those that might have missed it.

Reasoning with Standards
In order to help us better prepare our students for an entry-level position in the graphic design industry, we invited local professionals to participate in an online survey. The purpose of this survey was to help us more efficiently prepare our students for positions based upon industry standard expectations. It also enabled us to assess our curriculum, placement and software. Ultimately we have two goals, to improve our Graphic Design program to meet employer expectations and emphasize to students the importance of skills and qualities needed to enter the industry.

Currently, Valencia’s Graphics Technology Program provides its students with an AS Degree (2-year degree) that allows students to specialize in either print design or web/interactive design. Armed with the opinions gathered in this survey we are able to make sure our students are as prepared as they need to be to be a successful entry-level graphic designer.

Preferred Traits of a Graphic Design Graduate
The skills students should possess to land their first job in the graphic design industry should certainly not be neglected. A student who is not able to meet the needs of an employer or client becomes a waste of time and money. Often times these skills are ones which cannot be identified until someone has been hired. Nothing is worse than hiring someone who cannot meet deadlines, is unable to work with others, or cannot communicate their concepts. And all employers probably agree, hiring a designer who does fantastic work yet has a very arrogant or negative attitude is something they hope to avoid.This is exactly why we feel it is important to communicate to our students what the industry expects. Here are a few noteworthy facts gathered from responses professionals made during the survey:

  • Communication. It was not a surprise that recent graduates are expected to communicate well. Not only did 85% of those surveyed find communication to be an important skill students must be capable of performing, but 35% admitted they would not hire a student without this skill.
  • Years of experience (including internships). 41% of professionals felt a student’s level of work experience, to include internships was important. It should be reassuring to students that 59% of professionals found this to be somewhat important or not important at all. In fact, roughly 16% of professionals felt this was not an important skill to expect from a student, as they are obviously going to lack actual working experience while they are learning the tools of the trade.
  • Artistic Abilities. Among desired skills, 59% of professionals felt artistic abilities such as photography, illustration, or fine art were desirable traits that were important for a student to have when entering the graphic design industry. About 11% of those surveyed confessed that students need not be an art savvy person to be considered for a position as an entry-level graphic designer.
  • It’s not just design that’s important. It’s clear professionals support the expectations we have of our graduates. As students are informed regularly, it’s not just about design. For instance, one can be an exceptional designer but if they can’t meet deadlines they become useless. Among the many skills that professionals agreed to be vital to a student’s chances of being hired as a graphic designer were the ability to meet deadlines, learn independently, work as a productive team member, as well as their attention to detail.Obviously it’s equally important that students have a healthy creative process as well as be capable of executing their creative concepts. Nothing is worse than a good idea that can’t be executed. One professional noted, “Two of the best qualities are being able to be a starter and a finisher. I find that several artists can start work on a project and do great work, yet never really finish the project. Some artists can complete a project, but actually taking a piece to the point of being FINISHED is an entirely different level.” Also, professionals like to see students with qualities such as enthusiasm, initiative, and eagerness. It’s discouraging working with a person who is negative, arrogant, or requires someone to hold their hand through every step of a project. On the other hand, there’s a lot to admire about those that not only complete the steps of a project, but they are passionate about their work and LOVE what they do.
  • Print vs. Web. An overwhelming 91% of professionals felt it was important that students understand how to design for print design and web/interactive design.
  • Print Design. Students should expect to learn a variety of skills necessary to enter the world of print in graphic design. Although the concept behind a design is extremely important, professionals also found other skills such as the ability to design various types of print collateral, proofreading, preflighting, typography and copyfitting equally as important. Professionals informed us that students majoring in print design should be familiar with programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, QuarkXPress, and InDesign. Over half of the professionals surveyed felt it is important for print designers to also have knowledge of Dreamweaver and Flash.
  • Web/Interactive Design. Professionals feel knowledge of skills such as FTP’ing, site maintenance, web standards, and usability are important for students to learn. The feedback received also supported the argument that students must expect to learn and gain experience with programming languages like xhtml, css, and actionscript. Over 90% indicated students must have experience with xhtml and css. Students majoring in web/interactive design should be experienced in using programs such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Dreamweaver, and Flash. Other programs that were said to be nice to have experience in (but not required) are Imageready, After Effects, Final Cut Express, and Maya.

A solution helps students gain necessary skills
To better prepare students for industry standards and expectations, instructors have collaborated on a self assessment which is designed to help students verify if their current abilities to think, value, communicate, and act (TVCA) are up to par with the graphic and web/interactive design industry set standards for being employable. Along with being desirable traits for employers, TVCA skills are also emphasized as traits needed in a college-level setting in order for higher-level thinking and learning to be achieved. This assessment helps students better understand the importance the various skills that often are not obvious until a person is hired.

Our faculty have observed that students not possessing the majority of these skills are often not successful in the introductory graphics course, Digital Media & Design. If they do pass the second or third try and continue to fall short of meeting these same expectations they have difficulty in higher level courses. If they do graduate they have trouble finding and/or keeping a job. This TVCA self-assessment is currently being introduced in this course, where it is most vital that students learn and understand how crucial these skills are to employers. Twenty percent of the student’s grade in this course is based upon the instructor’s observations of the TVCA skills. Although students will be expected to improve their TVCA weaknesses during the semester, failure to uphold with expectations from the beginning may result in a continued grade point deduction throughout the semester. After completing a self-evaluation early in the semester, students are required to develop an action plan for how they plan to compensate and remedy any personal weaknesses discovered. Each student’s grade is based upon how he or she meets the TVCA requirements in addition to completion of assignments, projects, quizzes, tests, and tutorials.

Barbara Peterson, Valencia’s Program Director for Graphics Technology, noted, “I see much more awareness of the skills needed to be successful and a clear attempt by most students to achieve these. I’m really encouraged by the positive response from the students.” TVCA requirements are expected to gradually be implemented into higher level courses in the program. Currently Kristy Pennino’s involvement in Valencia’s Title III grant funded initiative (focused on AS degree seeking students) has motivated her to implement the TVCA self-assessment into all four of her courses, Digital Media & Design, Typography, Advanced Graphic Design II, and Portfolio Review. She plans to further research pedagogy issues related to the TVCA evaluation. Kristy responds, “Our research could not only benefit any AS degree program in the country, but could also be considered by other graphic design education institutions regardless of the degree offered. What’s nice about what we’ve done is that we haven’t based our decisions on theory or assumptions, but have taken the initiative to research and test our ideas based upon the reality of industry expectations.”

TVCA supports our beliefs: A grade or a diploma does not entitle a student to a high paying job.

Interested in joining the Graphics Advisory Committee?
Valencia Community College’s Graphics Advisory Committee wants to hear from you! If you feel as though you would like to take part in helping to develop Valencia’s Graphics Program or if you would just like to make sure our students are as prepared as you need them to be, then this would be the ideal opportunity for you to express your opinion. Maybe you just feel as though our students’ skills or portfolios are missing a key ingredient that is needed in order for you to hire them? The Graphics Advisory Committee meets twice a year (in the fall and spring semesters). If you are a professional local to the area and are interested in joining, contact Amanda Kern at akern [at]

  • Efrain Lugo

    Very interesting read… I have noticed working in the field that a lot of clients want something you don’t think is good. But as a designer it is always important to tailor to whatever likes the client has. Even if it means creating bad design. But then again does it make the design bad if you made your client happy? Hmmmm… Think about it hahahaha!

    I must say communication is very important! You have to in a way be a sales man and sell your ideas to the client. Without communication skills a graphic designer won’t be successful.

    • julie dyer

      Very interesting to know that Valencia took the time to develop their design department. Inviting local professional to participate in an online survey really helps identify industry standard. Talent is easily spotted but work ethic is a little harder to identify. The TVCA self assesment is a valuable tool for students. This article opened my eyes to view the Valencia program as vying for a competative edge and equipping their students with the desirable skill set. Thanks for the article.

      • Alejandro Faraldo

        Coming from someone who was kinda of thrown into graphic design, I didi not imagine how strict these expectations can be. I do very much support that A diploma is not needed to support a high paying job but I am learning as I go that the skill sets and knowledge gained from getting a degree makes that much more achievable and realistic goal. To be honest before I became a graphic designer i did not posses half the traits and skills I do now. I never worked anywhere where I had clients, dealt with professional email daily, had deadlines or consequences if I didnt meet those deadlines. I inherited almost of the things mentioned here by mimicking my more professional co-workers and as time passed I realized the value of coming to get a degree in what my profession is. I do have to agree that the traits mentioned here are very realistic and true to what is expected of a graphic designer or something similar also as some are also very common sense things.

    • Devin Paguandas

      I would have to agree with what is being said. It is very important for students to meet deadlines when looking for work within the industry. It is also very important for a graphic designer to be able to design for print because most of the work being done are more than likely expected to get printed in the future.

      TVCA is very important within the workplace because without it, it’s impossible to become an excellent employee. Some companies might even value a student’s TVCA over their talent because they’re more likely to be easily taught.

  • amandakern

    Yes, Efrain, I think it’s important to know that ultimately you have to meet the needs and expectations of the client. This might mean going against some of your own design ideas to meet their expectations. Sometimes this can seem like some type of jedi mind trick, especially when the client doesn’t really know what they want. It can be frustrating when your client or boss thinks you can read their mind. I think it’s important that a designer educate their client/boss on keys to successful design, hopefully convincing them against “bad” design. It’s important that you and your clients/boss keep the target audience in mind, and not just what the client likes.

    And I’d have to say communication is probably the most critical factor to a project. Lack of communication is a sure way of dooming a project for failure.

  • Daissy

    I’m sure any other institution should be jealous of teachers like ours in the Graphic Design Program here at Valencia. They really take in consideration the needs of the industry ensuring that we will gather the knowledge necessary to get a decent job at an entry level position.
    Thank you guys for everything you do for us!!!

    • Tomislav Ivkovic

      I think that industry in this days expect more than before from graphic designers.
      You must be ready to challenge your skills be comparative and keep in track with software updates.You must have artistic ability and at the same time well know all software. Going to print,web or interactive in all areas you must apply your knowledge. Industry have become more keen in competition and there is more more graphic designers.Well, we all must be well prepared and know what industry is expecting from us.Otherwise we are gonna just shoot in blank.Every graphic designer out there want that job, but you gonna get it if you are serious enough.

  • dennis

    The TVCA process is one that has provided students with an opportunity to grow on a personal level that directly effects thier professional life. It has been my experience in life that the qualities developed in the TVCA process are life long skills that can translate into every aspect of a persons life.

    As a employer I have always prefered the employee that was on time, prepared and willing to stick it out through the rough parts over a “Star” type which often have a “gift” or “eye” for the asthetic but no work ethics or personal stability.

    The TVCA process is just another example of how at Valencia we dont just teach you a tool or technuiqe we teach you the ability to continue learning by developing your ability to teach yourself and to learn from the multitude of resources available in todays techno-savvy world.

  • Kevin M. Scarbrough

    Hi Efrain,

    Something that I’ve noticed is this: It isn’t that clients want bad design, or are even looking to kill good design, it is a matter of ignorance of what good, effective design is and what it looks like.

    One thing you have to work through is clients who want things that make their eyes sparkle (which, for the most part, is bad). This isn’t unique to design — you can go to any store, look down any isle, and you’ll see sparklie bits and pieces that aren’t (frankly, are rarely) the best operating/tasting/sounding/ect. product in the category.

    This can lead to a big problem and, when it goes poorly, is resolved by a matter of whom is stronger: decision maker or designer.

    Managing not to fall into this pit comes with two lessons that you’ll hear repeated by your teachers a million times, because they are both as solid as iron:

    1) Educate your client. Find out WHY they want the drop shadow, outer glow, yadda. Is it to make the logo stand out more? Is it because they think it’ll print easier against a white background? Explain that the loudest voice isn’t the one that is remembered. Show them, don’t just tell them, how you can solve these problems without resorting to Photoshop (d)effects.

    2) Work with people you respect and trust, and respect and trust you. This is the most difficult lesson to swallow, as is usually very, very hard to find people who fit this shell. Money and patience are rarely as in supply as time.

    Regarding the second point, this is something I learned from Hachem Hosenbux, a Valencia alum I highly recommend chatting with some time ( Learn from everything. The good experiences and the bad experiences, the good clients and the bad. Find some nugget you can take away to improve your career and you’ll be better for it.

    There is a flip side to this rambling diatribe, though, that I feel is equally important to bring up (and not just because Kristy sends me extra candy when I post long posts. Thats just a bonus.) Always remember that your opinion, your eye and your skill is valuable. But you aren’t always right . Your client knows their audience and what they respond to. The key is to find the happy middle ground between your personal opinion, the generally accepted logos of good design, your client’s personal opinion, (sometimes) your client’s wife’s cousin’s neighbor’s opinion, and the audience’s trigger (who, frankly, is the king of the mountain — your client has the money to pay you, but they get that money from their audience).

    It isn’t easy. But that is why we’re allowed to wear all black, drink more stronger-than-legal coffee, and wax poetically about subtle details. Shoot me an email sometime ( if you ever have any questions.

  • Pingback: How to improve your TVCA grade « Graphics Technology

  • Carlos Sanchez

    ok so that is what profesionals are looking for graduates well now I know so Im just gonna write those down to make shure when I graduate I become a master on those programs!. Oh yeah cool article!!

  • James Bernavil

    This is a not joke industry and I see why, with the competition out there fierce. Landing a decent design job is a great achievement in its self. Reading these exceptions, give you a very good look on what areas. As a student you should be focusing on if your weak in that area. The skill of “designing” definitely takes time and sacrifice. I just started this degree, so I don’t know a lot about design and its industry. But this post has made me aware of what I should be looking out for. Imagine if every degree here had the same cut throat expectations, just wondering..

  • Billy Mitchum

    I am very impressed with the way the instructors at Valencia are preparing their students for the real world.
    Having spent many years in the real world workforce, I can guarantee you that the concepts behind the TVCA skills are critical in holding down a job and surviving in the job market in practically
    every field out there. The competition is stiff. People are out there trying to support their families and will do whatever it takes.
    In my opinion, the best chance you have to survive out there is with a first class work ethic, as much education as you get, hands on skills and talent.

    Referring to Dennis’ post from 10/11/06:

    “As an employer I have always preferred the employee that was on time, prepared and willing to stick it out through the rough parts over a “Star” type which often have a “gift” or “eye” for the asthetic but no work ethics or personal stability.”

    I think Dennis hit this right on the head. Now if you take the stability and the work ethic and add gifted and talented to that, then you’ve got a reasonable shot at success.

    Every field is competitive out there. If you think you can coast by with as little work as possible, you might want to think again.

  • Brandon W Lohaus

    Great article! I tell you, Valencia does a great job informing their students about what to expect and how to prepare for the industry. These past couple of semester I feel I’ve learned a tremendous deal both technically and about the industry. I love the fact that Valencia’s Graphic program utilizes different sites such as wordpress and flickr to keep the studens up to date and informed on current issues and events. I’ve haven’t seen other colleges utilize the internet like Valencia, at least not enough to keep me coming back for more updates.

    I think Valencia has helped bring out the artist in me buy guiding me in a professional direction. I’m learning why things might not look good and how it can be improved. I really enjoy doing the work because I know what the industry expects, and I know my work is helping fulfill my future goals.

    Anyways, I’m always amazed Amanda Kern has the ability to write extensively on subjects and photos! Writing tends to test my Patience. Great job Valencia staff!

  • Laura Bowman

    This is a great article and provides excellent incite in to what attributes, qualities, experience and qualifications a graduate of this program will need to possess in order to be successful in the deign industry. I found it very useful to give me some direction as to what path (print and/or interactive) of design to pursue. The article was also useful to reiterate the importance of TVCA and how it can benefit me when I start to look for a job in the industry.

    I can see that Valencia will prepare me well for entering the industry and I am really looking forward to my journey through this program.

  • Kristin Andrews

    I completely agree with everything professionals except. Not only are they hiring someone, but they are hiring an adult. Too me they should act like an adult and have the same responsibilities. This article was also really useful, for anyone really, because even if you are good with let’s say communication, this can give you insight on what level you are at. Such as if you need to improve slightly, or maybe just think about where your strengths and weakness’ are in general. For me, the one thing I would wanna work on, is years of experience. I am more of a free hand person, like fine art and such. I have not worked with computers that much, so now I know that I need more experience with it.

    I think Valencia does a pretty good job in preparing their students, because they seem to truely care and want each person too succeed.

  • Jennifer DeLutri

    As former manager I am thrilled to see Valencia Graphics implementing a TVAC Rubric! In my past experience I have seen students who pass the classes with flying colors but when it comes to people skills they lack something that cannot always be acquired overnight. Having the qualities and expectations outlined early for a student can only lead to personal success no matter what industry a student pursues.

    As a second time student myself I was a little apprehensive about not being up to par with the expectations for my new career path. After reading this article I know that Valencia will give me all the tools and know-how to be successful.

    Knowing there is a Graphics Advisory Committee that meets twice a year to keep a finger on the pulse of the local design community is a fantastic way to make sure the Graphic program is meeting the expectations of our future employers. KUDOS to the Graphic Design Program for being out there in the forefront seeking the knowledge to Graduate better students!

    I’m excited about my new career and I’m happy to be at Valencia!!! I look forward to meeting you all ☺

  • Katie Beougher

    The line about a diploma or grade not entitling a student to a high-paying job jumped out at me. Would improvement of skills using the TVCA entitle someone to a high-paying job then? If so, and if TVCA is “folded” into grades (and a diploma), would that statement be moot?

    For my two cents, I would say that a high-paying job should go to someone who can do that job and do it well. Knowledge of skills and knowledge of work style and ability would all fall under that. For some reason in today’s environment, however, it feels odd to say that anyone is “entitled” to a high-paying job, perhaps because it feels like so few have them.

  • Leon Orange

    I am new to the world of art and Graphics technology. The things I see artists doing today are amazing from the Icon lady Susan Kare to the guy who makes impressive book covers like Chipp Kidd… I think feel what the industry expectsfrom graduates has to be what you may expect out of any graduate which has to be drive, dedication, commitment, and of course talent…….

  • Sakeeniah Johnson

    The number 1 thing that i feel the industry should expect is creativity. Why, well with out creative ways of thinking, where would graphic design be? Would it be as big of an epidemic as it is? I mean of course in the business world you have to know all the technical stuff also. For that reason i think Amanda Kern’s article is right on the money. The points that she makes are very relevant when striving to be a successful graphic design artist.

  • John Holbrook

    Why should someone settle for less than their best? Especially with graphics and design, the very images created are to be a direct representation of the clients who are paying us. Honestly, for those who wish to become successful in this field, we must not only maintain, but surpass industry standards to remain competitive, and well, employed! I’m thankful for the great programs and teachers VCC has to offer and I’m looking forward to learning all I can.

  • Amarillys Lopez

    I was really intrigued by this article. TVCA seems to be a very good process for learning what the industry really needs and wants.

    I am very grateful I chose VCC to study graphic design or might have been one of those graduates whom wouldn’t have too much of a shot. I’m definitely going to be working to improve my TVCA.

  • Valeria Melo

    It makes me proud to be a student at VCC when I read articles like these. Before, I had the idea that 4-year programs and Bachelor’s Degrees in renowned Universities had the advantage over 2-year programs at Community Colleges (sorry, had to say it!). But after reading this article, were there is surveyed proof of what employers expect of graduates and what Valencia has done in order to provide their students with this knowledge, I think Graduates from 4-year programs better watch their backs because we’re coming stronger than ever!
    I guess students sometimes don’t realize how important skills like the ones TVCA work on are for employers. How the impact in a work enviornment and how they can help you get to were you want to be.
    I, as a graduate student -coming BACK to school- can honestly say from experience that it’s not all about technique, aesthetics and the software skills you have. These abilities will only take you so far. You need “people” skills, know how to work with other people, how to meet deadlines, how to sell your ideas to your boss or client.
    It makes me really happy to know I made the right choice by becoming part of the Valencia’s Community. I will take advantage of all the resources it offers me, knowing it will better prepare me for the real world.

  • GladysC

    This is a great way to learn the expectations of Valencia’s program. I am new to graphics technology. What I am impressed with is the quality of the education that I will be receiving for the next 2 years.

  • Gladys Cevallos

    This is a great way to learn the expectations of Valencia’s program. I am new to graphics technology. I do know that the journey is going to be full of excitement. Even though I just started this journey I know I going to be part of an excellent group. What I am impressed with is the quality of the education that I will be receiving for the next 2 years. The more I read about this program the better I feel about changing my major.
    Learning how far this will take me makes me believe once more that there is a way to make a difference in this world and how many others like Bruce Mau have already started doing just that. All you have to do is jump in and be fearless. Thank you so much for this incredible opportunity.

  • Stacy Frank

    Stacy Frank

    I feel it is good to know the expectations of the Graphic Design programs from the get go. I feel that after reading this article the program that I have entered has been modified to be the best of what the industry’s want. It seems the staff has worked with the industry and professionals to meet the standards needed for students to come out of this program with success. I am happy with my decision that I chose this program at Valencia and have no doubt of the success I will have when I leave. I think it is awesome that Valencia continuously is meeting with Professional’s in the Design world to get updates and feedback for what they are looking for or lacking. I think it makes since that work and grades are not all it takes in any career and that there should be ethic incorporated into all school programs. I am excited to get started with my program and already feel I am more informed on the design world.

  • Rebecca Herzog

    I am really impressed with how much Valencia seems to care about whether or not I am prepared for the career world after I graduate. I attended another university, which I loved, but I did not feel that they really cared if I had a job after graduation. I like that throughout my graphic design career here at Valencia I’ll be evaluated using the TVCA rubric. I think that this is a great chance for me to strengthen my weaknesses and hone skills so that I will be most prepared. This field really seems to be pretty cutthroat and pretty unforgiving. Knowing that, it makes me want to really push myself. It helps knowing from the get-go what professionals expect from their employees. Reading this makes me want to research the specific companies I’d like to work for and find out their exact expectations.

  • Michelle Ferrer

    After reading this article, I feel even more confident than ever that I’m headed in the right direction. It is very reassuring to see that VCC cares so much about its graduates.
    My main concern as a student has always been not being able to find a job after graduation due to my lack of knowledge of the industry’s expectations. I can already see that isn’t something I will have to worry about much longer. VCC has already proven to be very helpful in that department.
    I have to say I was very relieved to see that less than half of the professionals felt that work experience was important. Though I obviously understand it helps, one needs to start somewhere. If every employer felt the same about hiring ONLY those with experience, then many immensely talented and creative people would be overlooked.
    On the other hand, I was surprised to see that only 59% of those same professionals thought artistic abilities were important. I would’ve expected that number to be at least in the 80th percentile. Nevertheless, I am quite hopeful for my future as a graphic designer after being made aware of the points discussed in this article.

  • Laine Powell

    This was an interesting read. Within any industry, I think that it is critical to exhibit professionalism. (By showing up on time, finishing what you start, and communicating effectively, etc. it shows that you are committed to the employer and/or project.) However, I’m not sure that colleges and universities take a step back to assess what their students are learning and how it relates to employment.

    The TVAC that VCC has implemented is a critical resource in developing students in the graphics program. Not only from the very beginning are students aware of what employers are looking for in graduates of this program, but students are also given the opportunity to work on improving the skills necessary to obtain gainful employment. Additionally, in an industry that is extremely competitive, how will students differentiate themselves from other graphic designers? The TVAC is certainly one instrument that could be used to do just that.

    I think it’s also important to note that just because you are a good/great designer does not mean that you cannot be open to fresh ideas or perspectives even when it may not necessarily “fit” your particular design mode. Graphic designers must be flexible and open and listen to their clients.

  • Rebecca Smith

    I think that the think , communicate, value and act is a wonderful action plan for all students to learn how to incorporate into their life.No matter what field they may be entering into to . In order to pull together ideas a person should be able to brain storm and come up with creative ideas . Brain storming is a wonderful way to get your brain awake and functioning correctly.In order to communicate a student should learn how to take criticism and give to back when asked by the professor. It is also important to communicate wit h students in the same professional manner you would with your teacher.In order to concentrate on a students value skills they should show an intrist in what the other students have to say about work they have done and use that information to improve those skills on the next project . Finally the act skill is a very important skill to pocess. If students plan on being sucessfl they need to learn how to act in a buisness enviroment.This can be very difficult for students to achive if they are not used to using the correct terms of the field.I think this may be one of the more important things for me to freshen up on while taking my course this summester
    Rebecca Smith

  • Zulay Aristigueta

    I like this article, but I am not surprise by the requirements of the professional, for a graphic designer. As in any other profession we are expected to not only perform our best on what we do, but also to be able to: communicate, show interest, and initiative; in our job as well on everything else that has to do with the office. I think is great that in Valencia CC. we are being shape on to this requirements to ensure our best success.

  • Link.

    I do agree that experience in the field is a major key in being successful. Especially if your dealing with a client that always gives you projects that are pressed for time. If your not experienced you will not have time to research what needs to be done and how to resolve program or designing issues.

    I do have one client that I do a lot of in house print for and 75% of all the work they request is major designs and with very little time to work on them. As these jobs can be stressful I always keep a good attitude towards my clients and never forget to say “Thank you” =D


  • Jackie Fernandez

    As much as we’d like to set our own schedules and work in pajamas, it’s important to remember that in order to be successful, we also need to be realistic. Meeting deadlines and being reliable are crucial skills in any industry. Everything we do and how we do it is a representation of who we are, and we should always keep that in mind. We don’t want to be “that guy/girl” who is always late, in a bad mood, and whose work is just boring. We are allowed so many creative freedoms in our work that it makes up for the deadlines, and rules everyone needs to follow. There are so many opportunities available, it would be a shame to miss out simply because we don’t have the right attitude on things. Finding the right balance in everything we do and keeping our lives in perspective is the key to being successful.

  • Sarah Peerani

    I totally believe that it’s teachers, like the very encouraging and passionate ones, at Valencia that make the program as amazing as it is. As Jason E. said, “Graphic designers are like glorified problem solvers,” and it’s so true. Coming from the “suit” standpoint, I have seen both sides. Expecting the unexpected from a creative and assuming that it’s just a couple clicks here and there and VOILA! Proof is fixed. Having the right attitude about it is so key and being able to do the whole “TVAC” is so important to a good work environment. If any graphic designer, regardless if they freelance or do agency/corporate work, is going to have to carry certain traits to prove success. I think with teachers that push their students and set high (but gradual) expectations from their students is definitely a good start.

  • Rachel Dygert

    thank you so much for posting this. it has been a very long time for me to decide what i wanted as a career. i started off school wanted to be a vet and quickly changed my major.. but i realized i was not “quite ready to choose”. after a deliberating year, i began school again as a graphic designer, even though i was motified that i was not a “great designer”. after reading this, it has given me insight as to what my boss/ client might be looking for : commuitcation skills and ability to complete a task on time, and ability to put what the client wants onto paper. even though i am unskilled at designing, i know that i have great teachers and an awesome support around me that will help in the process.

  • Joshua Best

    This post makes me a very happy man. It’s nice to see that communication plays an important part in getting a good job today. That explains the reason for having to take speech class. :) I also am partial to the result that “graphic design professionals” believe that it is important to have other artistic skills for the graphic field. It’s just as if you hired a chef that could only cook, but then the other guy you could hire would be able to cook, and bake. He is much more useful and equipped for undertaking other jobs necessary. These expectations are all very realistic and should really apply to every job. I believe that the key to succeed and possibly exceed these requirements and expectations would be; having a proper upbringing, a good teacher, and passion towards your job. Without passion and a love for what you are doing, you will never be able to work to your full potential, or be the best at anything. So in the end if you love your job, and work hard, you will be successful.

  • Aislinn Lujan

    This article is very useful, as this comes straight from the prospective employers mouth! Attitude is very important for ALL employers, whether you are working in Graphic Design, an Secretarial Job, or at McDonalds at the drive-through. If they don’t like your attitude, even if you have a lot of talent, they will not hire you! Plus if you don’t love what you do with every fiber of your being, then what is the point of doing it? It is the difference between a job you will leave in a year or less and a career that you can be in and love until you retire, they kick you out, or your life ends.

    I am a little surprised that only 49% were looking for experience, but then again, it is an industry where you learn more as you go. And some people do not expect a person just coming out of school to have experience in the field. But I bet that experience definitely doesn’t hurt!

    I thought it was obvious that you have to complete whatever project you do. It is not like a person can turn in half-finished work at a job and expect to stay there very long.

    We need more articles like this!

  • Nicole Krason

    This article is important because it gives insight to anyone wanting to go, not online into graphic design, but other art fields as well. It helps them realize that it’s not easy and it’s gonna take a lot of work to be able to not only get in, but do well to keep yourself in check and in line with the company.

    It’s a serious business and as long as you do your very best and LOVE what you do, you will meet deadlines, care about yours and others work more and be a better employee to your company.

    It’s also best to learn more than just the standard programs for Graphic Design. The more programs that you know, the better chance you’ll be hired over someone who only knows the basics. And, if you do decide to learn more than the basic programs needed, make sure you learn them well because you are gonna be counted on to do a major project that could cost you your job if you can’t use it correctly.

    This article has a given a little nudge or a wake-up call as to what I’m getting myself into and if I still want to do this, but it should be fun.

  • RengifoDavid

    This article sounds very logical. It’s right on target. I can see all of psychological aspests of our selfves. The need to be responsible, need to master interpersonal skills (how we socialize and verbalize our ideas). And about “attitudes” many can agree that this one is a must. Realy, creativity can be generated by the impulse the desire for action. All though, there might be times when we have a negative attitude about certain projects or “x” issues and that, can be understandable, but this is why we “T.V.C.A.” Having said that, in order to master the graphic arts world and become better employees or employers we must have a good attitude after all.

  • allison macey

    This article points out one of my greatest pet peeves in any line of work – its more than just knowing how to basically do your job that makes you excel. Its just like the saying that people who naturally are talented in something but don’t love it will never be as good as the people who love what they do but lack a little bit of natural pre-disposition. You have to have the love to of graphic design, art, and the creative process to motivate you to do the best you can. That factor is what will motivate you to stay up late to make that deadline, and what will lead you to put the extra finishing details that aren’t detrimental, but make a piece. Ultimately, TVCA values are something you can’t get by with out. Skills in dealing with people are the icing on the graphics design degree.

  • Carla Pinchem

    This is a very informative article. It gives the basic foundation of what is expected of students as they prepare for a career in graphic design. I appreciate the tips about gaining experience not only in print, which is where I’m focused, but also on how beneficial it is to get skills in web design. So many business are using both print and web as an advertising tool, it is a worthwhile venture to learn both.

    Learning the TVCA skills is a value as well. Just having the talent to do a job doesnt guarantee you will get the job. Its good to have a desire to do graphic design, but more is needed. The values of TVCA will give us the skills to be a responsible employee, one who employers will be glad to have.

  • Maureen Short

    Excellent article! It should be required reading for all college students regardless of their field.
    Having the skills to do the job aren’t always what it takes to get the job or make a great employee.
    Loving what you do definitely helps you go the extra mile, having good TCVA values give you the upper edge. It is a very competitive world especially during this economic down turn and employers have the advantage of hiring only the exceptional. Attitude and enthusiam are sometimes more important than skills and knowledge.
    As I continue with my pursuit in graphics design I am going to pay close attention to those TCVA skills. Appreciated info of what design skills are most important to employers currently looking for entry level designers, as this information is very valuable as well.

  • Rachael Thompson

    This article made some very good points! TVCA skills can easily be the deciding factor if more than one graphic designer are going for the same job. I think that employers would much rather have a less talented artist who has good skills, rather than a designer with more experience, who lacks social skills. Valencia seems to have a very good graphic arts program. I just finished doing a self evaluation and making plans to better myself. Setting goals and seeing if I meet them by the end of the semester is a good idea. I can see how I have improved and just how much the program has had an effect on me; not just talent wise, but also skill wise. I think by learning the TCVA skills, i’ll be a step ahead in this very competitive industry.

  • Meghan Coats

    This article is very informative and actually convinced me that the new TVAC program is a good idea. Prior to this article, I was against it because it seemed completely unassociated with the real world and just another way for the school to grade itself. After reading this article, though, I realize that it will be keeping tabs on the development of the students “soft” skills- the skills that, in the end, may land you the job you want.

    I have noticed, being in the workforce, that communication plays a major role in every job. I currently work as a vet tech at an animal hospital. While my job description says ” draw blood, perform tests, take x-rays”, it also includes explaining to the owner the importance of something they may know nothing about- or consider unimportant- and that may mean the difference of being allowed to treat the animal or having the client walk out uninformed.

    I wish I had learned all of this before joining the workforce, but I am very glad to see it is being implemented now

  • John Paul Perez

    This was definitely a very helpful and insightful article. I’m very excited to get into the field professionally. I believe that the implementation of the TVCA will help aspiring professionals like myself tremendously in becoming industry worthy candidates. There are other great points here such as meeting deadlines and having great designs. It will not matter if you have exceptional talent if you can’t get your work out on time. I also agree that a company would rather not have a great designer if they were to bring others down and create a bad environment. Thanks again for this post. Here’s to a successful career after Valencia!

  • Jason Moorehouse

    This is a great article for begining to senior students looking to get into the field of graphic design. It give great feedback from professionals working in the industry, and what students can expect to accomplish while they are in school. Keep up the good work!!

  • Jason Moorehouse

    As an after-thought I think it is great that professionals took the time out of their busy day to give us some great advice. Advise we should take to heart while persueing our careers. Amanda K. has done a excellent job by seeking out these professionals and picking their brains. It is hard to find reliable information that will really help other succeed in life. The standards have been raised and we all need to understand the need for a good foundation. I guess thats why we are all here, to meet or exceed these expectations.

  • Luella

    That was very good insight on what to expect from employers when I graduate college with my degree. I was surprised to learn that employers didn’t expect congrads to possess great artistic ability or years of experience upon being hired to their companies. I am not sure which venue of graphic design I want to pursue, but this article clairified the different venues and the skills required. It is true that amough artists it is hard for them to finish a project or painting. This is a area where I might need the most improvement. I can start a painting or project and have awesome ideas, but when it comes to final product I am never satified. The TVCA is a good plan that helps students down the right career path. I will attempt to achieve these through out my education to become a valuable asset to my employers. Therefore, I thank the professionals for giving this advice to up and coming Graphic Designers.

    Thank you again,
    Luella Keroumi

  • Christine

    This was extremely helpful and shows a lot of ways to expect when I graduate from college and try an entrepreneurship in web design. It was interesting to see how it touched the deadline ordeal and how creativity isn’t the only necessity. I come to find myself finishing works on time, but I have a bad habit of either wishing I’d add something else, nonetheless; when there is a deadline it strives me to push harder on my work. Deadlines is both important for the designer and especially the client. Either one loses money is someone is late, so it’s good to see it mentioned.

  • Emmanuel Bonilla

    I am very determined in completing my degree in Graphic Design. I just started the program and I am very eager to continue all the way till I have the degree in my hands. I enjoy the graphics in movie advertisement posters and I would like to be part of that world. I am glad that I am working with Valencia to get that degree because they seem very organized in preparing students for the Graphic Design.

    I am glad to see in this blog that not many companies require years of experience because they understand that we are starting; that has been one of the things I was afraid of: getting a job after I graduate from Valencia.

    My focus is print design, but I am willing to learn web/interactive design since stated in this blog, companies want students to differentiate the two.

    This blog has been a relief to me, for the fact that I know what most companies in Graphic Design expect. I will be able to look at those expectations and go beyond them as I learn my skills during my experience at Valencia.

  • Angela Shroyer

    I was instructed to read this blog by my professor, and I’m glad. It’s very informative as to what I can expect will be needed from me. I do plan on going forth with animation, but felt graphic design (and fine art) is a good start in that direction. I noticed they said valencia’s TVCA would come into play in the graphic design feild and it makes a lot of sense. ( : I think I’ve got most of that in the bag, now…onto the graphics design! Thanks.

  • Alicia Browning

    I feel that having artistic abilities in the world of graphic design is essential. I found it interesting that most professional graphic designers feel the same. I am a fine arts major and although I am not certain where life will take me after I get my degree, I thought it key to be a well rounded artist in today’s society. A graphic artist is also an artist, hints the name, therefor should be creative. What I respected most about this article was that it suggests that years of experience is not a deciding factor in job opportunities. each person carries their own view on creative design. I found this article very insightful.

  • Nadia Huggins-Lauro

    I think that consulting hiring professionals in the graphics industry when planning the program was a great idea/strategy. This makes me feel confident that at the end of the program, I will have the skills and qualities that employers are seeking. I also found it very helpful to know that issues such as inexperience will not necessarily prevent a new grad from getting a job because this is usually the challenging reality we (new graduates) face.

    I agree that having a background in both print and web/interactive options will open many doors.

  • Larysa

    This article is very informative. By reading this article I will better prepare for the future job.

  • Sylvia Oberlin

    All these “requirements” they specified a designer should have to be more appealing in the industry while being hired or maintaining a job, are things that we could consider so simple, or almost a given; because of the fact that we are seeking a higher education in a specified field. But many times through my studies in graphic design, I’ve come across people that are incredible artists, so talented, but somehow they lack proficiency and consistency, which are key ingredients in becoming successful. Even as a student they show deficiency in their grades and in the outcome of their projects, sometimes they don’t finish the assignments, don’t really know what the assignments are, etc.

    Would this be part of their greater ego, of knowing that they are so talented and have a great gift, and don’t think they have to nurture it and be as good in other areas of their life? Or simply it’s part of what they are and how they’ve done things previously and is hard to break the habit. Whatever it is, one of the beauties of being designers is that we can find solutions to problems, find the answer within yourself and apply it to acquire all this great qualities this tough and fascinating industry expect us to achieve. Whatever your scenario is, don’t forget that particular thing that is a little bit harder for you, and work on it, apply it more often until it becomes an exceptional habit.

    Like I said, seeking to be strong individuals is a great way to find your deficiencies and turn them into strengths, in such a demanding field surrounded by technology, that evolves day by day, we face constant improvements that we need to be learning . And be in the top of our game, which I supposed for all of us; is to be constantly learning about what we love…

  • Victoria Reynoso

    I just finished reading the article “The Truth About What the Creative Industry Expects from Graduates,” by Amanda Kern and Kristy Pennino. I thought it was a nice way to tell students, who are either just starting out or have already wet their feet in graphics design, what the industry expects from them. The article obviously reflected the title and that was great! I enjoyed the way it was written. Now a days with a title that long a student might be hesitant to sit and read an entire article that they may already label as boring and way to much information all at once. But this was nothing like that. It grabbed me right at the beginning and held me tight until the very end. I even read the about me’s. By the way I think its hilarious that Kristy put that comment about the $100 she lost. :) Hey why not? Overall great article and I’m glad I read it because now at least I’m in on one of the secrets… Creative Talent is NOT enough!!

  • Michelle Campagne

    It’s a very good reality check for all those who have a preconceived notion or romanticized idea of the industry and all that will be expected of them. The fact that Valencia has taken the initiative to ask experts in the field in order to further guide and produce good designers is a very good indication of the kind of institution it is and their commitment not only to students but the profession as well. Very helpful.

  • Lindsey Erbrick

    I’m relieved to know that you don’t have to be this artist with unbelievable talent to be an employed graphic designer. It’s reassuring to know that hard work, good communication skills and work ethic can prevail over natural talent. It gives people like me who have the passion for art, but not necessarily the raw talent, a chance at a career they love.
    I am also thankful to all the professors for implementing the TVAC. I think it will really pay off for us, students, in the long run, giving us that confidence in our work that will set us above the rest of the entry level competition.

  • Brian Lewis

    I think this was a very good article. It kind of gives you a perspective of what you are in for so you can get ready. I think its good that not everyone has to be an amazing artist to become an entry level graphic designer. Just because some one cant draw on paper dosent mean they cant do anything on the computer. I am glad that valencia started using the TVCA. This is good because when we graduate we arent just jumping in to a job head first and not knowing some of the basic rules.

  • Kenia Liriano

    I found this article very informative and interesting it really caught my attention the way the survey was conducted. Asking the local professional to share their toughs and opinions on what the industries are going to expect from us is an excellent way of doing it so. Also the skill we should all posses to be able to obtain a job in the graphics design industry. Being able to communicate effectively is definitely an important factor. I was surprise that the 91% of professional felt that it was very important for the student to understand for print design and also web/ interactive design.

  • Kenia Liriano

    I found this article very informative and interesting it really caught my attention the way the survey was conducted. Asking the local professional to share their toughs and opinions on what the industries are going to expect from us is an excellent way of doing it so. Also the skill we should all posses to be able to obtain a job in the graphics design industry. Being able to communicate effectively is definitely an important factor.

  • Jason Samocki

    Reading this was a wake up call for me. I have a lot to learn, especially to compete in this industry. It must be like a competition and anyone is expendable. Reputation is probably the most important factor. Creativity is also key in my opinion. As for the TVAC, I don’t know. What I do know is I really need a portfolio.

  • Elizabeth Hodges

    I’m just starting out in graphic design so to me this article answered many of my questions. Like if you should go into web design or print. I guess i’m going to need both. Knowing what the leaders in the industry want and what the customer wants is the most important thing to learn. Of course you have to be you but there is a standard that everyone graduating needs to be able to reach. Going into this I know nothing not even how to use a Mac, but hopefully with my instructors and classmates help I will achieve the level of design that the industry is looking for. I know I’m going to try my hardest to learn everything there is to know and hopefully one day be a damn good graphic designer.

  • Jeff Janelle

    What a great article. It has reaffirmed for me my decision to return to school and formalize my training. As a ‘non-traditional’ student, coming back to school after being in the work force for over 20 years, I think that most of the points made in the article are important for all students, no matter what their prospective field. Communication is always the key, not just in your career but in everyday life as well. It’s also nice to see others talk about how artistic skill, while important in our chosen field, is not the be-all-and-end-all. Commitment, drive, and the ability to follow-through, coupled with training and skill are the real keys to success.

  • Michelle Campagne

    It’s a very good reality check for all those who have a preconceived notion or romanticized idea of the industry and all that will be expected of them. The fact that Valencia has taken the initiative to ask experts in the field in order to further guide and produce good designers is a very good indication of the kind of institution it is and their commitment not only to students but the profession as well. The article is very helpful. Though a clearer look at the industry might be a little scary for someone just getting started and unfamiliar with the Mac’s. Never the less, it is also very intriguing and exiting. It seems as the though GRA 1142 (5 credit course) is designed to test the students will; make sure they really like it. I guess one will find out if they have those skills the industry expects if you not only survive the classes, but if you actually enjoyed them. I look forward to the challenge. 8 sentences ;)

  • John Barroso

    Wow! This is a pretty dam good article. To all my fellow upcoming graphic artist and web designers, please take heed. There are some pretty good tips in the article. For example, paying attention to detail is a very important trait to have in the graphic design field. You don’t to lose your job, money or a client over mispelled words or etc.

    Having other type of skills are important too. My own personal experiences has taught me that a lot of employers are looking for graphic artist with skills, but also good personality traits. If you are good with people, than you are a even bettere graphic designer. If you are able to create and sale, then believe me, you are ahead of the game.

  • Hymon, Jamie

    I found this article VERY informing and reassuring. Informing because it is like having “Insider Information” or some form of a cheat sheet. We as students and future employees are basically being given a Check list of wants/needs/requirements of our future employers. Which in a way eliminates the element of surprise. We dont have the ability to play ignorant to the epectations of whats desired from us, because its laid out clearly in the employer surveys. I found the article reassuring because Valencia cared enough to find out for “us” students what it is EXACTLY that the industry is looking for. And, in turn, teach and instill in us so that upon graduation we are set up for success.
    The most encouraging part that I learned from this article and the employer surveys, was that in some cases TALENT can compensate for EXPERIENCE. Knowing that we being students who are IN the process of learning those required skills (therefore not having the neccessary experience) can still be considered as an applicant based on our Talent is a sigh of relief. :-)

  • Amy Wong

    I agree with this article well said. Because there is so much people in this industry of graphic design you must meet the criteria of businesses that will provide you that job you need or someone will sweep that right under you. But that’s is in any type of high corporate office if you want the job you would do your best to get it. So taking the experience you have from school and putting it in your own idea may sound easy but there’s probably much more to it, having skills are very important as it says. Also getting ideas from other professionals in that field can help you have more success in learning what is needed. I look forward learning more I can before I enter that field.

  • Nicky Beal

    I am glad that the program that I have chosen has incorporated these things into a part of their graduation requirements. I have already been in the work force and their were a multitude of employees that did not have these qualities. These things are needed in order to have harmony in the workplace.
    The Graphics Design field is already competitive. In order to be successful you have to know how to do a variety of things. These things are now being taught here at Valencia. I am glad that Valencia method of teaching is changing with the times.
    What good is an education if you can not attain a job when you are finished. It just makes no sense and you feels like you have wasted your time. Personality is one of the main parts of a job, without it you will not survive in this type of industry.
    I have just started in this field, however I am confident that by the time I am finished I will have attained all the skills that I need. I can not wait to learn more & a department with a blog. This field is so going to Rock.

  • Agusto Arvelo

    Meeting deadlines is something I agree with as well. When the client is happy with your progress thats just as important as the quality of work you do. I am actually currently working with someone who does good quality work but fails in communication and deadlines. So out of expirience I understand as the client this is very frustrating. I defintely know what people want in this world and that is successfulness. I plan to be a good graphic designer who understands these terms and deadlines.

  • Thomas Cunningham

    I found it surprising, and interesting that the industry does not expect their applicants to have done any type of internship or have any work experience. Granted, classes can give you about as much knowledge as an internship. However, the only way that the student is going to learn how to “do” in the industry is to actually work on projects, meet deadlines, and work with clients. Without the skills beforehand, it would be taking a gigantic risk on the graduate.

    I am eager to see how the TVCA is implemented throughout the entire degree program, rather than just the introductory classes to expect their students to follow with the ideology themselves.

    • Thomas Cunningham


      I was not surprised to see that communication is the number one thing that the industry expects from graduates. I know that from my own work, through freelancing that it is the most important thing for me to keep in contact with my clients throughout the entire process, and I stress communication to my colleagues whom are just starting out in the web design industry. Communication is vital to the design process by both the client, and the designer. If the client doesn’t tell the designer what they want, they won’t be satisfied with the results. If the designer can’t communicate with the client, they will not meet the expectations of the client, and risk being re-hired in the future.

  • zuleika arroyo

    By reading this blog I can tell that designing have to do with a lot of competiton but more on creativity based on what people are looking. Being interesting in graphic desing has to do with a lot of patient and education.

    Me being associated with this type of education today makes me do more than before on my life since its all about time management, skills and making your own creation for others.

  • Nicole Krason

    Very good article; interesting. I didn’t realize how much it takes to make it in the graphic design industry. Employers expect a lot out of you, but they also want you to be the best you can be. Communication is key to being able to bring out the best in you and your work. This makes me laugh too when I hear my friends and people of that nature say that you don’t need a lot of artistic and drawing abilities to work in any field like this. That also brings up a good point that when I was researching this you need more drawing than I thought you needed, so I need to be prepared for that as well.

  • Sara Zadie

    This article is great. I am a student right now, but this will help me what to do with my work life. I understand that deadlines are the most important for the clients. I also know how hard it is to freelance, just got to also make sure you keep up with all the new programs and excelling at them. I also, just started drawing so it will help me sketching up ideas. I loved the article and hope there are more like this, I’m sure there is so much more helpful hints out there.

  • Natasha Periquito

    This article was a very good eye opener for me, as a student, to understand what is going to be expected of me when I go into the design world. I like that there are several responses from professionals so that I get the correct information from the sources. I would definitely have to agree that communication is one of the most important traits that not only should a designer have, but any employee. As it was stated in this article, deadlines are everything in the design world, and as a student I hope to make my deadlines every time; as practice for the real thing. The trait about having years of experience is a bit of a surprise for me because usually graduates only have what they have learned and possibly an internship or two under their belts. So, I hope my employer is a little more relaxed about the years of experience. The TVCA process is definitely a higher level of thinking, I think. Reason being is because you go more in depth about the subject or class when using these skills. I am glad that I was able to read about what to expect so I am not so nervous when I try to apply or actually start designing for my future employer.

  • George Gregory

    I found this article very helpful. It makes me happy to know that employers look at more than a persons portfolio. Valencia’s core competencies are more than some wierd way of fitting a broad theme into every single one of thier courses, it is a reminder that life is a classroom and that those are the tools that help you learn. TVCA is more than a theme, it is a life style, and the inustry wants people that incorperate TVCA into thier lives. There is so much that employers in this industry look for. To know that valencia is providing students with the knowledge to make it out in the real world is amazing. I am exited to incorperate TVCA into my studies. Hopefully i can survive the graphic design courses and come out into the real world swinging!

  • Fredelyne Alcide

    This article is very useful. I am a recent UCF college grad with my Communications Degree and it pleases me that Communication is a big part in Graphic Design jobs.

    In addition my graphic design skills are very minimal but I know I could gain better skills along the way. With my determination and willingness to learn more, I know I could gain employment within a Marketing Firm.

    I like the honesty of the site because it mentioned in regular print ” A grade or a diploma does not entitle a student to a high paying job.” Networking is key and I plan on doing that with fellow graphic designers.

    Even though eventually I may get sick and tired of seeing TVCA, I know that I will be thankful that experienced professors took the time out and stressed the importance of it. Upcoming professionals should have no excuse in not implementing these core values into their internships/jobs.

  • jan keith

    i love what this article has to offer. iam a graphic design major and the information above provides me with what i need to improve on. my graphics skills are very minimal. its hard to talk to people at school about what the industy ask of you. some people like to sugar coat how the industry is in the real world. this article is very real and blunt. thats exactly what students need to hear. this article is one of the best ive read.

  • William Bauldree

    I really enjoyed reading this article. Instead of explaining broad concepts, it really got down to the bare bones of the industry. What could be more helpful than hearing exactly what companies are expecting of us when we are done with school? The graphics program at VCCC is really great in that respect. I’m so thankful to be taught real world ideas that will help me land and keep the jobs I really want. I don’t think some student realize what it’s really going to be like out in the real world. (I know I don’t!). Thanks for a great article.

  • Alyssa Aviles

    I really enjoyed what this article had to say for graduate expectations. It makes me truly excited to see that Valencia professors strive to have their students achieve excellence and be more than prepared for future Graphic Design positions.

    As a recent graduate of UCF with a degree in Art & Commerce, I find that my skills in Art and communication will blend very well for this degree. Though my technical graphic design skills are minimal, I do look forward to constructive criticism and the learning process this program has to offer. I love working with people and serving to their needs and I feel like this will be a strength I can practice much in this field.

    I also think that the TVAC is a very good approach for students. I haven’t seen or heard of the TVAC until this semester at Valencia. It made me find out more about myself when I re-read over my responses and I hope by the end of the semester, and even my time at Valencia, I will develop weaknesses into strengths and be able to help other designers out in the future.

    I look forward to this track as it will transform my mind and skills into something the industry will desire.

  • Emmanuel Rosario Figueroa

    Communication is very important for both Graphic Design, and Web/Interactive design, not only that but many jobs out there also require this skill. Communication is just a single skill though, and other skills are required to make a great designer.

    I believe that experience should not be something that is required of an employee. If you hire someone without experience, you have the ability to teach them the way you want them to learn. For example, an experienced designer might have one way of designing a logo, but if the employer does not want them to use that “tool,” the designer might have a hard time designing what is expected of them.

    Of course, I don’t believe anyone should be with a 0% work experience. An internship, is the best way to increase that, even if its to a small percent.

  • Marisa Brandt

    I totally agree with the posting. It is imperative to not only know how to concept, but also execute. I’ve been working in this field for a few years and have come across some people who are excellent at one or the other – but it’s the ones that create from start to finish that always end up ahead.

    Also, I am shocked at the 91% of professionals that expect designers to know both print & online. The stakes are definitely being raised! This just shows it’s really important to be well rounded. Again, from experience I knew of 1 designer who could do both and she was definitely in high demand! Good to know that taking both programs will pay off even more than I thought in the end…

  • Xavier Martinez

    That was an interesting article, but nothing that I didn’t expect. It’s obvious that you must have great communication skills and must be familiar with Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop, and those other programs listed. Those are the basic skills of a Graphic Designer. If you don’t have any of those skills, then Graphic Design is most likely not for you.

  • Satoshi Serizawa

    Yes, I agree communication skills and years of experience are very important for the professional environment.

    I worked as an intern last year. I thought I learned a lot from school already, but I realized it was really a small part of the knowledge and skills needed in the real world.

    In school, they give us a lot of times and directions for all projects, but in the real world, you are not getting as much! You are supposed to know all that is expected of you, and how to do things.

    Now, I am back in school, and I changed my perspective about school a lot. I want to learn as much as I can in school, and I will prepare for my carrier in the future.

  • Audrey Zindler

    I agree with the concept that a simple piece of paper never ensures a student with a professional outcome. It is interesting research. Specifically when more then half the professionals surveyed think that not only artistic talent is necessary, but also self discipline. I feel it also validates my desire to pursue more fine arts electives in addition to the Graphic Design path already required for this degree at Valencia. I also am considering going for both web and print technical degrees understanding that the work-force demands proficiency in both aspects. The whole concept of Think, Value, Communicate, & Act are already things I strive to do with my current occupation. I am sure this ideology can translate in many careers in addition to Graphic Design. I haven’t yet considered internship as an option so, this article reminds me of that possibility for a stepping stone into this field.

  • Huy-Phong Tran (Andy)

    I worked at a marketing company over 7 years, so I identify the important of a designer. I agree with the solutions which helps student gain the necessary skills. It is TVCA. I am very impressed with the way the instructors at Valencia are preparing their students for the real world. But I think the experience is very important when we graduate. The field work is a big different with our knowledge that we studied at school. So not only the TVAC is a very good approach for students, but also the experience is important also.

  • Parek Rahman

    well its apparent that as technology advances there will be new and different methods to utilize technology to create designs. It is important to learn as many methods as possible but the field will change. That is when the people coming out of school will have more job opportunities. This is because they will have more experience learning with the newer programs and would have the advantage.Graphic designers must keep up with new and updated computer graphics and design software, either on their own or through formal software training programs. I am reluctant to enter this field. graphic design is art, and art is not a nessecity. And i feel as though the only job that i would find would be with a corporation. technology makes it a fleating career choice.

  • Rebecca Meadors

    I wasn’t surpised that communication is so important. I believe communication is important in all aspects of your life, not just in the work field.
    In graphic design it’s important when speaking with a client and co-designers about projects to be able to communicate your ideas.
    However, I was surpised that 59% of companies thought having work experience was only somewhat important or not important at all.
    I am glad to see that incorporating TVCA. We as students will only be better because of it. I think that graphic designers need to be well rounded in all aspects of your life. I think after reading this article, I’m not as worried about work experience. It put my mind to rest that I will be employed after graduating.

  • Nichawan Wongpitaksiri

    I found this article to be very helpful. It identified the keys to being successful in the Graphics and design industry.
    I agree that one must possess the necessary skills in design and communication to be able to survive. I believe that
    four years in school is very helpful to people who want to head down this path. However, I disagree with some of the
    professionals that believe that students must have many years of experience to be successful. There are many talented people
    in this world that haven’t been discovered because some are too worried about a college education. I agree with the section that
    states “A grade or a diploma does not entitle a student to a high paying job”. A grade or diploma just means that you have completed
    the necessary courses. The work you create or present is what people are going to be noticing. I believe that designers must
    stay confident, and believe in everything that they do. There are many people in this world, with different prospective. One must stay
    positive, because for everyone who disagrees with your prospective, there is another person who admires it. I thought that
    this article hit some keys issues that many are puzzled about.

  • Eugene Tunaya

    I just I recently changed my major to Graphic Design, and this article was definitely helpful. I now know many of the expectations that are needed in the industry. In my opinion, 35% is a low percentage for communication. I think besides the actual skill for the job, communication is the most vital attribute someone can have. One thing I always thought varies from different industries is the years of experience. Some people might have more years under their belt but in my opinion that doesn’t matter. There are always those people who are naturally talented and gifted in their craft who already have more experience without being as experienced. Another important thing is deadlines, which really goes for any other job. Deadlines make it or break it in the real world, and many of the classes here at Valencia enforce that, and prepare you when the time comes. These classes that are offered are stepping stones for the future. On a lighter note, after reading this article, I feel as if I just took a workshop on preparing for graphic design in the future, and I absolutely feel more at ease with the knowledge that was presented.

  • Kristina Ramos

    I liked this article due to the fact that I needed to be updated on what people expect from me. I recently got into graphic design from previously wanting to major in fashion design. I am still unsure what I want to do in life, but I certainly think learning every angle will help. This article gave me some advice I will definitely consider. Not only is artistic creativity necessary in this field, but communication is also essential. I believe that the process of selling your ideas can make or break you. If you cannot effectively communicate, what chances do you have to ever be wanted by clients. This made me have more confidence in my belief that I could be a graphic designer, possibly for the fashion industry, because I think I have advance skills in that area. I also like the quote at the bottom!

  • Mike Greenwood

    As a college student who has recently begun the Graphic Design Program at Valencia, I found this article to be very helpful and entertaining. It’s extremely encouraging to read about the steps Valencia has taken to improve their program. I must agree that possessing or improving the TVCA skills mentioned in the article is crucial to success both during college and in life afterward. I have always felt as though I am a naturally talented artist, myself. However, I now feel that to achieve my ultimate goals, I must make strides in areas beyond that; In my work ethic, in my dependability, and in the way I work with others to name a few. Also, after reading that a whopping 91% of professionals feel that students should have knowledge in both web AND print, I’m seriously thinking about taking those extra two semesters or so in order to get my degree in both areas.

  • Megan Meibeyer

    I’ve been exploring opportunities for further education in Design and found this article very helpful. The statistic that 59% of professionals feel other skills such as photography & fine art are desired for success in the industry was a good reminder of the importance of electives. Instead of just focusing on acquiring credits to graduate, I need to make sure each elective is going to benefit my overall experience and future career. I especially see how photography would be an excellent option to add to a designer’s skill set and I look forward to taking a digital photography course!

    “There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch.” I think a lot of us believe we can enroll in a good school and put in some effort and…ta-da…we have a magical potion to a successful job and career. The reality is nothing is free. Hard work is essential in any field. It is exciting to see a program like TVCA that will remind me of that reality as a student. It will be important to network from the get go too, instead of waiting until I graduate to meet some professionals!

  • Zac “aroni” Jaggers

    Since I’ve taken on the Graphic Design field, I’ve found that you MUST be well-rounded in every sense of the word. I’m happy that I have had, learned and obtained many of the abilities needed to succeed in this field and far exceed the expectations of my superiors and clients as well as family, friends and fellow peoploids.

    This article was very informative, and I enjoyed all of the left-brained, practical statistics given to “help me” get a job in this dwindling corporacratic system.

    Remember this old joke: “99.9% of statistics are FALSE.”

    DON’T worry, I’m not taking this article as light-heartedly as my response may lead on (not sarcasm).

    I want to design a type-face for sarcasm.

    Zacaroni Bologna Marblefeather

  • dawn Vinsant

    I believe that surveys are an excellent tool for gathering info on specific subjects.They are also an excellent means for self evaluation. Communication without a doubt is absolutely essential to a graphic designer. I believe that it is possible to sharpen one’s communication skills.Learning and growth go hand in hand.Possibilities are endless as long as your mind is open. The amount of energy that we are willing to put forth says alot about who we are.

  • Marcus Carpentiere

    As a person who is now returning to school after many years, I have to admit that I was a bit apprehensive about starting a new program. However, after reading this article and the posts by other students, I am confident that Valencia will prepare me to enter the workforce. Not only do I feel that I will be employable, but that I will have learned all that I need to know. I feel that I will be successful in my endeavors. I am inspired by the tools that are at my disposal including the ability to determine your strengths and weaknesses throughout the coursework. All of the features included in the graphic arts program are designed to make you marketable as a graphic artist. It is great to know that there are supports in place to help each student who will dedicate themselves to their craft. In my previous school, I was left to fend for myself and as a result did not continue in my studies. It is a great feeling to be surrounded by professionals in the field and a knowledgeable staff.

  • Nicholas Frederick

    Wow, I never knew what it took to do graphic design. This article really help me get a better understanding of this profession. I have a few flaws in some of my skills needed, but I’ll need to improve while I learn since that’s what going to school is for.

  • Ekaterina Bagicheva

    OK, I want it all. I am motivated, and I want to learn. My concern is my tuition, but I guess it is not important for the employer. I can do it, but it is going to take me more than 2 years to finish college. So, the question pops in to my head…”Will the software that I am learning today will be the the same 4 years from now?” Are the courses that I am taking today include the principles on which software build, so I will be able to reteach myself when needed? It is true that design principles have been the same for at least 30 years, but how about software…. About work environment,I do manage about 15 women now and let me tell you it is frustrating when there is someone not performing the way you wished, when that person can’t take coaching and get defensive I wish I would never hire them. But I have to coach and teach and still proof myself as a good leader….There is no good leader without a good team to lead. Think as an employer when you go get that job…do some research on the company you apply for…and fail…but do it again and again until you realize what is it you do wrong. Practice makes it perfect.

  • Sheng Yi Liu

    After reading the post, I understood that the industry seeks a well rounded person. They don’t ask for great artistic abilities, but they do put it as a desirable skill. Moreover, something very interesting I found is that 91% of professionals felt it was important that students understand how to design for print design and web/interactive design. I believe this is to increase productivity so that whenever someone finishes the project on web field, they could help out their partner on the print field or vice versa.
    In my opinion, the most important thing from the post is the TVCA. Knowing that these are directly related to succeeding, it is very important to me to keep being aware of those skills and improve them as I pursue the degree. I agree that there’s no way I’ll get away with it now and not have to deal with it later. It is something that relates to success in all fields and at all time. Therefore, having those surveys available for students at the beginning of the class is really helpful for us to be aware of its importance. After taking the survey, I was able to see where my weaknesses were and think further on how to change and improve.

  • Rose Thompson

    Most of these expectations are almost universal when it comes to employment. I found it interesting enough that 91% of professionals feel that it is important to understand Print design, when 59% felt that artistic abilities are important. It sometimes may be difficult for one to ‘love’ their job at times when they feel as thought their own creative energies are being suffocated, and those statistics prove that understanding the technical aspects and knowing how to utilize the specific programs and scripts to achieve a desired result has found priority over the amount of creativity one has.

  • Michael Loubriel

    Reading this post has put things into perspective. You may think you know what it takes to be a great designer. Really it comes down to what an employer expects or what demands are needed. Our skills are just tools to get us there. Lets not forget hard work is also a good trait to have to meet all of the deadlines. This is what I retracted from this post and I have a better understanding of what I need to do to be successful. The TCVA process is very important. It will be the vehicle for me achieving the skills necessary for my success as a designer. I believe if I apply what I have learned so far I will be on track.

  • Christian Cevallos

    After reading the article, I have a clear idea of what the industry expects of their future graphic designers. Because I would like to work for a magazine, it is my idea that aspects such as creativeness, deadlines, and experience are the key to successfully get bigger opportunities. Also, I found it interesting to see what people in the industry considers important for individuals who are looking to get a job in the graphic industry. The importance of having a creative mind and how it plays an important role during the creative process. It was clear to understand the difference between print and web design and how the knowledge of both of them provides an incredible help when working as a graphic designer. Nevertheless, after reading the article I belief that I have a clear idea of what to expect of the class and how to incorporate the knowledge that I will acquire to future classes and future career opportunities.

  • Brandon Bisnette

    This article was very imformative letting students know what is exactly expected of them upon graduation. Of course you cannot expect to be a late arrogant designer and get along with any employer. One thing I was very shocked to find out is that employers would like their designers to know both Web design and Print design. Being that you can only major at Valencia in one or the other what do you suggest students take two AS degrees or just have a common knowledge of the one they aren’t majoring in? Either way knowing about these attributes is going to enormously help me in developing my career skillset and working on my TVCA score. In addition the TVCA score added into the cirriculum was a wise choice if thats what companies are looking for nowadays. It was also interesting to know that artistic talent wasn’t absolutely required by the employer, even though favorable. I would have expected it to be a 100 percent requirement for a designer. I look forward to more articles like this to be posted in the future.
    Thank You – Bizzy

  • Anthony S. Queen

    I found this article to be very useful. It serves as a good road map of what to expect from the graphic design industry after i graduate. I am currently taking classes in graphic design and I am learning a ton of information. I can see why an employer would look beyond just the piece of paper when hiring a designer no one likes to work with an arrogant fool. Now that I know what to expect from an employer i can better prepare myself to adapt to the industry standards. Learning to think, value, communicate, and act appropriately in the industry will make my life as a graphic designer easier and more fulfilling. Considering that i am fairly new to this world of design i am very ambitious about leaving my imprint on the industry as a whole. I will take the advice and forewarnings from this article to heart and will continue to excel as a student and later on as an employee. Thank you for posting this article it has widened my view of this industry that i am about to plunge head first into.

  • Karla Fuentes

    As someone who is just starting to get involved in the industry I find this article extremely helpful. I jumped into Graphic Design to learn something fresh and new thinking that just being creative will get you somewhere. I have a new appreciation for the work that many designers do now that I can see how much work goes into the simplest piece. I know there is a lot of learning to be done and I am happy I was able to get a clear understanding of what is expected in this industry to succeed.

  • Patience Blevins

    I just moved to Florida so I’m VERY glad to hear that Valencia makes sure to prepare students enough so that they can enter into an entry-level career after two years. I learned a lot from this article. I already knew that communication is very important, but I was unaware of other things. I learned that internships are very useful because they provide experience for someone who is entering into the graphic design field for the first time. This article is going in my favorites for sure. I am interested to ask though… When I attended a career fair during my high school in Illinois, the graphic artist there said that many people looking to hire graphic artists also like to look for a degree in marketing. Is this true?

  • Anthony Phillips

    I agree 100% with this article. No matter what job you go into, whether it be design, media, management, or anything you must have not only the physical skills but also the mental skills to do the job. You have to be able to use the information that you learned in school and apply it to the job world. If you don’t than you’re heading down a dead-end road. As mention above, Communication is an important factor because if you can’t communicate with your supervisors or clients on the job than why would any employer hired you?

    That is my feedback on this article.

  • Ricky Lester

    This article is very informative on the research being done. When I decided to go to Valencia I knew that they offered a good and respected education. When I read articles like this one and attend my classes I experience first hand why it is well respected. I hope that the TVCA grows throughout all schools for the bettering of everyones education and knowledge of what they will be facing when they graduate. I believe employers are very grateful for this research program also. Through TVCA the employers will spend less time weeding through the ones who are not prepared. Instead they will have more time to choose between the many who are. The more prepared graduates their are the better the employers chances will be to find exactly who they are looking for. Thank you for all of your hard work!

  • Joseph Tucciarone

    This article really makes you aware of what the industry is looking for in areas of knowledge, understanding, experience needed to follow a design career. I myself being a student enrolled in the graphics program at valencia, am now focused more on getting the experience and knowledge that i need to make it a career then just to have a degree.

  • Ivelisse Payan

    I find this article quite helpful. It makes it clear that the industry is not only looking for raw talent and creativity but true professionals who carry the necessary traits to satisfy customers. As a graphic design student this made me understand the qualities these professionals are searching for and that in order to be a successful designer communication, experience, and understanding are all essentials. There are many misconceptions on designing; however, aside from all its attributes, it carries its great responsibilities as well.

  • Maria Torres

    This article is very helpful as to what employers are looking for. I have only just started the graphic design program and hope that once I graduate, I will be able to meet those expectations. I trust that I will learn everything I need to know and later build on that. I’m glad that Valencia is taking the initiative to make sure its students have these skills. I believe that creativity and communication are definitely important to succeed in the field. Without that, designers wouldn’t get anywhere. Graphic design is such an amazing art form. I’m sure I have finally found my niche and I can’t wait to start learning.

  • Gilberto Carranza

    This is article can definitely be used as a tool for those new and emerging graphic designers like me who are looking for clues about what the industries ask for and what is expected from them in todays graphic design world. Its a competitive industry out there and getting information like what this article provides can really help you out in the long run since one has already become somewhat familiar with certain expectation from the industries.

  • Dawn Vinsant

    This is both interesting and valuable reading. As a student,it can at times be difficult to “keep up” with all of the assignments and also remain focused on daily living activities. One becomes hyper-focused on school work knowing that in the not too distant future school will be over,and the real work will begin. The thought of reaching that goal is exciting as well as daunting. Any information that one can receive about future employers is greatly appreciated.This can help one to strive to reach higher goals and expectations.

  • John Micarelli

    This is a very useful article. I am new to taking design classes but the part about getting projects done in a timely manner is true in any field. I have worked in computer aided drafting for an engineering company and getting drawings done both quickly and accurately are very important. It is also interesting that the article mentions that attention to detail and teamwork are important. These are also very critical qualities in an employee working as a draftsman. Communication skills are an obvious one. No matter how good a designer someone is if he or she can’t communicate with their co workers it would be useless. Employees need to be able to work both individually and in groups. This makes me realize how important the action plan our instructors are having us make will be very useful.

  • Natalie Rivera

    I feel like this article is going to be very useful for me in the future. Like some of the people the commented on this article I am new at taking design classes and so far I like it. The only problem that I would probably in improvement on is time. Getting projects turned in on time, meeting deadlines and being creative all at the same time. It will take some practices but it can be a challenge that can help me later on in life. I’m glad that the teachers and students here at Valencia took the time to give us a heads up on the real world and what is expected out the for us. I want to change the lives of others by using my creativity. And thanks to this post I can know how many years of experience are needed, my level of communication is very important and what industries expect from you when they are hiring a graphics major. Now I can work on my weaknesses and not just start my projects but actually be able to finish them because I know what is expected of me.

  • Jason Marlin

    I read both the PDF version and the version posted above and I must say I found these articles interesting and informative. Before I started school I must admit that I kind of did have the mindset that once you get a degree you’re sort of magically transformed and instantly qualified for a job in the workforce but of course that’s not the case. Thankfully I rid myself of that thinking quite a while ago, and honestly it makes perfect sense. I mean would you hire a stranger and pay them upwards of 30,000 grand if you had never seen any demonstration that they could do the job? Yes I would say its definitely all about the portfolio and making the most out of your time in school that gets you that dream job. Well, a portfolio and good networking skills….
    ha ha ha :)

  • Leeron Morraes

    Reading this blog helped me better understand which direction I wish to go. I now know that the digital media program splits into two categories, print design and web design. I’ll keep an open mind towards web design, but my decision to pursue print design is supported by my artistic ability, years of experience in art, and ability to communicate ideas creatively. I do need to learn all the programs in the Mac Operating System to be able to communicate ideas successfully to the target audience as well as deliver a refined final product, satisfactory to the client. I do not feel as capable as a web designer as of yet, for it is still an alien subject to me. I know that TVCA will help me learn web design and print desing by instilling good work habits in my activities. All this will enable me to, with lots of hard work, surpass the entry-level graphic designer label, onto bigger and greater things.

    Leeron Morraes

  • Scott Baker

    Very interesting, and true article. I’ve worked for almost 8 years as a self-taught graphic designer, and am thrilled to be learning about the trade at school finally. I completely agree communication is the most important. Not only is it important for the designer, it’s important for the client. Sometimes I will get clients who choose to communicate through 6,000 short emails with random thoughts and things that they need done. This is TERRIBLE because their thoughts are so out of oder, I end up spending more time figuring out what they want than doing what they want. Of course, that’s part of the job. I also have clients who communicate through texting, which has turned out to be useful actually.

    In general, I try to be professional but also personal enough that the client feels comfortable talking to me.

    Probably the most important thing I’ve learned about communication, is always ask for the money up front! Once, I waited 6 MONTHS before finally asking that the client paid up. That did not end well at all.

  • Angela McCormack

    I thought this information was helpful and relevant. I like that VCC is open and communicating with
    so directly with our industry employers. I think the last section was most useful to me. Finding out specifically what programs employers have a need for will be beneficial to all students. I do think that the emphasis put on the TVAC is bigger than I expected. I think having the ability to communicate my skills is a no brainer if I want to be employable. I feel like our industry is kind of like translation of languages. Clients requests/ideas to me to paper to web or etc. to finished useable product. We will put our work through several translatable process’ before it is complete. If any of us manage to get a degree with out being able to communicate it, I think that’ like saying I have a foreign language degree but I can’t speak.

  • Yanitza Vega

    I really enjoyed reading this information. It makes me feel more prepared for when I go out and look for a job in the field. I believe communicating skills and dedication are imperative for the job field we are after. We have to be able to compete with better and more skilled designers. I am very thankful to be part of the VCC graphics program. I have learned a lot in the little time that I have been there and also by reading this. I know that in the upcoming years I will gain skills and structures of a graphic designers by following what I just read.

  • Melissa Castro

    I recently transferred from another school because I did not feel as if I was learning the right skills to have success in the industry. I am glad to see that Valencia concentrates on ideas and concepts that will help graduates get a job. After all, that is the reason most people attend college. I am excited to learn all the programs involved but this article has helped me realize that just knowing facts about design will not get you a job. Working well with others, creative thinking, and motivation are just as important.

  • Christohper Reichert

    This article really helped color my perception of the industry. It is good for all students and graduates to be aware of what they are expected to learn and what kind of qualities are generally looked for in a hire. Some of these points describe the expectations of any hiring employer, but it is still useful to be reminded of these and to reflect on one’s own such abilities. Remembering that designing requires more than just making a design will keep future designers focused on both the art and business sides of any job. Another point I appreciated was knowing that both print and web designers need to be able to cover both bases regardless of focus. If I keep all of these points in mind, they will help me improve myself both as a designer and as an employee. Hopefully this knowledge will lead to making me more marketable once I enter the job market.

  • Veronica Patterson

    This article was very informative and helped me see what I need to work on in order to be prepared for the graphic design industry. I was surprised that only 59% of professionals found artistic abilities to be important. I thought it would be necessary to all or almost all those who would hire a graphic designer. This semester is the first time I have heard of the TVCA skills. After reading this article, I also read the responses and found this link from a reader to be very helpful on improving your TVCA grade:
    Sometimes I think once I get my degree, getting a good job in the field I’m studying for won’t be that hard. The quote ” A grade or a diploma does not entitle a student to a high paying job” really opened my eyes to that not necessarily being the case. Thank you for conducting the online survey and sharing your results, insights, and information vital to those pursuing a graphics design career.

  • Megan Batoon

    I can understand every point made with this article. The one specific expectation that I agree with the most is deadlines and communication. I’ve met so many people in my life and in these industry clubs and courses that are so talented but don’t have the drive or responsibility to turn their beautiful work in on time. Essentially, that’s a waste of their talent because the client won’t receive it when they need it. If a band needs a poster design done and the designer finishes it the day of the show when the deadline was a week prior, then they just lost all promoting. Communication is also a big deal that goes hand in hand with deadlines because if you can’t sit face to face with your client, you won’t be able to bounce back and forth ideas with a comfortable atmosphere between the two. Even though most of the work is done and sent behind a computer screen, the ability to speak with the client will make any graphic designer that much more marketable.

  • Michelle Westmoreland

    Actually this is a very good article to help us students who are seeking a degree in Graphic Design! It let’s us know what to expect in the industry and how to prepare for what the industry requires. It gives you insight to what you should focus on within Graphic Design! This article will help me be prepared when it’s time for me to go into the wonderful world of Graphic Design in all aspects of it :) !

  • Jermaine Meyreles

    This article is a good reference of what people wanting to get into graphic design should be aware of. Creativity goes a long way, obviously, but it takes more than that to ensure success in this field. A degree or diploma alone will not guarantee you the best work out there. You need to make sure you have a sense of urgency and do well under pressure of deadlines. Communication is also key to not only understand what your client wants, but also helps in finding new clients as well.
    Graphic design is also an ever changing field, what with all the new software, hardware, and techniques of producing work. It would be in any designers best interest to do a lot of internships to get get a better feel of this line of work and gain experience with working with clients.
    One again, creativity goes a long way in this field, but unless you have a broad knowledge of all the aspects of working in this field, it may be a difficult industry to work in.

  • Christian Chenevert

    This was a highly informative blog and definitely a must see for those with an interest in the graphic design field. Especially the area pertaining to the importance of working in a group and curbing one’s arrogant tendencies. These unfortunately being an all too common habit of those training in the industry of art . Regardless, of your talent such an attitude definitely closes doors of employment. One must take into account the goals of the employer rather than your “artistic vision” . Also, working under a time crush where you don’t have too much time to ponder an idea but must produce in a timely fashion while stilll making something worthwhile. It’s a jungle out there, know the terrain, bring the right tools, and maintain a positive attitude.

  • Monhand Mathurin

    NICE!! the two topic that I would run with is “communication” and “experience”. communication is also related to networking. when u have a strong bass of communication, both parties have a better understanding in what you as server to his or her business can provide and also information of the business and aspect that is need to give what is expected. No communication means problems and confusion and most of all, lost of clientele. As for experience “Practice makes perfect”. I know it can be hard to get into a internship[ program with top companies but I feel like regardless of the issue, you can practice from home but simply and brainstorming and creating something out of the blue, I believe Degree or no degree, a proof of Art/Skills/knowledge being provide in presentation will take you a long way.

    I go by this: THINK|PLOT|CREATE

  • Nicole Gertz

    I read this article and found eye opening. It helped put in perspective what I as a student need to be thinking and focusing on as I go through the courses required to complete my degree. It also gave reasoning to why the self evaluations are so necessary. To be honest, at first I thought it was some kind of useless unnecessary big waste of time. But as I completed my own self-evaluation and read through this article, I saw the benefits of it. It makes you think about how you normally perform. Gives the facts needed to improve what skills you are lacking. All in all, I found the article instructive.

  • Tammy Kern

    I recently enrolled in a graphic design class to see what it was all about. As a first time design student, I found this article interesting. It opened my eyes to what would be expected of me should I decide to pursue a graphic design degree. It’s important for a person to realize what is expected of them and how to improve themselves. The TVCA made me think of which direction to go to in the course of my studies. It also gave guidance on how to improve myself. TVCA should be used in more courses. People need to talk, listen and understand what is required of them.

  • Michelle Keleshian

    What a great find! This article really helps to put this program into perspective and what one should expect of themselves and educational requirements to get you on track accordingly. I can take these great points and incorporate them into my overall action plan for my new career. To get this type of feedback is priceless. The TVCA is also another valueable tool, just as a business plan. Instead of taking it once, continue this process to make sure we stay focused and on track. Great Stuff!

  • Chris Gordon

    It is quite interesting to see how so many other factors play a part in a graduates success in the Industry. I hope that we are not all naive and think that we can ignore this fact because when we get out there and try to apply what we have learned throughout our academic journey into the real everyday workforce, we may find ourselves blindsided when all these other requirements come into play. I am a new to this course of study but this post has braced for the future in the future. I can be prepared to embrace the things that employers look for and find useful and important. Things like meeting deadlines, being able to communicate adequately and being proficient when comes to creating your design for the web or for print. Thank you for this post, it is very useful.

  • Keyla Escribano

    This article was very informative. It’s a great way to weed out those with negative thinking, and arrogance. Talent only goes so far, if you can’t communicate or execute, no matter what industry or field you work in, you won’t be successful. I also must say that a degree, and schooling doesn’t make the designer or a high paying job. It is a tool that can be used and applied to help you be successful in areas where you have weaknesses.

  • Isabel Ibanez

    Thanks for the insightful article! It’s nice to be reminded how one’s attitude can truly make the difference between mediocre and great work. A good attitude can reflect the effort you put into your project as well as the respect you have for everyone else’s work.

  • Sandy Cleary

    I found this article to be very informative. Not only did it tell you what is expected of you in the “real world” outside the class room, but helped enlighten me as to the purpose of the TVCA. It’s refreshing to know that not only are our professors teaching us the techniques used to be a good Graphic Designer, but also teaching us the qualities need to be a good employee.

    Good communication skills are very necessary in finding out what the client is looking for in a design. It is also necessary for the designer to be able to explain to the customer the effects certain designs may have on there potential audience. A good communicator will sometimes be able to steer the client away from a bad design with clear, informative and well presented ideas. You can’t persuade someone to think about something differently if you come off arrogant and self absorbed. I do not know of many people that like working for or with someone that feels they know everything. Life itself is a learning process and you should try to learn something new every day.

  • http://N/A Romina Alvarado

    Thanks for the article because it gives the real facts of how a designer should be when getting a job and to remain in it successfully. It is interesting to know that employers recognize that some designer don’t finish their work even tough his/her ideas are good. Personally I can relate to that situation and I’m so willing to improve that to be a designer that can deliver great finished work. I think the TVCA is a great resource to lead our education with success.

  • Chelsea Lloyd

    I found this artical very informative. I’m currently trying to get a AS degree in graphics design and its nice to know what the industry expects from us. This information has helped me to pin point my short comings so I can improve them. I also strongly agree with tvca being added to the graphics program. Having harmony in the work place is needed to get things done, becuase no one wants to be around negativity . I also found it interesting about communtication playing a big roll in being hired . Although I wasn’t surprised, after all communtication is “key”. Overall a very good artical thank you . :)

  • Veronica Rodriguez

    As a business school graduate, I am glad to see my Graphic Design instructor incorporate good work ethics and values (TVCA) as part of her curriculum.

    Like mentioned in posts above, in today’s economy an employer is not only looking for a great designer or a talented marketer; they want the whole package and more. And the hard reality is that there are many experienced professionals that can offer a full portfolio filled with great work and impressive skills. So, it is while we are attending school that we can take advantage of the resources and knowledge that our professors have to offer, so tomorrow we don’t have to be scared of that great walking portfolio that’s sitting next to us in front of the interview room.

    Great Article :)

  • Candi Dyer

    This is a knowledgeable and insightful article that I am happy to have stumbled upon. I am taking my first graphic design class this semester at VCC and am very excited to learn what is in store for future designers. Though I am studying to work in the marketing field, I have a personal interest in graphic design and anything to do with art. I could apply some of these tips to a future career in marketing. I believe that meeting deadlines is important in any field of work, not just design, though it is extremely important as a designer is constantly working on different projects for different clients. Being eager to learn, attentive, and a “finisher” are also great qualities needed for design and any other job I believe. I think the number one quality a designer should have is experience. A client is more likely to want to invest their ideas in a designer that knows exactly what they are doing and has experience with creating different things.

  • Keyra Rodz

    I think most of what is expected from a graphics designer is universal to all industries. The ability to meet deadlines, learn independently, work as a productive team member, attention to detail, as well as the ability the communicate are essential qualities, but somehow seem overlooked by potential employees. Maybe they dont see the importance; Maybe they simply do not posses those qualities. Whatever the case, people must pay more attention to these facts.

    I was glad to see that experience was not as important in a potential candidate. I was surprised to see, however, that creativity was not so important to employers. I am not surprised that 91% of employers preferred somebody with knowledge in both web and print (if i understood that correctly.)

    I am glad that the TVAC is available to us students in order to gain a better understanding of the industry. And Thanx to Amanda as well, as this article was very helpful.

  • Maria Vergara

    My first day in class with Ms. Pennino, she discussed with that class about this survey. It was truly an eye opener for me. I graduated Winter Park Tech’s Web Design program as a Certified Web Designer and I feel that Valencia and Winter Park Tech share the same values as far as helping students succeed in the industry with real life experiences. This article will surely help me and any other Graphic or Web Designer in the industry because it is what employers want and look for when hiring employees.

    Communication is kind of an issue I have. I’m a little on the reserved side when it comes to speaking with people I do not know. Seeing as how in this industry that is KEY with clients, I must break out of my shell.

    As far as knowing about Print Design and Web Design, how can you know all about one and not the other when they are related? I feel this is another KEY thing to know about the industry considering that clients may want a design for their site or vice versa.

  • Shannon Metherell

    This was a very helpful piece of information. It shows the good qualities of a designer, but as well as a person. There are deadlines EVERYWHERE, and yes there are more so when designing but everything always has to be done at some sort of time. And it’s true, if you’re a procrastinator or someone who cannot understand responsibility then it will be hard to get into the industry.

    I also believe 100% that communication is key! So many problems go wrong when people don’t use communication and it can mess up a whole project up. Even working independently you have to communicate with others to get the process and design done and that’s one element that a lot of people lack. This is how information can get mixed up and cause more chaos than needed.

    Becoming familiar with the instruments like Photoshop, Dreamweaver, and InDesign are important because that creates experience, which shows any workforce that you already experienced the program, so it helps if you have not had any sort of internship or anything. To me, as long as you have a porfolio and can show that you are responsible with timing, then if you lack “professional experience” it’d be okay. :)

    This was a very good and inspiring article, and it helped me open my eyes to expectations needed.

  • Justine Greene

    Although the article is a few years old, now, the information still scans as much more than sound advice. I am gratified to learn that the department as a whole has dedicated themselves to not only educating us about the proper processes and programming; but making sure we hit the pool with the right floaties, flippers and life preservers. So many times you encounter “sink or swim” mentalities in schools and in the professional world. This article seems to indicate, though, that it really is a worthwhile investment in time and resources to make sure there’s a statistically minimal chance of sinking like a stone.
    That investment works both ways, though. That bit of tid comes through quite clearly when you read many of the comments posting to this article, especially from other industry professionals. The student, who will one day be the industry professional, needs to invest in themselves, too. Apply themselves (ourselves, I should really say) to the less tangible but essential elements that make up the TVAC equation.
    I admit, I was also just as impressed with a comment posted by Kevin Scarbrough. He addresses a “sub-genre” of the C in TVAC – communication with your boss/client can and should also include education. But the message I got was that it works both ways. Don’t go into any situation thinking you have all the answers because you’re “The Designer,” remember your client probably knows their audience much better than you, their product, etc. I like that. I think it’s a good thing to start thinking about, now, so it’s ingrained when we go into the “real world” of design. This seems to go hand in hand with the desire to employee not only talented and responsible artists and designers, but to hire friendly ones, who do not have egos the size of a small sun.
    Because I think it bears repeating, too….
    Here’s the nugget I’m taking to heart from Kevin Scarbrough’s post:
    “this is something I learned from Hachem Hosenbux, a Valencia alum I highly recommend chatting with some time ( Learn from everything. The good experiences and the bad experiences, the good clients and the bad. Find some nugget you can take away to improve your career and you’ll be better for it.”

  • Elizabeth “Elie” Harris

    This article is very ture. As a marketing project manager with a national law firm, I work with our creative department in-house. Many of the items that are mentioned in the article are expectations I have of our in-house designers that I work with. Two of the major ones that I seem to have the most problems with are meeting deadlines and being able to effectively go beyond the design. Our designers and writers are excellent, but all to often, deadlines slip by and little mistakes are often not caught until too late. Luckily the majority of what we produce is usually web based so making a change is very simple, but it is still stressful when we don’t catch an error in the creation process. Attention to detail is crucial in the current creative landscape and the ability to meet deadlines will always be imperative. Very timely article even though it is a few years old now.

  • Whitney Conti

    Valencia’s TVCA emphasis is undeniably impressive for training students in the intangible qualities of success and EXTRAordinary talent, which are not as easily delineated in textbooks or software tutorials. As a pedagogical approach, it even goes beyond the fundamental value of challenging students to think about their studies and career as multi-dimensional, outside of singular checklists of hard skills, software capability, and even non-tangible merits like aesthetic talent.

    Though admittedly I was initially skeptical of the TVCA self-evaluation in class, as I assumed it would be similar to personality profiles or surveys which do more to limit students into boxes and ascribe potential to fixed typologies more than encourage growth. Oh how quickly I jumped to conclusions. The beauty of Valencia’s use of TVCA to compliment technical studies is that it has both nothing and everything to do with Valencia and/or the graphic design industry.

    As the article points out, every experience is a learning opportunity and TVCA is really the fundamentals of any industry, any relationship, any engagement with any environment – we here at Valencia are just lucky enough to be encouraged to push our awareness and use of these fundamental skills (Thinking, Value, Communication, Acting) to further our professional viability and success.

    I recently read something about body perception that pointed to the fact that we as humans can not physically see our own faces without mediation- without a mirror, a photograph…a reflection. Somewhat similarly, it is sometimes easy to assume we know how we think or value or communicate etc. but without an external measure or conscious evaluation of those things it is easy to let them stagnate and become automated.

    I think TVCA is an excellent resource because it simply (but not simplistically) acts as a mirror for students/people to be more aware of themselves, what they contribute/are capable of contributing in any environment (educational, professional, personal, or otherwise).

  • Michael Canning

    After reading this article, I realized that just learning the skillset for being a designer isn’t enough. In addition to learning the skills, a person must have the necessary personal qualities to be a successful designer. Fortunately, the TVCA is the blueprint to know what these traits are. It is a good thing that the staff running the graphics program have the best intentions for the students, and is thorough in preparing students for the industry. I feel the most important quality to have overall is to be able to learn independently. Since this industry changes alot, being current and being aware of what’s going on is crucial. Besides from independent learning, the TVCA is also very important. Therefore by having the technical skills, creativity, and the right personal qualities can someone succeed in the industry.

  • Jocelyn Ortiz

    This article provided useful insight as to the importance of developing TVCA skills. Until now I was unaware of what a valuable tool this is not only for the course instructors but the students also, especially in determining where our weaknesses lie. Hopefully the implementation of this requirement will provide the necessary aid to guide us in developing the soft skills that we are lacking. This article disproves the misconception that if your technical skills are exceptional you will land that much desired perfect job. As the article states you may land the job but keeping the job requires more than that. I believe that the TVCA requirement should be part of all courses since at the core of it’s concept are some basic life rules such as common courtesy, consideration, honesty and self-value.

  • Sara Mejia

    The graphic design industry it’s getting harder and competitive every day. Nowadays, having the basic software’s skills in graphic design and being creative is not enough to get a job. Valencia is trying to make students to realize the importance of having the basic skills that the industry expects from graduates. It is great that Valencia makes sure to prepare students with those skills. After reading the article I felt that I made the right decision when I chose the Graphic Design program at Valencia. I am looking forward to improve my TVCA skills. Those skills will help me not only to be successful in college but also in life after graduation.

  • Sarah Wilson

    This article was extremely helpful for me. This is my first semester taking a graphic design course so I was very nervous about what to expect and what I need to do. This article showed me that I might have to stay at valencia a little longer and take more fine art courses. Before I only expected to take one or two fine art classes to be good enough but I need to go that extra mile and improve my skill. I also realize that I have to stop being a procrastinator and start getting my work done as soon as it’s assigned and not the night before it’s due. I’ve spent pretty much all of my education career putting things off until the last minute but in graphic design that is not an option. I realize now what I’m really getting into and hopefully it will be something I love and not just like. I also realize more and more that yes talent is important but if you don’t have the TVAC skills then you won’t succeed. If you aren’t a team player, professional, and on time then you aren’t going to be employed, it is as simple as that.

  • Anna Ware

    As someone who has come back to school after getting a bachelor’s in advertising and working in the real world as an account executive, I think it is so important to have a realistic idea of what will be expected of you when you get a job. My bachelor’s degree gave me a good foundation but my first year at the ad agency was like a crash course. I think it took me a full year before I started to feel like I knew what I was doing. Now coming back for graphic design, I have a much better perspective of what to expect when I finish my A.S. Yet every industry is different so I appreciate Valencia being concerned that its students are prepared and employable. It is also helpful to know at the start what employers expect me to know so I can make sure to become proficient in those areas. I think that advice from successful people in my field is also an invaluable gift. As I would assume, most of the students pursuing an A.S. are doing so to get into the workforce as soon as possible so being able to get a job is of high importance. And with the economy the way it is, we can use all the help we can get landing that job!

  • R. Armando Rubiano

    This is a very good article to take advantage of because many artists take for granted their abilities. It’s important to know that clients have needs and deadlines to meet. As designers we need to fully understand their needs and meet their deadlines so that we can impact their company hopefully in a good way. Also, it is important to be responsible with our clients because it is that work which will influence our image towards future clients.
    I liked this article because it helped me understand more of what we need to know to improve ourselves outside the skills and also to comprehend our clients needs. Another thing I liked about this article is how it differentiates print design vs. web interactive design. It is important to understand the differences between them and this way you can get a feel on what you would like to focus more on depending on what you like.

  • Ashley Peguero

    This article was very helpful. It gives you a realistic view of what the graphic design industry wants. I love how you put percentages down for the skills needed. I was truly surprised that skill wasn’t the number one aspect employers look for. I am glad because I wouldn’t like to work with someone who is arrogant and negative. As a student I can aim for these goals and get a head start. By learning the shortcuts like my teacher said you can increase your speed. TVCA is a great evaluation because it bring people down to earth.

  • Cierra White

    This article showed me that even if you have the skills to do the job you want out of graduate school or any school in general will not always mean that you will get that job. Furthermore more, once you get the job there’s no telling that your skills alone will help you keep it. You need the good skills of TVAC (Thinking, Value, Communication, and Act). Having the right core skills is benefitial to doing well in society as well as in your life down the road. Communication goes a long way especially with a great attitude. If you can’t communicate well or have a sour attitude, no one would hire you at all. They would find it as a waste of time and would think you’re someone who wouldn’t get along with others, which is what most all jobs have you do, particularly the design industry. You have to communicate with people in order to share ideas and get your points across, you can’t go half blind-sided because then you’d certainly do poorly at your task. They expect you to talk, not be feeble, to act like a human being, also to have some creative ability behind it, not alot though, but some creative savvy wouldn’t harm a bit at all. You also have to a good keep of time, as to no shirk your duties. Whatever is expected of you should be nothing less than what you give them. You have to always put forth your best effort, because if you don’t everything won’t work well for you and it will all just fall apart. Having initiative, eagerness, and enthusiam as the article references is what design industries like to see in people. Also I can see how it’s important for individuals to have a basic knowledge of most of the systems required in Print Design and Web/ Interactive Design to be good at more than just one thing. This all goes back to TVAC. Industries want to see if you have the skills needed for them to see, as well as to help yourself through the industry, so that you can be employable. It’s not just about having the skills for your craft, you also need the backbone to demonstrate your craft to and for others, good qualities that will make people want to hire you, regardless if you have the skills for your craft, if you show good comprehension, extribute good value, act on them, as well as think outside the box and inside the box, I feel that using these skills, they will make people more well rounded and help them improve in other areas, especially when it comes down to the industry such as graphic design.

  • Chairatana M. Sae-Uong

    this was a really helpful read for me. This blog help me understanded better what i sign up for when i pick this as my major in college and career. I now know what i have to improve in myself to meat the expectations of the design industry. I am a really messy person and unorganize at times but i can fix. It would have been to late for me if i had not read this artical. having read this artical and learning the TVAC (thinking, value, communication, and act) i can better prepare myself for a better future. Thinking, value, communication, and act are the core skill set need to do well in this industry, being able to think or communicate with people with a good character can go a long way. Having a good core set of the TVAC would only benefit me later on in my career and in my college days.

  • Carrie Michel

    It kind of sucks that designers don’t make a lot of money, and yet have to buy expensive software and computers. Macs are $4000, though probably worth it. And Photoshop and AI and InDesign are expensive as well.

    I can see how TVAC is important in this career. Thinking is essential to creativity and work. Values define your work. Action is obviously needed; if no one acted then nothing would get done or sent to press or even sketched out. And communication is vital to anything. Group projects, designer to client, designer to printing company. These skills are important in life.

  • Mohammad Omar

    This article right here was a great read for me. It helped to show me what the majority of professional in the graphic design field are looking for when they look for someone to work with. Which is people who are able to communicate not only to fellow co workers but to the client as well so that they no whats going on with their project. To be able to both start and finish a project to the best of their ability is another thing I’m grateful this article has pointed it that out. I had that problem happen to me, starting a project at my best but due to other projects I had to do for school finish it but not at best I know I could have finished it. It also showed that even though experience is important to them, they don’t expect you right out of the gate to be all knowing about the field. That you will need to learn the tools of the trade and the right habits to become truly successful at the job. I also liked how it expressed that good majority of professionals said that being trained in both web and print was better than being trained in just one.

  • Ameer Noormohamed

    This post surely states what graphic design industries are looking for in a worthy candidate, and I’m very pleased that these specifications are listed here.
    Okay, so before getting to the good stuff, kudos on listing what the employer isn’t looking for; negative attitude, inability to perform the job description, etc… As for what they are looking for, the section on communication, even though it’s listed first, i find it the most important. I mean, come on, who wants to hire someone who’s communication skills aren’t up to par. I find the sections talking about experience and artistic ability should go hand in hand, because sure experience in the workplace is nice, but experience behind the pencil is an additional plus and in my undergraduate opinion, creativity along with responsibility earn major brownie points.

    Hmm… Meeting deadlines? Obvious, wouldn’t you say =]

    But all in all, I find this blog to really help understand what’s being expected.

  • Joey Hass

    Well reading the expectations to be honest, really intimidated me. I’m not the most confident person in the world, and I have what is known as Aspergers Syndrome,
    I’m kinda humble about my artistic goals. I really don’t know what to say other then ,
    i’ll try my best and defintally have fun, in my opinion, ones best is all you can do. To be honest, i am having fun, and at the same time i’m a bit scared. but i’m willing to work on my weaknesses and overcome them in order to do what is expected of me.

  • Warner Occean

    This is a very helpful post that guides the students who are in the graphic design career. It goes through the expectations of the student while in school and also when they get a job. It would really help the student have success and do well in the field.

    Me personally, have taken this in consideration. Specially the facts like communication, artistics abilities, etc. The competition is though out in the field, so we have to give the best of us to our career. I also like the TVCA which has a closd relation with graphic design. All these skills is what is going to make someone suceed.

  • Jen L.

    Great article! There is a lot of helpful information to prepare the graphic designers what they need to learn to success. I agree you do need good communication and work experience. Having good communication helps you work well with others and helping out a clients. Its good to have work experience so that you know what your doing and not know what your doing.

  • Vanessa A. Montero

    I have felt somewhat lost in having an idea on what would be required of me if I decide to pursue this degree but this article was very informative. All of the criteria mentioned and suggested program knowledge helps put a firmer grasp on what is needed in order to be successful. As I thought, communication is a major factor. It is quite reassuring to know that at least some percentage of professionals understand that graduates may lack actual working experience. It also seems that the TVCA assessment will really benefit many students as they go through these courses. Especially those that are experiencing anything regarding this field for the first time.

    This article is actually helping me lean towards a decision. The suggested criteria such as being familiar with the design programs, having some knowledge of programming languages and having artistic abilities are all things that I am interested in.

  • Melissa Miller

    This article is very beneficial and informative. I like to see that there is such a high emphasis on TVCA in the Graphic Design program at Valencia. I think that learning this skillset with be very beneficial in the workplace if I decide to pursue a career in Graphic Design.

    I was very pleased to read was that nearly 60% of employers do not feel that experience in the field is required for an entry level position. As a part time student, finding time for an internship while still supporting myself would be nearly impossible. It’s very encouraging to know that both my artistic skills and technical skills will play an important role in the hiring process as well.

    It is very motivating to know that deciding to go back to school at the age of 27 will still allow me to pursue my long term career goals of becoming a graphic designer. And with that said, I now have a better understanding of what is expected of me as a graduate.

  • Cordelia Jaye

    I found this article very interesting. It wasn’t only interesting it was educational for me. The reason that is is because I have been researching for a long time on the requirements and criteria needed to be able to pursue a career in this Industry and haven’t come a cross anything as informative as this article. This article answered all of my questions about whether or not I have what it takes to become a Designer.

    Not only did I learn from the actual article but also from the other comments. It made me finally realize that communication, artistic abilities, etc. is very important in this field of work. The competition is though out in the field, so we have to give the best of us to our career.

  • Maria Vergara

    I remember my first day in class with Ms.Pennino last semester she discussed with that class about this survey. It was truly an eye opener for me. I graduated Winter Park Tech’s Web Design program as a Certified Web Designer and I feel that Valencia and Winter Park Tech share the same values as far as helping students succeed in the industry with real life experiences. This article will surely help me and any other Graphic or Web Designer in the industry because it is what employers want and look for when hiring employees.

    Communication is kind of an issue I have. I’m a little on the reserved side when it comes to speaking with people I do not know. Seeing as how in this industry that is KEY with clients, I must break out of my shell.

    As far as knowing about Print Design and Web Design, how can you know all about one and not the other when they are related? I feel this is another KEY thing to know about the industry considering that clients may want a design for their site or vice versa.

    As I look back on it this semester I wonder If employers still feel this way or if anything has changed.

  • Damien McLaughlin

    I found this article very informative. It is good to have some sort of insight into what is/will be expected of me upon graduation, especially in a field that is so competitive .

    To learn how important communication is in this field really showed me that I have some work to do in this area. I really have never been a communicative person but it seems to me that to make it in this industry I will have to come out of my “shell.” Since I am only in my first semester of this major I will have plenty of time to work on this.

    All-in-all it is refreshing to know in advance what I am in for and after reading this article I am even more excited to see this degree through to its end and begin my career.

  • Michael Barton

    This article was written a few years back. I hope those stats are still good in this economy we have now. I’m glad that they emphasize more than grades at Valencia. The print number might be off with all the save a tree acts recently. I wish some earlier posters have come back and update us on how relative the article was later. I can tell by the number of posters, however, that there are quite a few people who took advantage of the ten extra points. All in all it was a good read!

  • Elaine Eichner

    Even though Amanda wrote this article almost 5 years ago, it is relevant and interesting. From people I have talked to in the field and articles I have read more employers are requiring designers to not only know about print but about web design. Considering the trend towards more and more digital based media i.e.; magazines, newspapers, and books; even marketing campaigns are geared more towards digital media whether it be web, dvd, social media sites, etc.. However with this trend the basic skills that are emphasized here and in the program are still much needed, both career wise and in personal life.

  • Lauren Colon

    I feel as a beginner graphic designer this article is extremely helpful. Even though it is a bit out-dated, it seems like all of it can still be applied. I feel letting you know these certain percentages give you a well-rounded, honest view of what the professionals already in the industry expect of you as soon as you start looking for a job. I also feel this article touched upon crucial aspects in addition to basic design. For example, the ability to meet deadlines, pay attention to detail, and the ability to work independently as well as with a team. One thing that I wish it touched upon a bit more is communication. I feel like this is a super crucial aspect of being in this industry. A lot of us tend to get very focused on the artistic and creative visions of the design and may lose sight of the need to communicate our ideas properly with the client or other partners. I feel like without this you would be unable to make a living as a graphic designer. As a professional, you need to be able to communicate your ideas to make your clients (or clients to be) feel the same thing you were feeling during your creative process.

    On a side note, I think Valencia has a really great graphics program and it seems like I will be well prepared when I leave. :)

  • Lacy Dillon

    I thought that the years of experience would be one of the top qualities needed to be hired. I also thought talent would be another top reason to be able to get the job. This blog is extremely helpful so that when I am done with school I’ll have the qualities to get a job. I think I may have to work on my communication skills to communicate my ideas properly to people. It was also good to find out that I’d be more marketable if I was good at both print and web design. I now know that not only do I need to be the best designer but also have the best attitude. I hope to learn all the skills needed to get a good job in the industry.

  • Valerie Marquez

    This was a very informative blog. Interesting enough, there are many good points on what the employers in the industry of Graphic Design are looking for. I can remember a time when the quality of an employee’s work was the most important aspect from the ideas down to the finished piece. Now, I see that throughout the passing years, a person’s talent is not the only crucial aspect before hiring. It’s now a matter of one’s personality, communication skills, time management, etc. It’s definitely true to see a person with so much talent not being able to really succeed in the industry because of their arrogance, negativity and lack of communication skills.
    Having students complete a TVCA survey, in my opinion, is a very important tool that helps one become aware of their own weaknesses and pushes them to overcome them with a plan of much needed effort and enforcement. If it’s going to help me get a foot in the door of the Graphic Design industry, then I’m all for it!

  • Ming Chang

    Graphic design is such a competitive industry, there are a lot of designer’s out there that can do amazing work but not all have the TVCA skills that are required to get the job/keep the job. It’s good to know that by developing these important skills, we can have more of a chance to get ahead and land the career that we want. I’m new to this field but with this very informative blog, it helped me see the critical aspects that I need to become successful. I agree with Valerie in seeing our weakness and to overcome it with effort.

  • Ming Chang

    I also want to include that I never knew that print and web design were of equal importance. Until just recently starting this program, I just thought web design held more value in the industry.

  • Naomi Fogerty

    I was surprised to see that Internships are not so important in order to become a graphic designer. I guess it’s up to the skills we learn including communication skills. I prefer to make graphics however after reading this article, it made me realize how important it is for us to learn some programming skills in order to survive in this competitive field.

    I’m currently taking my first graphic design class. The fact that Valencia invests so much training in its students was very interesting to me. They don’t just teach technical skills to get you in the industry but teaches us how important TVAC is. This reminded me that it doesn’t matter how passionate you are about Graphic Design. If you can’t do it, you can’t work for any company or anybody. The best part is that this not only applies to the Graphic Design Industry but to any industry.

  • Yvette Plaza

    Wow who knew that communication and deadlines were so important. How can you rush art? Doesn’t it come over time? Now that the industry demands more from students it is no about just being a graphic designer and focusing on the computer aspects but to know about other forms of media. I do like that some industries know that students won’t have any experience if they don’t at least start somewhere. In fact, all companies should know that. What surprise me the most about the article is the reason why the push for TVCA. I like to know where the self-evaluation result is at and how to complete an accurate action plan. At first I thought it was something given because it was required but not an importance until now.

  • Maria Martinez

    I think this article gave a clear picture of what the industry is looking for. School is the time to develop not just graphic skills, but also communication and personal skills. In any job responsibility and enthusiasm will be something requested an rewarded. Many times people tend to think that the most important skill to compete with in this field is creativity, however the truth is a good graphic designer has to demonstrate it efficiency combining everything he knows. As always, the key to succeed is bringing the best of you and showing passion and interest. Yet, the truth to be said, as is says here, communication plays a really important job. Communication is basic in order to give life to your ideas. A graphic designer without communication skills would be like a shoe without sole.

  • Maria Diaz

    The article is very helpful for us because it gives to the estudent a view of how is going to be the real world in graphic design.It is very good because the students know wthat to expect, and we won’t have sorprises when we get there. In addition, this article teach us how to be a better professional and a better graphic designer. It gives us very important tips to follow and to do a better work.

  • Elizabeth (@_happygolucky_)

    Great read! I already work in the industry and I could really connect with two of your points in your article – communication & print design.

    I have experienced the importance of being able to communicate effectively with different communication styles. It’s so amazing how you have to adjust yourself based upon who you are talking to. I have found that creating a base template of questions for clients and projects is a great foundation, regardless of communication skill.

    I also really connected with your point about how important it is to be able to design for various types of print collateral.

    Thanks for a great read!
    -Elizabeth Farmer

  • Katy Cacolice

    I think this article is one of the better ones that I have read online. It clearly encourages students about the design industry yet gives a fair warning for how the industry expects designers to deliver. I found the juxtaposition between employees and employers concerning experience interesting – for the employer 59% considered experience somewhat important or not important at all, yet for most, or yet all students, he or she cannot fully understand or act as a professional until they get a job. Most of what employers are looking for seems to be the art of collaborating with others, starting and finishing projects, healthy attitudes, and so forth. 100% of the job seems to be about design, yet also 100% of design is what the designer can bring to the table in terms of working with others, satisfying clients, and so forth.

    As a freshman student in design, going for the print industry, I have accepted that to work on print will be almost mute if I don’t also work on web design. There’s just no ignoring how popular interactive design is, and how much it continues to expand. It’s challenging and fun! Great article!

  • Andrea Beltran

    As a new student in graphic design and a future designer is important to know what the industry expect from graduated students. I agree with the article, I believe that industry is not only looking for the best designer. Industry is looking for designer with talent, but at the same time designers that has the ability to finish what they start. Valencia College has the professors, the programs, and the classroom to provide students with the best knowledge, so in that way students will be able to be successful as graphic designers.

  • Robert Blaker

    This article is a very informative and comprehensive analysis of the expectations of employers in the graphic design field. I think what I took away most after reading the article is that the employer needs someone who they know they can rely on to do the work. This may seem like common-sense, but many young people believe that their raw talent is enough to land a good job or keep them employed. A student who does not communicate well, does not meet deadlines, or does not know industry-standard programs cannot expect to succeed in this field.

  • Michael Jimenez

    I would agree with the article above. The traits and qualities listed above for what entry-level designers are expected to have is more than reasonable I think. Some employers want to be able to help mold the minds of the young designers, in turn they are introduced to the costumed work environment. A designer should be required to have great communication skills, it is the first impression in an interview along side of the design skills that the employer will remember. Once hired, students should also remember to never stop researching current artistic trends and fads. It will help you as a professional artist develop as well as make your employer extremely proud to have you, the self-motivated artist, working for them. I have been working in this field for 3 years now and I have not stopped trying to look up new artist and practicing new styles. Joining graphic guilds and online communities is a great way to keep in touch with different designers from all over the world which might inspire artwork and new concepts.

  • Danielle Nieves

    This article was not only informative but helped me to learn what is expected of me in the future. And as well showing me some of the most common knowledge needed for the field. Such as the programs I will need to learn for both print and interactive design, and what traits that will help me get and hold a job once I have gotten my degree. I also have gotten a peek on how important internship is in the work field. I believe that the TVIC well help me a lot along this process of learning graphic design and giving me the opportunity to grow not only on a professional level but a physical one as well giving me life long skills. This article also let me know how imperative communication and meeting the clients needs are.

    And now reading this article an seeing how Valencia teaches an prepares their students for everything, even giving them the skills to continue learning after you graduate. I cant wait to continue on with my degree learning every bit I can, inspiring me to do my best and work hard towards my future.

  • Kacey

    This is a very informative and educational read. Having this feedback from industry professionals is an amazing resource for those of us in the design program as well as those who are starting out in the industry. I have worked in the event design industry for almost two years and I would have loved for this kind of feedback before I graduated with my bachelors, and when I was just starting out in my career.

    The point that I found the most intriguing was experience. Its encouraging that most employers understand that entry level graduates will not have much work experience outside of college classes and the student’s college portfolio. Of course internships are valuable, but they are expecting you to be able to continue to learn as you start with their company. It seems that so many entry level job postings requires 3-5 years experience outside of college.

    This survey also shows the importance of TVCA skills. You can be the best designer in the world but have terrible communication and work habits, which could lead to you losing your job. As stated, it isn’t fair to you or the employer if you know you are not cut out for face-to-face client interaction or even inter-office communication.

    Everything said is important for anyone to consider, not just graphic and web designers. If you put in the time and effort into being the best employee you can than you will go far!

    Thanks for the industry insiders!
    Kacey Grimes

  • Lauren Schafer

    I thought this article was very informative and insightful. I mean, who doesn’t like to know what others expect from you? Especially when it is an idea of what employers are looking for from graduates.
    To be more specific, to have the statistics of what employers liked/disliked/ found useful, etc. helps make a clearer image of what it is I need to accomplish and learn affectively while I am here at Valencia. It is kind of like seeing a preview of what the end goal will turn out to be and what I need to do to get there.
    However, the article takes it a step further and gives you an idea of the behavior and attitude employers are looking for. And to know that the program and the teachers are trying to help shape that into us and refine it while we learn the skills needed is simply an added bonus.
    Over all, excellent article, definitely something that should be continued to think on and talked about!

  • Kevin Shaeffer

    This article provides great information for those seeking to go into some type of graphic design profession. I believe the article gives a good overview what standards the design industry expects from someone planning on going into the graphic design field.

    As the article stated, I feel it’s important to be able to work with others and get along with those around you no matter what line of work you are in. This helps keep the morale up and makes doing your job more enjoyable.

    Also, being able to communicate your idea effectively I would consider a very important trait to have as well. You may have a good idea but if you don’t know how to present it in a way that those around you can understand, you most likely wont get your idea to be used.

  • Danny Lynch

    I really appreciated this article a lot. Mainly due to the fact that it gives you the main attributes needed in the graphic field. Although I am a great communicator all other attributes needed are something I need to work on. I also find it reassuring that artistic ability is not 100% needed but appreciated. I also love the idea of TVAC. It reassures you that as long as you are willing to think, value, communicate, and act you can learn to be a valued member of any team.

  • Cristina Medina

    Thank you so much for this article. To acquire advise from the professionals themselves is a HUGE help, as far as preparing for a job. I appreciate the information given here. Unlike other professions, earning the degree or getting good grades is not enough in this industry. It is good to keep all of these points in mind. Some of us, like me, can benefit from these tips, as it will help shape skills for this future career. Job training starts right here! Thank you!

  • Michael Wolfe

    I think it is easy for students to focus so much on learning the practical skills they will need day to day during their career that general skills like teamwork and communication slip by the wayside. It comes as no surprise that working professionals regard communication and the ability to meet deadlines nearly if not more important than practical skill. Honestly, I’m surprised that its only 35% of employers who wouldn’t hire a student due to communication skills. I would have thought it would be higher!

    This definitely helps realign my personal focus as I work through my degree. Besides, Graphic Design is all about communicating!

  • Mari

    Great article! I’m planning on going for my A.S in graphics, this is definately helpful information that i can use in the future. This article gets to the point of graphic industry expectations: “A grade or a diploma does not entitle a student to a high paying job.” This quote is the reality this industry, it takes way more than a piece of paper.

  • Greg

    I would really like to see regular updates to this article. Its gives me and others a chance to really know what we’re getting ourselves into and see what we need to strive for in order to be successful in the industry.

  • Brittany Wilds

    This article gave some really good information regarding getting into the Graphic Design world. It’s really important to know what employers are looking for because they are the ones giving you a job. It’s interesting to see percentages of what employers think is important and what is not. This article showed me that it’s important to be versatile and to not just focus on one part of graphic design but all of them. For example, not to just focus on strictly print or interactive. It’s nice to know that not all employers are so strict on your work experience. They know that graphic designers have to start somewhere and if the talent and knowledge is there that they will most likely be successful. I am new to Graphics and I’m glad we have postings like this on our blog.

  • Karla Sanchez

    This article gives good insight to students about traits that are very important for the industry of graphic design. This traits or skills are the tools everyone in this field needs to have to be succesful. If the a student doesn’t have this skills it can be really hard for them to find a job because all the employers in this field look for these traits. Its very important to learn how to communicate. Most of the little problems in this field are about miscommunication. That’s why I like that the survey specifies that employers wouldn’t hired someone that didn’t communicate, because it gives me insight on how to avoid being shy or quite about an assigment. Another important traits are to be creative and organize. I like how the article specifies that even though we can be the best artist it doesn’t mean that our job can be done. Its very important to always be organize becasue this helps us have our assignments on time. The best example for this, is the quote in the article ““Two of the best qualities are being able to be a starter and a finisher. I find that several artists can start work on a project and do great work, yet never really finish the project. Some artists can complete a project, but actually taking a piece to the point of being FINISHED is an entirely different level.”
    I feel like this article open up my mind about all the little details I need to have right on for this field. I want to be succesful and this article is the key to my succes. I’m very glad that we can have articles like this in our blog that helps motivate us more to work on those little traits that we are not that strong to become better and more prepare for this field.

  • Travis Rich

    This article gives a lot of information for anyone looking to get into the graphics technology or design fields. I think Valencia’s programs will really help prepare us for what to expect in the real world, pursuing a career in this area. There is a lot of competition in this field, and it is important to work as hard as you can, be creative, and have good communication.

  • Terri Owen

    I find it interesting that 59% were not necessarily concerned about on the job experience. Finally someone recognizes that coming out of college you don’t have years of experience, but do have the added value of learning all of the current programming availble to you. I believe that the new TVCA Self Assessment system is something that would have been usefull to students when I was in college. Thank God for technology and wisdom…… Education can only get better thanks to those that take the time to asess our students and their abilities.

  • Hilary Magid

    I too found it interesting that the lack of work experience was generally accepted from possible employers. It seems overall that the program at Valencia has been established enough to see the results of their graduating students and see what the local employers in the industry are expecting, enough so that that information can be passed on to the students. Rather than other schools that may just teach the software and some design principals, Valencia takes it a step further by providing the information about how to be a well rounded person as well as designer. Being crafty in photoshop is only half of the battle. It is comforting to know that my school has got this down to a science with the incorporation and implementation of the TVCA values. Just another instance in where not only am I learning from professionals in my field, but I am learning about what is expected of me in order to be prepared after graduation. Articles such as this are exactly what students need.

  • vkwan

    This article gives us the very useful information about the real graphic design industry expectations, but not the school one. It helps the new students (like me) to better understand more what the employers’ considerations when hiring people.
    One thing impressed me is that the program not only focus on the graphic software program skills, but also gives students the opportunity to learn and improve the skills needed besides software skills. I’ve been working full time on different multi-media projects for more than 6 years. I understand how important all these skills (such as time management skill, idea presenting skills, etc…) are.

  • Michelle Garay

    I think it was truly ingenious of Valencia instructors to create the TVCA. There couldn’t be a more direct guideline for success than to organize the feedback of future employers. The fact that Valencia is implementing these into the curriculum at the beginning of the graphics program is great preparation for students hoping to enter the industry. Creating this foundation gives the school a definite edge over other institutions.
    It’s important to establish what the reality of the competitiveness of this industry is. If students are aware of these principles they can develop their professionalism. It is also true that these skills are needed to be successful in beginning courses. Using the TVCA as a guide will help students achieve their present goals in education and ultimate professional goals. Without it, students may have misconceptions that the design industry is only looking for individuals with basic knowledge of the tools used, when in reality they’re looking for innovators that are productive and collaborative.

  • Marianny Hernandez

    The TVCA is a great idea!
    For me, and perhaps for other students, going out to the “real world” can be a bit scary. We know school is not the same as the real world so it is rather comforting to know that with the TVAC I can receive the help I need and understand what I need to work on to be successful in the industry.

    Just last semester I decided to major in graphics design with print. Previously I was going for a major in Fine arts. I still plan on pursuing a fine arts degree but for now I’m considering learning more about web design. If we look around to the world we live in now, web is an important factor of our daily lives, so I’m certainly willing to learn some web.

    I’m really excited about my degree, I wish I was at the level to do an internship, I have seen a few internships posted on the valencia graphics design website, I’m so looking forward to that!!

  • Dave Van Loon

    Having communication skills is key. This is true for many industries. Working in the field of architecture myself, having communication skills besides design kills is a more than a necessity.
    In Graphic design your project needs to meet the clients program and needs. The clients’ needs are in most cases to communicate their product/service to their clients. How can one design a project that successfully communicates a message, service or product to others when you are not able to communicate yourself to begin with? Communication has many forms. It is not only verbal but can happen through body language, signs/symbols, images, color, and ones association with others, objects, etc… . Glad to see that Valencia is preparing the students for the real world.

  • Carson Bailey

    This article proves to me that my decision to in enroll in Valencia was definitely a smart one! I like TVCA for its ability to implement the human element in to what is sometimes viewed as a very talent driven degree. For three years in high school I was a part of the journalism department, working on the newspaper and literary magazine. Much of the class was deadline driven, so it put the pressure on which would bring out the best and worst in all of us. But by being put through those situations I am now able to better understand the other side of working as a graphic designer, which is the human interaction side. You must be friendly and have great communication skills to be successful in dealing with not only clients but printers as well. Like I read before, we as graphic designers are relying on these clients to feed us and put money in our wallets. The least we could do is understand the skills we need outside of talent to better prove ourselves! All in all I love this article for what it stands for, I could definitely see TVCA being implemented in other colleges across the country. Can’t wait to dive further in to these graphic design courses!

  • Natalia Felix

    This article will help me a lot in the future. I did not think there were these many things to expect. With this information people can figure out how to plan out their future and what they need to expect. There are still many courses that I will need to take to reach my goal, though. I hope we can succeed in this economy that we have today. I can’t wait to learn more about Graphic Design.

  • Andrew J. Sipe

    I love how the article touches on the most important aspects of ANY new job requirement. Communication, Dedication, and most important, meeting deadlines, and being on time. Without these soft skills as stated, it doesn’t matter if you are the worlds best graphics designer, if you can’t show up to work, or meet your deadlines on time, you are easily replaced with someone who can. That’s the cold hard facts of life. Oh, and of course karma will find those who posses terrible attitudes, don’t you worry. Stick with it, and with a positive attitude, you will go far.

  • Aexander Hall

    Very informative article. Find out a lot of information that I didn’t know, especially the fact that graphic designer must know css and web, and that you don’t need a qualifying degree to make the

  • Aexander Hall

    Yes, definitely we can learn from good and bad experiences. It is definitely a good guide to understand how to program oneself for the future, expecially beginning graphic designers who have no experience in the field. I also agree, we must understand the client desire to understand better the direction of the project.

  • Robert T Gaye

    Since art has been a passion of mine that was lost to sports when I entered high school, I’m proud and glad to be apart of Valencia and all it has to offer in the design field. This article was very informative and just reiterated that I’m where I want and need to be. Looking forward to what I will learn and produce. Also really excited about the chances of getting work right from school & since Valencia tailors their approach to help us get the right information as specified in this article I can’t wait!

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  • Moyaah S. Keener

    It’s great that Valencia has taken the steps to teach the importance of proper work ethics. Many students aren’t properly prepared to enter the workforce and don’t realize that their skills, or techncal dexterity as I like to call it, may only be enough to get the job. You need to know how to keep it!

  • Jamie Ambrosino

    I think the TVCA self evaluation is such a great idea for students to participate in. It seriously opened my eyes and helped me realize what my strengths and weaknesses are. Having each skill written out on paper has made me eager to progress in each area. Knowing what the industry expects from graduates will definately help me stay on the right track as well. I was excited to read about what local professionals had to say in this survey. I now feel more comfortable creating a better goal for myself and I now have a better idea of what is expected of me. I can tell Valencia really cares about their students just by reading this article. If they can take the extra time to research ways we can succeed better, then I can definately take the extra time and prove them right!

  • Bradley Lynch

    This is exactly what I would assume they would expect from entry-level positions in the graphic design industry. I also think that communication is essential in the workplace. Without that, there’s no way of accurately conveying an idea. I thought it was interesting that most employers in the industry did not think an internship was very important. I personally would prefer to do an internship just so I would feel more comfortable with the craft. I’m not surprised that 91% of the professionals believed it was important that all graduates have print and web knowledge. I think that it’s crucial for to understand both. I think the TVCA self-assessment is an awesome guideline and a great way to make sure your skills are up to par. Knowing that it is based on the reality of the graphic design industry makes me more confident in being the best that I could be.

  • Carlos Sa.ntiago

    First of all, I would like to say thank you for this post. This is very important information for a new student like me, to know what is important and what employers are looking for. Pleasing the customer is very important and meeting deadlines is even more important, just like doing class work on time. The TVCA self-assessment is a great guideline for me to see and plan my success at Valencia not only for Graphic design class but for all my classes.

  • Jarvis Hicks

    First and foremost, I would like to thank you for taking your time out to write this post. All information that was provided to us in this most was correct. But some people just seem to lack more in certain areas than others. Being able to complete your work and have it in ON TIME should not be a surprise or too much of an expectation. Just do what you ave to do before it as to be done. I feel as though there should be some time of course that falls under the Graphic Design course that allows you to be as if your working for a high corporate company and task/deadlines are being giving. But like the post says work ethic is very much needed. And if you can’t dedicate your time and efforts into doing so, I suggest people find another profession.

  • Anna-Marie @ Beauty and the Beets

    It is actually quite interesting that 91% of the professionals that were interviewed preferred both print design and interactive design. This will make me re-think my college goals. Also, I am relieved that a large majority of those interviewed don’t necessarily consider how much experience on the job you have had. Hopefully, a strong student portfolio will speak for itself.

  • Anna-Marie Walsh @ Beauty and the Beets

    Also I find it strange that if communication is a desired trait and Valencia does not require students to take a communications class. Often perhaps a speaking class may help also in overcoming “stage fright” that we may face when doing presentations. There is a huge difference to speaking in front of our classmates versus out in the real world when we will be presenting our works to clients. I am looking forward to portfolio review class at the end of this program though.

    • Meg Curtiss

      Good point Anna-Marie! We actually are in the midst of changing this and will be giving students the option to take a course that addresses just these skills!

  • Aric T Garces

    This is a very interesting piece of work. While it is true that designers now are very common, it is hard to pick out the ones that stand out from the rest of the bunch. Without the necessary skills they are considered a waste of time and money. An employer would not think twice of hiring someone that has the capabilities that he or she wants in their company. Sometimes in the art business you have to try and try in order to be recognized. Just because a designer has outstanding work doesnt mean that he or she will succeed without the proper knowledge of what is expected in the field of design. It is a field which is constantly evolving. Just as the field evolves all of our aspects of great worksmanship should evolve aswell. Things constantly changing and new shortcuts originating every day is enough to keep me wanting more and more from my field of study.Art and Design are the building blocks for a better tomorrow and a more advanced future.

  • David Turchen

    I must say, after reading this, I do feel I have a nice understand of what is needed for a student finishing up and going into the field. Knowing that communication is so vital for this field is great to know. A company hires a graphic artist to work with them, not just give them some art. I have spoken with several people in the field, and knowing that the 91% of pros think its good to know print and web just reaffirms it. It’s seems like knowing everything would make one a jack of all trades. Which might be a bad thing since not being master at one thing, but at least knowing a little of something not in one’s main work would help expand their mind.

    It would really seem that a great graphic artist isn’t one that can create good artwork, but one who knows how to listen to what the client wants. Yeah sure, knowing how to use the software on the computers sure does help from what I hear, but delivering it to somebody the way they want it done (who’s paying you good money) is what really counts.

    I do like the quote….”A grade or a diploma does not entitle a student to a high paying job.” …. good to know.

  • Patrick Duffee

    This is a very nice article. It really gives me a clear understanding of where I need to be as a designer. The self-evaluation is one of my favorite parts of this program. I believe that it is very important to see where I stand and being able to look at my skills on paper to see what areas I need to improve in and what I’m doing well is a great motivator.

    Knowing that our graphics design program is being tailored for us to excel in a practical setting is the best. I’m not here to get a piece of paper. I’m here to learn skills and feed my talents so that I can be successful and progress in life. Seeing how each class I’m signing up for is going to help me reach these goals makes me excited to wake up and go to school. That’s not something I’ve ever really felt before.

  • Hannah Shugart

    Honestly, I find the results of this survey comforting and the focus on TVCA in our courses encouraging. I am in the second week of my very first Graphic Design class and already I’m intimidated to the point of wanting to gather my stuff and run. Hardly anything close to a computer expert, it’s easy to be afraid that I’m going to fall short of all the tech wizards out there. Plus, I can be very shy. However, the technical abilities I can learn with motivation and time. And in the end, I will most likely (or definitely) not be a computer genius, but I will hopefully have even more valuable skills. For example, innovation, motivation, fluid communication skill, punctuality, and be an encouraging team mate to have. And according to this article and what Kristy has already explained in class, THAT can give a designer/artist an edge. Here here for the culmination of art and people skills!

  • Frances Matos

    I think it’s really helpful that Valencia professors use the TVCA skills assessments. With this not only will students understand what kind of skills they need, and already have, in order to work in the Graphic Design field, but it helps students realize whether they really want to work in this field or not. TVCA has helped me gather and organize my skills. This article is also very helpful because by reading this students can understand what kind of skills employers are looking for and can mold themselves and develop the skills needed. I really liked this article and might be coming back to read it a second time to really understand what it is that employers look for in an entry-level employee.

  • Robert Beary

    I found this article to be both informative and factual. A designer must be able to convey his/her thoughts or ideas in a manner that the client would feel comfortable in going in their direction for the final design. This could mean the difference between a mediocre design and a great design for the client. However, the client knows their target audience and the designer should be capable of listening and understanding the clients needs.

    In my past experience, in the graphic design field, I have seen many talented design graduates get hired by our company and then get let go a few short weeks later because they could not interact with the rest of the design team. Their communication skills were lacking too much and the rest of their skills did not bridge the gap. But, I have also seen the flip side to this situation. I have seen designer that could talk their way into the job, were enthusiastic about the job, communicated well with everyone on the team get assigned an important project and just fall apart. The skills they possessed were not fully developed.

    So I agree, TVAC is important to teach to students, especially now that design in the digital graphics field is growing which creates even more opportunity to interact with a larger base of people. However, there should be a good balance between TVAC and the design skill set. The designer should be able to interact and figure things out but they should also be able to implement their skills to achieve the design goal.

  •;graphicdesignstudentGRA1142c Mohammad Khan

    I found this article interesting interesting that it outlines the expectations required in the professional industry of graphic design. The designer should be able to interact and demonstrate skills and figure out the design goal outcome. This article is informative and a practical guide to new comers. It is very important to focus on tvac skills along with improving design concepts and ideas. Definitely a must read article.

  • Jennifer Stewart

    I found the article to not only be informative but it also helped me to learn what is expected of me while entering the exciting career of design. Since I am just starting out I found it interesting hearing from career professionals in my field. It also is beneficial to be able to focus on these areas while also learning our trade. I found the article to be very informative. I like that it also touched on specific skills that are necessary in any field. I think the TVCA process is a great example of how we as a students at Valencia learn tools and techniques to continue learning. We are able to do this by developing our ability to not only benefit from superb professors but we also learn to teach ourselves and to learn from the multitude of resources available to us. I can’t wait to get started in this exciting field. I’m glad I have such a support system along the way.

  • Linda Banning

    I think it’s interesting to note that the original post is six years old and in spite of the Great Recession and dramatic advances in technology both of which certainly have an effect on every industry, the message is still very relevant. In fact, the message may be even more important now in conveying the need for people who hope to enter the field of Graphic Design to be not only proficient in technical and artistic skills, but also the principles put forth in the TVCA rubric.

    Although I have not worked professionally in graphic design, I think it’s safe to assume that the job market in this field is shrinking as in almost all other industries. Many print publications have gone out of business completely or had to go digital in order to cut expenses. Marketing and advertising budgets are being cut and the emphasis on lower cost social networking is growing dramatically. It’s competitive as hell out there and the successful graphic designer is going to have to have top skills at every level. That’s that…

  • Elroy (Seven) Phillips

    this article was very enlightening. i have seen first hand how designers are turned down for not meeting simple job requirements. i believe that now that i am here at valencia i will be more than ready to go to any interview and meet all of the requirements

    • Meg Curtiss

      Look forward to watching you progress, Elroy.

  • Jennifer Pelham

    It’s refreshing to know that Valencia has such a vested interest in its students’ success. I’ve been through courses that didn’t provide me with any real practical knowledge, but were just intended to “fluff” up the degree I was pursuing. I’ve also had teachers who never assess a student’s progress or give feedback. The end result was a lack of applicable skills to support my education. However, after reading this article, I’m assured Valencia’s graphics degree will prepare me to enter the workforce again. I feel more confident about going through this program since I already know what is expected of me in future courses and from possible employers. While I don’t know of other schools utilizing concepts like TVCA throughout programs, it seems like a valuable asset to students. I think all students, regardless of school or program, would benefit from constant evaluation, both from themselves and from their instructors.

  • Tyler Walker

    I was surprised to read some of that fact that were given on the survey. I strongly agree with the TVCA. There are very talented graphic designers that cannot communicate, or act well in a professional environment. I am that there is a survey like this because it gives students an insight at what professional design companies are looking for in their graduates. I am also glad that student have to take at lest design 1 and drawing 1 in graphic technologies. It can help with spatial areas, and other art factors that could improve a graphics artist work. I believe all student should do internship, it helps and get students ready for the professional work place, and how a company or organization operates

    • Meg Curtiss

      Good points Tyler-Marie. The Graphics program here at Valencia requires graduates to have participated in an internship opportunity to help them gain a better understanding of what working out in the ‘Graphics World’ will be like.

      Thanks for posting!

  • Cassie Teti

    This was a very interesting read; I found this to be very helpful. Although I plan on majoring in animation in the future rather than graphic design, I feel that a lot – if not all – of these expectations will be exactly the same in the animation industry. Actually, I think of this article as guidelines to land any well-paying job in general. :)

    I really like how this article got right down to the details of what the industry is looking for. The more a student knows about what is expected of them, the better chance they will have in succeeding! Specifically, I found the points on communication and punctuality to be extremely important for me, as I am a fairly shy person and have a tendency to procrastinate, as many other students are, I’m sure. It is urgent to polish up these hindrances as soon as possible so that they are not weighing you down once you actually get a job.

    All in all, a great and insightful article. I’m sure this has helped many students to get in the right mindset of a professional graphic designer. :)

    • Meg Curtiss

      Too true Cassie! Thanks for posting!

  • Jasmine Lee

    As i’m reading i see that a lot is expected out of a student who wants to pursue a career in graphic design. Expectations are interesting after reading it , i’m more aware of what should be done of my work and how seriously it should be taken like everything else.This article is very useful, I could easily use this for help in prospective jobs as well.


    Wow. This article was surprisingly helpful. After taking the self-evaluation and doing the TVCA Survey required for homework, I realize that this article only reiterates the qualities that those documents were encouraging us students to obtain and develop. I already know some of the areas that I am weak in and will work diligently to mature in those areas. However, when I read this particular article, I was definitely admonished regarding keeping deadlines, being able to fluently communicate my graphic design concepts/ideas, as well as the importance of being well-established in the area of art and design. This field is going to take a lot of outside research and although I consider myself “art savvy” – which I thought was really all you needed to be a good graphic designer – I realize that working well with others, having a positive attitude, and developing your craft are much more important components in considering a potential employee in the graphic design world. Great read!

    • Meg Curtiss

      I’m glad you found it insightful Stacy-J. I look forward to seeing you progress through the program!

      Thanks for posting!

  • Rosanne Perez

    There are many key points in this article to keep under consideration. First of all, the market is something aggressive and volatile. If we don’t keep up with the new technology, updated computers and software, for instance, then those who graduate from the program won’t have the required skills by the industry. Personally, I believe that our computer lab meet the most higher standards expected by all possible employers. Second, after I read this article, I was surprised to learn how vital is to improve my communication skill if I want to be successfully in this field. Finally, I would recommend future students interested in the program to read this article, so they would know what business are expecting from them.

    Rosanne Perez.

    • Meg Curtiss

      I hope it didn’t scare you too much! It is very insightful and can help students early on to understand just what they are working towards!
      Thanks for posting Rosanne.

  • Christopher Reath

    This is an interesting post. It helped me realize what the industry expects out of graduating students and what mentality is required to become successful in graphic design. I realize that there are certain qualities that graphic designers require to be successful. As stated before, graphic design is a career where the client has their needs fulfilled. Because of this, certain skill sets such as communication are necessary to compete in this industry. The TVCA makes more sense to me now, because it helps streamline the qualities I need if I were to partake in this industry.

  • Antonio Rivers

    I think that more is expected out of desingers these days. Technology has become more of an obligation to the world nowadays. We as the designer have to make sure we are giving the clients exactly what they need. Even though the client may want something you do not recommend, you still have to fufill their needs. If we don’t keep up with the new technology, updated computers and software, for instance, then those who graduate from the program won’t have the required skills by the industry.The more a student knows about what is expected of them, the better chance they will have in succeeding!

  • Aracelys Pizarro

    This article was a very good read! There were many good points made in this article. I do believe that being focused as well as having the skills needed, will be beneficial to anyone who is serious about Graphic Design. Keeping a good and optimistic attitude will help aswell. Being a first year student at Valencia in the Graphic Design program, it’s very helpful to know early on what professionals look for when accepting interns. It will help me be aware of what my weaknesses and strengths are earlier on. It will lead me to improve on my work because if anything, there is always room for improvements! Thanks for the insight! :)

  • Marie Shallies

    I loved this article! I really like how it highlights points other than the fact that you need to be a decent graphic designer to get a job these days. Something such as having a positive attitude at your job is crucial in ANY profession and I really enjoyed that that information was both put on the survey and put into this blog for us to read. It was also a huge sigh of relief that not every professional out there feels like you should have years of experience and internships to be able to land an entry level position. I’m not expecting to have a massive resume when I go out on my job search (I mean I’m only a freshman!), so that was nice to know that the company expects you to grow WITH them and not just for them beforehand. It was also nice to know that professionals are looking for other artistic traits in their employees. I love photography and I’d love for my passion for photography to also be a building block in my graphic design career. I also really enjoyed that professionals would like for you to be proficient in both print and web design, I’d hate to work for a company that limits you to one or the other and not be able to gain experience in both! I’m also very pleased that Valencia has enacted the TVCA, as I feel that it’s very important in both a career and every day life! Overall, I really enjoyed this article and I’m sure that I’ll be referring back to it sometime in the near future!

  • Raymond Campbell

    I enjoyed reading this article. It has given me a little more insight on what is to be expected of me upon entering the world of designers. I am now beginning to understand that there is more to designing than just pacing images on a screen. There is more involved in designing than a mere thought. There has to be more planning and a well focused mind and most of he or she has to really enjoy what their work. well thats just my input, thank you for reposting this article.

  • Brittany Roach

    This article was extremely helpful in giving me a realistic view on what exactly it is to be a graphic designer. It provides details on the reality of being a graphic designer and what is expected, which i feel is important to know if someone was thinking of pursuing a career in this field. It really is a big misunderstanding that designers only need creativity to become successful. Much like most other work fields, it takes good people skills to really get a job done. This was very informative and gave me a lot of insight on what skills I, as an aspiring graphic designer, need to improve and maintain in order to reach the expectations provided by the industry. Thank you for re-posting this article. I also recommend that anyone else aspiring to enter this field read this article, and forward this link to others they may know as well.

  • Anthony DOrtona

    I think it is excellent that the Valencia Graphics program stays current with the expectations of the job market that graduates will have the opportunity to enter upon finishing the program. The efforts that all the instructors make to ensure that designers-in-training have access to all of the expectations of prospective employers and ensure that they are incorporated into the curriculum are commendable. Designers can then take this information and work toward the goal of being prepared for these expectations meet them head on. Excellent article. =)

  • Niki Marinaccio

    I found this article very insightful and informative. It supplies you with the certain qualities, experience, and the expectations that they are looking for when you enter this field of Graphic Design. The article also talks about how important TVCA is and how it allows you as a student to first see where your at and challenges you to work harder to achieve the best success. This article is pretty much a guide for new comers in determining where you stand and what area you would like to focus on and make a career out of.

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  • Ashley Ruiz

    This is a really helpful article. I also completely agree with many of the points made. I feel that Valencia already does a great job preparing us for industry jobs, and am very happy with the additions they have made to the program. I have seen many people turned down because they don’t meet the requirements for a job or cannot satisfy client needs. You can be the best designer in the world, but if your client is not happy then you are not doing your job. I feel that communication is also an essential part of any design job. You should be able to communicate with your clients, and team with any project. To be successful you need to have more than just pretty designs.

  • Kimberly Goldman

    This is a very interesting article, I was quite surprised by some of the survey results. I think this is a very demanding field and that it is imperative to know expectations from the get go. Employers are all looking for your communication skills from the moment you walk in the door and you need to be able to sell yourself. As far as I can tell Valencia seems to be preparing students quite well with the diverse set of classes required. I also like that the classes are demanding like a job, your deadlines are set, and you have to explain what your whole thought process is. I like how there are many resources shared and dedicated groups such as on Facebook. I think the TVCA is a very good asset for students to have and be able to see what areas they need to work on. I am very interested in continuing my work and learning new things.

  • Efren Perez

    Great article. It makes for a clear understanding of what is being wanted. I wasnt sure if my studio classes were going to be helpful but im glad i read this article.i am excited to be able to sketch ideas. It seems like well rounded workers are wanted. good to know that what the field is looking for. i think the survey is a very helpful tool to better understand what is expected. thanks for the heads up.

  • Kristen Truyol

    This is a really well-done article. It was very interesting to see some of the attributes employers are and are not interested in. I am so glad Valencia’s Graphics Department took the initiative to survey employers and gather all of this information.
    I believe most people would benefit from this type of assessment in some way, not just graphics students. Communication is key in just about any job, and students need to realize this. And not just communication, but attitude. In this economy, it’s easy for a boss to let someone go for being uncooperative, unhelpful, or unpleasant in the workplace because he/she knows that there are TONS of willing applicants out there. Students need to realize that they are more expendable than they may realize. Another key point is timeliness. Deadlines are crucial. Miss a deadline, lose a client. Lose a client, lose your job. What some may have gotten away with in high school won’t cut it in the workforce.

  • Moreen Berridge

    I am pleased that I chose to read this article. It has reassured me of many things.

    (I) I already have the work ethics that are required in a working environment. (2) I have chosen the right college: one that is keeping abreast of employers’ expectations, and by the same token ensuring that students are well-rounded to enter the graphic industry. (3) With reference to “It’s not just design that’s important”, I once thought that this was the primary factor. I now have a change of heart.

    With the knowledge gained from reading this article, I am reenergized. I will apply myself to acquire the necessary skills to work in the graphic industry, as that is where my passion lies.

    Moreen Phillip
    May 12, 2012
    8:30 pm

  • Rachel Bray

    When I read this article, I wan’t sure what the industry would expect of me when I entered the job market. These points show to me that employers search for personable yet talented people. I found this a bit unnerving, as I have rarely met amazingly talented people that everyone likes. Employers (as a whole) tend to search for the mythical modern-day renaissance man (or woman, as the case may be). The employers search for people with good communication skills, artistic ability, are on time, and have experience in both web/interactive and print design. Furthermore, this article claims that many students who don’t have these skills do not have much success in INTRODUCTORY Graphic Design courses. I was shocked at this; I have met talented and arrogant people who ended up successful. However, this is for the most part. Maybe an abrasive hopeful like me can make it – I’ll just have to see.

  • Samuel Ramos

    This article is truly a great revelation, for students, of what is expected in the Graphic Design Industry. It gives closure to many of my doubts of what professionals expect and relief that not all require extensive experience. It really isn’t surprising that graduates are required to have communication skills, after all, it is a “communication art.” I liked the fact that a percentile was placed to emphasize the importance of communication. Also, I felt it was important to know what professionals felt about alternative arts being a desirable trait in entry level Graphic Design prospects. It clarifies misconceptions from students who feel that fine arts and graphic design cannot co-exist or relate to each other. The TVCA is also a great resource for potential graduates because it helps strengthen skills by revealing weaknesses. It helps to record progress and if goals are not met, it may also show that this isn’t the field you will have success in. In a sense it seems harsh but these are the expectations in our chosen industry.


    It honestly blows my mind that this topic is even being touched. I appreciate the article-don’t get me wrong- however, I find it a bit sad to learn that graduates are lacking some common sense knowledge.
    Like communication for example. in an industry where we thrive on visual communication, you’re telling me graduates lack verbal communication? It’s just crazy to conceive.Yes, visual and verbal are two opposite spectrums, but as an artist I personally feel you should flourish in both. I just see that this “generation” is handed every little thing and have become so socially inactive, that we are only damaging ourselves when it comes to social etiquette.

    It was the idea of graduating college and hearing, “You don’t have experience” that frightened me. I always thought “How am I going to gain experience if you don’t hire me to gain it…” It is refreshing to know that 59% of professionals are understanding and willing to work with us knowing we are continually growing and expanding our education.

    I could not agree more with, “A grade or a diploma does not entitle a student to a high paying job.”
    I believe it is a collaborative effort between the diploma, dedication, and ambition to be where you want to be, that grants the satisfaction of knowing your happy with your career whether it is six figures or not. It can’t be about the money if your heart is in the game first.

    Cayla Rose

    • mcurtiss

      It is a bit shocking. Many students coming into college don’t know how to construct a letter or an email correctly. They have mad text-ing skills however!

  • Calla Corinne Yarbrough

    I had my computer read this article to me while I was cooking dinner. So it was probably funny to me in places where it shouldn’t have been, due to my computer’s voice. Overall, I was pleased to hear many of these statistics. I’m shocked to think that anyone actually thinks that they could get a job just by earning a degree. Obviously a degree helps, but to think that you can be completely socially inept and be a shoe in is hilarious.

    As for being hired without much experience, I’m not sure how much this actually reflects the industry. Perhaps before the recession. I know that when I was unexperienced it was hard to find anything that didn’t start off as an internship. It wasn’t until I started networking that I got my foot in the door. Which is another good point in this article. If you don’t have the people skills, your talent doesn’t mean squat.

    • Calla Corinne Yarbrough

      Calla Corinne Yarbrough

      (I thought it would show up when I filled it in below)

      • mcurtiss

        It did! :o )

  • Kathleen Marquis

    The TVCA skills are an important aspect of any educational foundation. It is specifically fitting that communication was listed as the first trait here under “Preferred Traits of a Graphic Design Graduate”. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, communication skills rank as the number one soft skill requested of employers (see I am glad that these skills will be discussed within my courses as they are fundamental to an overall understanding.

    The material presented is very informative and I enjoyed the article. I do, however, have an unrelated critique: This blog and the articles I have read through within it repeatedly refer to Valencia College as Valencia Community College or VCC for short. Understandably, it takes time to update materials. Taken directly from the Valencia website “From logos to color palettes, typefaces to image usage, these are the tangible ways we communicate Valencia College” (see The Valencia Graphics’ materials are due for an update to best communicate the Valencia branding.

    • mcurtiss

      Noted…Thanks! :o )

  • kizzyjabs

    I am incredibly green to this world of graphic design but I have come from a culinary background. I am delighted to know that there is a TVCA requirement that must be met as a part of our overall grade which assesses us in our level of “common sense”. Education tends to make one arrogant and when finally released into the world of seasoned artists, they look like naive fools. I have seen this in the culinary world, where students from institutions believe they can walk out with their diploma into a sous chef position at a restaurant so its refreshing to see this in place to regulate a humble attitude and realism into our education. As
    Amanda Kern said, “A grade or a diploma does not entitle a student to a high paying job” and that is the total truth. Despite what you think you know, there is always someone who knows more and good grades does not give you a sense of entitlement on someone else’s turf. Bravo. -Kelly Womack

  • Andrew Short

    It makes me really happy to see a educational program that makes an effort to inform students of what to expect in the graphic design field. I have only really done personal and some school work in graphic design. The real unknown is what actually being a graphic designer is and the problems one faces in the professional world rather than just software or technical skills. Many schools do not attempt or make weak attempts to instill the values one needs to succeed in professional life not just in design.

    It is nice to see that experience is not always at the top of the list for prospective employers. I would imagine most employers like to teach their own values and the way they like to do things to new employees. While a lot of skills will be taught in classes, TVAC skills are dependent on student effort and drive. Using the TVAC as part of grading for classes students recognize what it takes to be successful in not just design and work life, but in all facets of life.

  • Danielle Toomer

    It’s definitely reassuring that most professionals don’t expect students to have years of experience. That just turns into a Catch-22: you need experience to get the job but you need the job to get experience.

    I also find Print vs. Web interesting. A lot of people think “everything” is going digital. But we’ll still have physical products that require design. It’s not all apps and web pages.

    As far as it being more than design, a lot of this is common sense. There are things one should have learned in the years leading up to being an adult/going out into the real world. From my experience, expectations increased the older I got. From hand-holding when I was little to setting my own schedule and holding myself accountable as an adult.

  • Christopher Boyer

    One noteworthy thing among others in this post is how important communication is in a work place. I can see how in graphic design deadlines come quickly and that one has to be able to work well on a team with others, in which case communication is key. More times that not more than one person is going to have to correspond with another and without communication a great project could turn sour quickly. I am glad that after reading this post I was able to learn that professionals really do think students benefit from an internship. I was always a little negative about “working my way up” but know that I need to start somewhere and there will be nowhere else to go besides up. I can see how an employer would want an employee to have experience in a work place before starting at their company. I also am happy to know that everything isn’t just about design skills but how well you work with others, meet deadlines, etc. is also take in to consideration. I understand that first and foremost I’d probably be hired for graphics but it’s also nice to know that I have a lot of other qualities people look for too.

  • Mike Niesslein

    Personally i though it was a well written article, however, a lot of the basic information that relates to traits and exterior skill that most employers look for go hand and hand. This really does apply to most if not all jobs about the fact you should be an expert in the field that you study. Being able to preform your job in a professional manner, and correctly it all comes down to you earn and diserve what you put into it. Life is not going to come to you, you have to go out there and make it what you want. Especially in their field, I’m sure a lot of people get a job with a big corporation, or a contract for a few years with a big name brand, but most of the individuals that are out there in this field are self employed. For the most part the article was helpful . Mike Niesslein

  • Chris Raymond

    This article is definitely helpful when it comes to informing students such as myself about what we should focus on learning in order to succeed in graphics design. I thought it was interesting that only 59% of the people that took the survey thought that artistic ability was important. Usually, when I think about graphic design, it seems that artistic ability would be a major part of it. I also found it interesting that over 90% of the professionals taking the survey require students to have some experience in CSS, actionscript, and xhtml. This definitely helps me know what I should be focusing on in my studies.

    I think surveys like this are very helpful, especially to schools because it allows them to plan their classes around what will benefit the students the most. I think Valencia has done a good job with introducing the TVCA into some of its classes, with most of them being graphics classes where they are very important. I also agree that just because a student has a diploma, it doesn’t mean that they are entitled to a good job until they have shown that they are well suited to work efficiently in a working environment, so they aren’t wasting other people’s time and their own time as well.

  • Alejandra Patino

    I think this article states many facts about the design industry that are very helpful and instructive and people who are studying to become graphic designers should know and be aware of. I find very interesting that people who were surveyed say that artistic abilities are desirable traits when hiring a graphic designer because I think so to. It makes me happy and hopeful that I will be someones choice when hiring someone because I have other abilities other than knowing how to work in certain programs in a computer but because I know how to create things with my hands. Something that surprised me while reading this article is that 59% of surveyed people said that experience was somewhat important or not important at all because I personally think a person should have experience in order to get a job but then I think what if this person just graduated and needs someone to give him or her an opportunity to gain experience. I totally agree with the part in this article that says that it is better to hire a person with a good and positive attitude, eager to work and enthusiastic than a person who is almost always in a bad mood, negative and hard to work with, I think this should apply in every job.

  • Chris Cordova

    awesome post. it definitely shed some light on what the industry looks for in graphic designers. not only do you have to have skills with photoshop, illustrator, and indesign. but you have to be very well rounded with printing and web design and other abilities to standout from other designers. skill alone doesn’t make a graphic designer. Meeting deadlines, artistic abilities, and being able to learn independently among other traits are important to be successful.

  • Tanice Arnold

    I found this article very informative and insightful for not only graduates but also those studying graphic design as well. This article show cased areas that I as a student studying graphic design could use to evaluate myself, improve and keep in mind when looking for jobs in this field. I was surprised with the percentages gathered from the survey with print vs. web as well as with the findings for the area of communication. Additionally, it was refreshing to read that its not only about design but about possessing other traits that will make you stand out as a professional designer. Over all the article was well written, informative and covered a lot of important areas to show graduates, and other readers, what the industry expects.

  • Elena Roig

    Great and interesting post. It helps the graphic design student to improve and be better in the field, specially when looking for a job.

  • Rachel Spacal

    As a new Graphic Design student, I found this article to be encouraging, motivating and informative. Coming from a career field completely opposite of design [pharmacy!], I have had doubts on this leap. However after reading what companies look for in a strong Graphic Design candidate, I am reassured that I am heading in the right direction. Knowing that so much insight has gone into the TVCA, I am eager to see where I stand and create a plan of action to be a stronger student & residually a stronger artist. Having a “real world” idea of what the industry expects of a Graphic Designer is invaluable. While I was aware of Photoshop, Illustrator and Dreamweaver as valuable assets, it’s good to know of the additional programs to add to my ‘arsenal’. I found it interesting that only 59% of professionals required some artistic ability and the rest appear to be mostly cavalier about artistic experience. I truly appreciate the time and effort Valencia has invested to assure they are presenting a competitive Graphic Design program!

  • Teryn Borger

    This post is very hardhitting for a new Graphic Design student. Although it can be intimidating, it also let’s us know what we should expect once we leave the classroom and try to get out in the real world as a working designer. I think the importance that the industry places in Internships goes to show how serious they need students fresh out of college to be. You always have to be learning and have to know how to deal with clients from day 1. Communication with your client is crucial to get the work done well and properly. I also think it’s great to see how many industry professionals find print work more important! I would actually not think this was true because our world has become so virtual, but there is still a need for print and I feel like it can teach us so much more because it’s been around so much longer. I’m excited to expand and enrich all of these skills.

  • Brittney Barnes

    I think this post is extremely accurate. Having experience as an intern doing graphic design then transitioning into a full time job doing graphic design and other marketing roles, I feel these are all things that are important. I feel I learned a lot of these the hard way and if you have a good mentor they will help you along the journey of strengthening all of these areas. Transitioning from an intern to managing interns you really get to see both sides of it. The communication skills I also feel are as equally as important as staying creative. If your communication skills are lacking it becomes more difficult to meet deadlines with printers and clients. I am looking forward to perfecting all of these skills by going to class again and being able to design new things outside of my comfort zone. Overall I think this post is inspiring to new graphic design students and graphic designers already in the workplace.

  • Rebecca Sloan

    It’s really good to know that the vast majority of professionals agree that both print and interactive knowledge is important. I’m primarily focused on print in the long term but this makes it clear that if I want to keep job options open I’m going to need to expand my skill sets. It was also interesting that the other thing most employers agreed on was that they are far more concerned about what kind of person you are than about your skill level. Obviously you need to have the minimum technical requirements for the job (software knowledge, etc) but then it’s really important that you know how to manage yourself, get along with colleagues and ask the right questions at the right times. I’ve been in the workforce for fifteen years and this has held true in every job I’ve had. A new employee can be taught the technical skills, the workflow, the company way of presenting things, but no employer wants to be negotiating bad employee relations or having to chase people about work product. I did a bachelor’s degree many years ago and I don’t recall this ever being discussed. I think it’s valuable to point this out to new grads who have perhaps never been in the work force before.

  • Andy Nguyen

    Interesting and informative read. It’s surprising that to be successful in the industry, being creative or brilliant won’t always secure a job. I’m also very surprised that professionals thought it was important to also learn/have experience with html, css and actionscript. I thought graphic design was more about learning to be an artist and making art by hand.. and it being more old fashioned. Seems like to be a good graphic designer you need a lot of supplementary skills. Before learning this information I had already assumed it would be difficult to make it as a graphic designer but this new information makes me even more apprehensive. This definitely makes me rethink my major.

  • Dimitri Skalkos

    I would have to agree with many others that commented on this article, that it’s pretty informative on the subject. Definitely a good thing to read to get a little bit of a better understanding on this field. I would also like to add in, that most of the things I’ve read up on by just doing google searches and what not, all pretty much sound the same, and they all have great info. Yet a lot of it seems to be basic common sense, if you’re trying to get into graphic design, having a creative side, with good communication skills, and knowing the top softwares that’s in the field should be kind of already known, or expected. Unless you’re just taking classes to learn for your own personal enjoyment and are not trying to make a career out of it. That’s the beauty of this country tho, if you’re a great artist, but not good at communication, there are other fields that you could pursue other then graphic design that you might be perfect for. One of my classes I’ve attended was a drawing class, and there are some pretty talented people in there, some that blow my drawing abilities out the window, yet most of them can’t keep a decent conversation, if any at all! But to each their own as I always say, all in all, this is another great article that can be very beneficial!

  • Nicole Goff

    This is a great article! It has been very helpful and informative. I appreciated the breakdown of profession expectations. Those opinions helped to confirm that I will be pursuing not only interactive but print as well so I will broaden my skill set and be more marketable in the industry. I was also surprised to hear that having a strong fine arts background is not required. I am still going to improve those skills in myself because they are definitely not my strongest abilities. Because even though they are not required I do feel they will be greatly helpful during the creative process. I am also excited to continue with my coursework here because I believe it will assist in strengthening the skills required for this career such and collaboration, initiative, timeliness and enthusiasm for the projects being worked on. This is a great article and I would definitely recommend anyone thinking about graphic design as a career to read it and take the information to heart.

  • Ashley Garland

    I’m really glad I took the time to read this article. The points mentioned are going to help so many people. I’m really happy that the job I have right now is actually helping me a lot in this area. I work as a decorator apprentice and getting things completed by a deadline is something that I have to do everyday. If not, there’s a very unsatisfied customer and they probably won’t consider coming to my store to get a cake.
    It also made me think about not only majoring in print, but also in interactive/web design. Even though it will be hard for me to get an internship and work to live here, I am most definitely going to try it. If it will help me in the long run, I’m all for it.

    I’m also glad it mentioned that they like a fine arts background as well, but it’s not required. For me, that’s a plus, as I have always had a paint brush or a pencil in my hand creating something.

  • Karina Richards

    Well, when i read this article it had some information had surprise me a little. There many things that I didn’t knew until now and I’m in Graphic design in Valencia . I’m really happy that I read it to know what I need to know.

  • Nhat Tran

    I found this article to be very helpful. It gives people, generally the ones that are just starting out in graphic design, an insight on what skills they should have or need to improve upon. What I like best about this is the fact that they surveyed actual professionals within the field. If this were just a random survey among people who thought they knew what they were talking about I wouldn’t take it as seriously. One part that stood out to me about the article is the fact that they put so much emphasis on how we communicate and work with others. Prior to reading the article I was expecting to learn more about the types of designs or work we would need to be able to do or present in our portfolio. This article has made me more aware of how I work and how I respond to others I will be working with in the future whether that be my coworker or client. After reading this, I am more motivated to do better quality work but also on a timely manner. I would definitely recommend this article to another individual interested in joining graphic design so they know what they can expect from it.

  • Joaris Manning

    This is very informative! I enjoyed reading this article, because it gave me a glimpse of what to expect in the Graphics Design field. Before I read this article I wasn’t sure what specialization I wanted to go into, but now I know that it’s best to know both print and interactive design which would make you more marketable. It’s good to know how important it is to have internship experience. I learned about the expectations companies are looking for in a designer, it’s not just the artistic ability, but communication, and being able to meet deadlines are also important among other skills. This article gave me a better look into the graphic design field, which now I am more informed of and can set my goals for the future. I’m looking forward to improving and perfecting the skills that companies are looking for. Being positive, a starter/finisher, and passionate about what you are doing are very important in the workplace. I’m looking forward to the future and what it will bring as a graphic designer.

  • Shannon Carroll

    Honestly, this article kind of scared me a bit. When I signed up for this program, I had my mind set on going the print path. But now, after reading this article I realize that it is also important to have skills dealing with the web. This article was helpful in letting me know what my future employer will most likely be expecting from me. I realized with it being a job, deadlines would be an important aspect, as they are with practically any job. What did surprise me though was that artistic abilities wasn’t as important as I thought it would be. This article was very informational though and opened up my eyes to the future. I feel now that I can start setting some realistic goal for myself rather than just saying my goal is “to graduate and get a job somewhere.”

  • Jossie Morales

    I am very grateful for this article. I felt as if I was setting foot into unknown territory with no understanding of where I stood. Graphic Design and arts in general has always been my main interest but understanding the qualifications needed to get out there with my set of skills was always in question. I do not personally know any successful Graphic Designers nor Artists, so I do not have a hand to guide me through every step. However, this article made me realize what my employer will expect and what set of extra skills and experience can push me ahead of the crowd. I can now plan ahead with a clearer understanding of what I’m in for and what I should look out for in terms of skill and personal responsibility.

  • Melissa Velazquez

    This is a great article. It really great to hear directly from employers what they are expecting from a new hire. It definitely is a great resource for learning some of the important skills that I should possess as a graphic designer after I leave Valencia. It is important to know what I should build on as a professional and what I need to succeed in my field. It definitely taught me that talent is just a small part of being successful. You need to have business sense as well , knowing how to communicate and work well with others. It was also good to see that having an internship should be one of my priorities while at Valencia since it seems relatively important to employers. I’m excited to know that web design and print go hand in hand and its very important to be well rounded as I am hopeful to learn every aspect of graphic design from web design, print, and interactive design as well. I have taken note of these points and am grateful for this article! Thanks!

  • Alison LeGros

    Beautifully written article and it really does raise some important points of discussion. Most designers are focused on learning the artistic half of the skills that makeup graphic design and think they will be able to get a job. Sadly graphic designers can be Picasso and still have difficulties finding work. Its important to be well represented on paper because that is likely the first impression your future employer will have of you. Communication really is a valuable skill that until now has not had enough emphasis placed on it by school running graphic design programs. A number of friends who have graduated from art schools with 4 years of education are still lacking the skills to survive in the job market. Its important to encourage students to learn to network within there community and how to properly not only design a resume but also write one. The TVCA evaluation really points out what students should emphasize when trying to improve and impress and employer.

  • Zephan Prokos

    I received my bachelors degree last year in a different major and had an internship my junior year with many small time jobs, but nothing prepared me for the job market of today. I received information about what to do after graduation during my senior year, perhaps blogs and articles such as these would have been a great help in the beginning of a major to let me know what industries are looking for, it would have also guided me in a way to understand what classes need to be taken and which direction would be best for me instead of finding out at the end. The introduction of TVCA is a great way for students to understand what is demanded of them now and more greatly by your business in the future. My previous jobs have taught me how important person to person interaction is on every level of business, and that when working for anybody, professionalism is mandatory in any situation.

  • Chris Classic

    Thank you for writing this article. Sometimes it is hard to know what to expect after graduating college and then getting out in the real world. The job market is very competitive and as you clearly stated above, “A grade or a diploma does not entitle a student to a high paying job”. This is the mistake that a lot of people make when enrolling into school. One thing that i have learned is that you only get out of it what you put into it. You will only go as far as you want to. Best of luck to everyone!

  • Kimberly Marmorstone

    This article is particularly useful, since now I am aware of a few skills that are needed in the graphic design industry. Artistic talent, even though sought out, may not be enough to qualify for a certain job. Also, I am able to mentally prepare, build and improve my skills for the future. A few friends of mine who have graduated from an art school are not qualified enough because of his or her lack of knowledge in design programs; even though he or she has the creative ability, he or she lacks in communication skills. By learning ‘TVCA,’ students will be able to excel and be better prepared for job opportunities, in a general sense, as I believe many employers look for these skill sets in the market; albiet ‘art’ may be replaced with ‘creative thinking.’TVCA’ will also assist me to maintain a good level of professionalism with teachers and students as practice for my future job. I wasn’t aware that a graphic designers suggested skill is printing! I thought that printing is a separate qualification.

    Regardless, I’m glad I read the article!

  • Lisa Yap

    This article is very useful for students who are interested in the Graphics Design program along with what it has to offer. There is a lot of information that I found helpful when it comes to understanding the industry expectations. I found it helpful for me to know what was preferred by industry professionals. Just by learning what standards are expected from a student/graduate in the professional industry, it helps guide us on things we need prepare for in the work industry. After reading this article, I gained more knowledge from learning about the TVCA and what the industry professionals look for when they are hiring. Thank you for writing this article.

  • Christine Herreid

    I believe that Graphic Design can be kind of an intimidating field to just jump into. It takes not only a creative eye, but also discipline, and an ability to adapt to new technology and new ideas. I think this article is a good step to actually realizing what clients will be looking for in a graphic designer. It takes more than making a pretty picture to succeed in this field. Being able to communicate with clients, being able to show your capabalities on a resume, the ability to deliver products in a timely manner. These are all things that are important aswell. The TVCA is a good way to initially address your current abilities and if you are on par with what a graphic designer will need to be. And by figuring out exactly where you stand on the TVCA evaluation, you can work on the areas you would need to improve to become a more employable graphic designer.

  • Ashley Eunice

    This article is very informative for those who wish to pursue a career in graphic design. It provides a list of qualities that are considered necessary for professional designers to have in order to be responsible and effective workers. It is important that people understand that talent alone cannot guarantee them success, especially in this field. This industry requires talent, creative skill, and professionalism. This list also is important because it gives future designers a clear idea of what they should attempt to improve in their behavior, communication skills and work ethic. The self-evaluation surveys provided to students in the Graphic Design class also allow students to analyze these characteristics. In order to complete these self-evaluations, students must acknowledge their strengths and flaws and learn to take responsibility for their mistakes. So I found this article helpful because it helps give a better understanding of the kind of person I should become to pursue this career as well as provide me with a list of the required skills and qualifications.

  • Sabrina Restrepo

    This is really great advice for recent graduates from the graphic design program. It is much more than understanding how to work programs and understand the system. The professional world asks a lot more of you than was taught or required of you in school. This is something that you can be warned about, but not something you can understand until you live it! That’s why I love the point the article made about having experience and internships outside of your degree. This is absolutely crucial in understanding how these companies and agencies work. You will learn what you like to do and just as importantly what you don’t like to do and that will totally shape the rest of your academic career and future focus. So get as many paid/unpaid internships as you can under your belt so you can be better prepared to face your future as a professional.

  • Tyra Marie Selby

    This is great advice for any graduate looking for a job, or anyone looking into studying graphic design. This article teaches you about how to be hired on to a professional or a company you need experience other than a degree. I think this is interesting because many ads for jobs in this field say that you need experience, so you really need to get as many internships as you can during your degree. A student or graduate is also expected to have skills in both print design and interactive design, therefore you could make a portfolio displaying your work. It also talks about how communication skills are key and many say they would not hire someone without them. This is because you need to be able to market your skills to those hiring you, and be able to contribute after being hired. It is not just communication and skill in both forms of design that make the decision, professionals also look for the ability to start and finish a project on time and be a valuable team contributor.

  • Sondra De Luca

    I believe this is wonderful advice for anyone that just graduated and is ready to get into the field of Graphic Design. To get a job in Graphic Design is very competitive and is not something that will be handed out. College gives us that time to prepare for the real world; how that time is used will show in the end. Being a graduate of an A.S graphic design degree myself, I can say that I was not prepare when I graduated in 2010. I was not serious enough and I didn’t know what to expect as I struggled for a year and half to find employment in my field. I learned I was not ready for the real world yet and they were not ready for me. Now I am back in school to do it over and to do it right. Becoming Graphic designer is my dream job like many others, so I plan to be prepare this time. This way when I graduate I will be ready to exceed the expectations the industry has for me. I take this article to heart because I lived through the fear of being rejected.

  • Brandon Jaquez

    This is a wealth of information that certainly gives great insight on what to expect in this program and what to expect graduating from school and moving into the real world. The only thing I’d really like to add is that people should be dubious about internships, especially these days. In my honest and blunt opinion, internships that aren’t “paid” is nothing but free labor. This article was dated in 2006 so, today I can only imagine how some employers or people looking for interns to do work for them for free and ultimately screw them over.

    On one hand, it is great experience. But on the other, not only can you be getting proper experience but at the same time you’ll be able to line your pockets with dinero and stacks. Personally, I’m going to keep my options open and do the proper research necessary on places that need or want interns.

    Time is money and this is coming from a person who really doesn’t prioritize a paycheck against enjoying a profession or job.

  • Alexandra Golden

    I found this article very useful. The facts gathered from responses professionals look simple but important. In my opinion sometimes it’s easy to forget that a graphic student needs to satisfy all the criteria to successfully get a job. I’m the second language student, and communication isn’t my strong quality because of the language barrier, but it defiantly something I need to work on.

    There were a lot of other details that caught my attention, like “Print vs. Web”, “Years of experience”, and “A solution helps students gain necessary skills”. I hope there will be more articles like this because the industry changes, so are the requirements.

  • Kaley Honeycutt

    I found this article very interesting and accurate. With Job experience myself, I found that particular point important because I saw graduates slipping through the cracks. I worked at a design/production company for over a year and I would see graduates come in all the time hoping to quickly rise to the top with an entitled attitude. However It was the people who were willing to work late nights and do the dirty work that got the position not the people who had gone for a four year degree, but people with a 2 year degree or no degree, just experience and good work ethic. So I definitely agree with that point to the extent that your job experience paired with a good work ethic could be supremely more important to employers. I think that having work experience also is going to improve your communication skills and artistic ability as well. It all around so important.

  • Uliana Urubzhilova

    I noticed that this article was published back in 2006, however the information is still valuable and could be applied to any industry. I think work ethics is what makes a recent graduate or professional stand out from the rest. In design industry, it is very important to have positive attitude, because it’s all about meeting the clients’ needs. In my opinion, one of significant skills to be gained in college is taking constructive criticism. It is often hard to detach yourself from your work, however it is necessary to do in order to improve design.
    According to the survey, the expectations of the employers seem to be reasonable, however, it was done 8 years ago. It would be interesting to see more recent results. As the industry gets more competitive, there might be more requirements to an applicant now. Overall, I am glad that Valencia applies feedback from employers for student benefit.

  • McKenna Calabro

    I had a pretty good understanding of what the industry would look like since my cousin is a freelance graphic design artist and I’ve seen a lot of the struggles she’s gone through even with her amazing talent. Reading this article made it feel more real though and make me thing about how I myself would deal with things. I totally understand how all of these qualities like experience, good communication, and ability are important in the design industry. I’ve noticed a lot of other comments mention how this article intimidated and scared them, I’m not going to lie and it is a bit intimidating but I feel that I really want to tackle and grow from any trials I face in order to improve so I don’t’ necessarily view the challenges ahead as a bad thing.

  • Rachael Rinehart

    This article was very informative. It made the industry’s expectations very clear and I liked how Valencia gathered opinions of other professionals in the industry as well. I liked how the article stressed that “a grade or diploma does not entitle a student to a high paying job.” Students must have the whole package, including communication skills, artistic abilities, drive, and responsibility. Thank you for writing this article.

  • Erin Gregory

    This article was extremely beneficial to anyone wishing to pursue a career in the industry as a graphic designer. The needs of the client are more important than the designers interests and that is a very key thing to know becoming a graphic designer. I definitely think the most important thing highlighted in this article is the communication section because without proper communication, the client is not pleased and that means the designer is not pleased. Additionally, many designers solely focus on “design” when the entire creative process as a whole should be developed on every project. I think that it was very informative to actually read what professionals in the industry have to say about graduates. The skills a designer should have and the work ethic is very important a swell. The way that these courses prepare students for careers is the best way to learn as it emulates the industry from the beginning. I would recommend this article to any designer.

  • Carmen Ramirez

    This article basically hit the nail on the head, your artwork isn’t the only thing you have to sell in this industry. You’re selling your ability to follow guidelines, work on your own in a timely manor, discuss and colaborate with coworkers, and be proficient and versatile with the programs you know. Employers are expecting us to be professional, focused and driven. This article touches on versatility and shows how important it is to not only to do well in one area but to master as many as possible. With 91% of our future employers preferring employees to be good at print and web it encourages me to take advantage of the opportunities presented at Valencia. It also encourages me to seek out an internship that incorporates both to gain experiences working with both print and web. Although some employers might not require that we have internships I feel like it really does help you develop as an artist and allows you to learn from others that are more experienced. It also helps you further develop your skills in a workplace in preparation for the discipline associated with large companies and even freelance careers.

  • Todd Hengge

    Really great article, as a first time student here at Valencia in the graphic arts department, this provided me with a lot of information that I need for the future. First, I certainly agree with Communication. It’s key, you need to be able to understand and work with your employer and communicate feedback. Especially here at school, where you are first starting to learn and work with your fellow classmates. You need to be able to continue that work force in the future. Another good point in the article is meeting deadlines. That is a huge part in being a great designer, and especially working as a team to finish the job. In all, this article really helped me understand what I’m about to accomplish here at Valencia. Basically a lot of hard work, teamwork, and dedication. I really appreciate, thank you!

  • jaysonwhelpley

    As I read through the list, as well as the “5 Signs You Should Not Major In Graphic Design” post, I am glad that I’ve stepped into the program. I’ve had what has seemed some natural ability in design, but have needed to develop it. Though, I am concerned as I know that I tend to have a tendency to start projects strong and struggle with follow-through.

    After Kristy Pennino’s syllabus-day comment that pursuing both the GD and ID degrees would be worthwhile I’ve been thinking about doing just that. After reading this and the points about Print vs. Web I’m more convinced even if that puts graduation off a year. (I may not be working full-time and taking classes full-time, but kid-having, home-owning, and career-middling does add some hour-sucks to my schedule.) I do hope that the self-evaluation portion of the classes will help me hone my skills and shore up my shortfalls.

  • Etienne Ramos

    Etienne Ramos ,

    Seeing now that its not just artistic abilities . that only makes up half of what you need now a days .But also the abilities to work as a team with some print projects . Also for print to learn many diff skills for many diff type of print , magazines , flyers , newspaper ect . A more understanding the print and interactive design go hand and hand ….

  • Jeffry

    As I can see, most companies prefer designers who can work with others, who can communicate well, and who can meet the deadlines. Sometimes people think that having a diploma assures a good job but if that person does not have responsibility is useless. I also agree with the companies that says the experience is not a big deal because when students just got out of college, it is hard for them to get experience, so is to get a job.

  • Julian Mejia

    Julian Mejia

    I like this article It gives me a heads up on the areas that i need to focus to work on and improve. Communication skills, artistic abilities an the ability to be an effective team player are skill that we can use in any area of our lives. I feel better about my decision to double majoring in both graphics and interactive design now after reading the article. Plus the idea that just a degree will guarantee us a job is outdated, the market is full of competition and it will take a special kind of effort to be successful, i feel this concept applies to any industry.

  • Tercio Neves

    This was a great read and a bit of an eye opener as well. I had no idea how much employers preferred their employees be proficient in web design and to learn programming languages as well as print work. We’ve been told from day 1 about how important deadlines are and having great communication, so that did not surprise me. This data shows that recent graduates cannot simply be a “one trick pony”, but we actually have to master multiple skills in the graphic industry; it makes sense afterall with the competition for jobs we face. The belief supported by the TVCA to me is a perfect line for any recent graduate, and should be the standard for everyone. The fact that the data collected out in the real world reflects back into the TVCA shows me that we can use that as a valuable tool to mold ourselves into a perfect candidate to a high paying job, as well as guiding us on what areas we can improve while in school. Hopefully in my case it also leads me to better habits and an idea of what kind of designer I aspire to become.

    Tercio Neves

  • Christian Orellana

    They say you play like you practice, so I am glad that Valencia takes the time to instill the foundations of a TVCA approach into their students. In the article, a professional makes mention that “Two of the best qualities are being able to be a starter and a finisher…”, which I feel is a great motto to live by. The industry, (and the work environment in general), has little-to-no use for prima donnas, so adopting a TVCA work ethic can only help enhance a designers abilities. I also feel that communication is an integral trait in the process of artistic expression. I currently work in a sales position and I was told early-on that it didn’t matter how great my product is, if I didn’t know how to pitch it then no one would ever be interested. I feel as students we should be maximizing our exposure to all the tools & techniques of the trade and use every opportunity in class to practice our communication skills. Above all, I think finding joy in what we do can only help us along the way. I find that having a competitive spirit always pushes me to showcase my best work, and it forces me to squeeze more out of a TVCA approach. I am excited to be enrolled in this program, and I look forward to improving my skills as a designer so that when the time comes, I can confidently step into the field knowing I am the best version of myself that I can be.

  • Andrea Riofrio

    I enjoyed reading this post. It is very helpful to read this and learn what the industry expects from graduates. The reason why I decided to come back to school and get a second degree is because I feel that graphic design is part of our every day lives.

    I agree that communicating is very important. We can have great ideas but we need to learn how to share those ideas with clients and other members of the team.

    Also being a great artist does not help much if your work ethic is not there at all. Many people can be great artists but can they arrive to work on time? can they meet deadlines?

    Thanks for this post!

  • Christian Clark

    I am really happy that I read this post. I’ve been drawing since I was a little girl and have always dreamed of being able to spend my life doing what I love. This post really put things in perspective for me, the skills that employers will look for and the fact that it’s not just your artistic ability that industries look at. It aslo gives me a sense of direction when it comes to the skills I need to learn or improve on.

  • Megan Kimmel

    I’m glad that artistic skills aren’t absolutely necessary to be a graphic designer. I’m still improving my art and I do hope by the time I graduate they will be better refined. Communication looks to be one of the more important factors so I will keep that in mind as I continue with my career.

  • Jennifer Melear

    I’m feeling informed and inspired after having read this article! It’s wonderful to gain perspective on the depth to which Valencia College staff has worked to prepare and invest in the development and future success of its’ students. I’m moved to see the evidence of thorough research and careful planning–surveys from real-world design professionals and a revamp of the graphic design curriculum–that has resulted in a flurry of successful graphic design students who are much more equipped to tackle the demands of the professional world.

    With the aid of this list of industry expectations, in addition to guidance from professors, students have many advantages to aid them in future success if they choose to embrace learning for growth. To succeed in the world of design, one must be well rounded–not just a savvy artist with a knack for working in Photoshop.

    I was excited to learn after talking with Kristi that it’s only a difference of five courses between the interactive and print design degrees. The article outlines the importance of having proficiency in both print and web and I have now switched my initial plan, enrolling to undertake a double major.

  • Rob Collins

    Reading this article has really re emphasized for me the importance of things like Valencia’s Internship Program. This will be a great way for students to gain some experience before entering the job market. There seem to be many common threads in everything I read from potential employers. Communication seems of paramount importance when it comes to fitting into company’s current culture. At the professional level we are needed to clearly articulate our ideas and concerns. 91% emphasizing the importance of both PRINT and WEB was quite convincing. Seeing said percentile lets me know I chose the right education tract at Valencia. This article was very helpful, thanks.

  • Brenda Kercado

    This article helped me realize as graphic designers, we have many resources at our disposal to improve our skills. No longer will a degree be enough to teach us what’s needed to be graphic designers, but we must take responsibility for constantly seeking what’s new in the industry. Blogs, YouTube videos, books, internships, social networks, magazines, the web… these are but a few tools (mostly free of cost) that are available to us and can take us further in our careers as designers. Ultimately, we are responsible for our own success. We can be as great or as mediocre as we allow ourselves to be. In addition, developing skills that can be applied in an office environment is a big plus. Being a skilled graphic designer can only take you so far. Demonstrating professionalism, time management, working independently and in a group environment are skills that are just as important to employers as an impressive portfolio. Strive to be a professional in all of the sense of the word.

  • Amber Zimmerman

    This article cemented some of my current notions of what the industry expects, as well as brought up points I had not yet considered. Communication seems crucial in any job, but especially in a design job, so I was not surprised that possessing this quality ranked high among employers. What I was surprised by was that another industry expectation appears to be efficiency in web design. I did not realize how many employers coveted web skills, and seeing as this article was published in 2006, I would assume those skills are even more necessary now because of the way the internet has grown.

    The bullet titled “it’s not just the design that’s important” really resonated with me because it talked about a critical part, which is a person’s individual effort. A person can have all the tools, but they must be the one to use them. I once had a professor say that “you are only as good as what you can do for other people” but also that “you have to be likable”. I loved that he said the part about likability because it is so true. Many of us have had experiences where a person’s attitude carried them farther than they may have gone with just their work alone. It’s not something that is often broadcasted, because the focus should be on the work, but the statement is still true.

    This article uses hard data from industry professionals to enlighten designers on what they should be focusing on for a successful career. A professional attitude, well thought out design, artistic and web skills, and the ability to put full effort from start to finish will get a person ahead in the job hunt.

    Amber Zimmerman

  • dustin

    After reading this article, I’d have to say that my initial ideas of the industry still stand. It is wonderful however, to have the resources and help of others such as the author Amanda Kern to help guide those of us new to this industry in the right direction. I feel that this type of information is extremely important for us to grasp and understand at an early stage of the process. having eight years of employment history in an unrelated field, i see many important skill i use on a daily bases hold true in the design industry.i believe that many of the skills listed above can be used to improve employ-ability in any industry. It is reassuring to read testimony from individuals in the field speak on the real life expectations of designers. it is becoming increasingly apparent to me that this type of job will require not only artistic/ design skills, but the drive to be a professional and thrive in a fast pace environment, I look forward to applying my skills i acquire this semester and building my professional portfolio and network, and will gladly refer to articles such as this when needing direction and advice from the professional world.

  • Meenakshi Kunduru

    This article is a great information for a student like me, who is new to the graphic design industry.It gives me the opportunity to know about the traits of a successful graphic design graduate.I never thought that communication skills weigh such a high percentage in graphic design industry.This is a big eye opener for me.The discussion regarding “it’s not just design that’s important” gives me a clear picture of the skills required to become a successful designer besides being an exceptional designer.I think internships should weigh a bit more because it gives students invaluable professional experience.TCVA self-assessment will be a great help for me to asses my current abilities and gives me a chance to improve.It also caters to the overall development .I hope the same is true with all the students.I really appreciate this idea of self-assessment and the efforts made by the instructors to prepare the students for industry standards and expectations.

  • Lois Kamandulis

    Thank you for this article!

    As a career-changer/skills-expander, I want to be
    especially aware of the elements necessary to securing entry-level work in the
    field of graphics. The fact that local professionals and agencies were surveyed
    for this information makes it all the more relevant.

    Having a professional background in education, particularly
    with younger students, I find the TVCA competencies refreshing and much-needed for all students throughout their academic development. The TVCA’s grounding in self-reflection appears to help cultivate habits of self-evaluation – something essential for growth and re-direction, as will often be needed for any
    individual figuring out their life. And having spent the last 7 years working in various professional environments, all the TVCA elements of communication, relationship-building, drive and personal responsibility (in addition to all the other elements listed) ring absolutely true. More than just the technical skills within a given career field are necessary for success. It’s phenomenal that Valencia is
    seeking to build these additional skills within their students. Bravo, Valencia!

    I appreciated the insight into the need for print designers to also be skilled in web design (-will expand my coursework as intended, to follow suit and be more marketable). Also clearly important is the need for experience via internships/work. For someone like myself, I find this to be especially true, and am kicking myself for not signing up for the Professional Development course this first semester, so that I might more quickly set my foot in the door with whatever small jobs I can find as practice…. Real, working experience trumps education in so many fields, especially now with how competitive the market is (in every sector). Would love to see this course open up for Fall of 2015! Also, are there any courses available that consider building networking skills?
    Having fought for various jobs (and still doing so) without knowing someone in
    the business, networking appears to be a secret weapon in the arsenal of job
    applicants who magically appear to be working less hard to find jobs… Would love any insight into initiatives to help cultivate this!

  • Paola Maino

    It was very interesting to read what the Industry Experts expect and want from Graphic Design graduates. I did not expect to find out that probably one of the most important skills they expect and want from graphic designers is the ability to communicate well. However, the more I thought about it the more it made sense, as the career of Graphic Designer is not a solitary enterprise, instead is a much more social one. Not only the Graphic Designer has to create a product based on what the client wants, but also has to work with a team of people/experts. Therefore, the
    ability to communicate clearly and concisely what the objectives and deliverables
    are is very important, as well as being a good listener, being able to compromise
    and problem solve, as well as to negotiate the client’s demands, the budget,
    and timelines. Therefore, I think it would be a plus if the Graphic Design
    program at Valencia College would include electives such as Problem Solving Techniques, Negotiation and Conflict Resolution Techniques, Organizational Collaboration, Intercultural Communication, and Business Communication.

  • Jordana Edwards

    I love what I read. It was pretty cool reading what experts require from people majoring in graphic design. I want to know as much as I can in my field to ensure that I’m one of the best graphic designers. Being that I am being introduced to graphic designing, this article is perfect for me. Us graphic designers play a critical role in today’s society. From this article i learned that you need to bring a professional attitude, well thought out design, artistic and web skills, and the ability to put full effort from start to finish to be successful in this field of work. I also learned that team work isn’t always an option, it can be very helpful. Sometimes team work could be best. Meaning you would hear others opinion of your work, which makes your design even better.

  • Robert Bradley Doobay

    I think it goes without saying that all graphic designers looking for jobs need to meet office level conduct, punctuality, and attendance standards. I agree wholeheartedly about the “experience” portion, but I also feel its almost like a double edged sword where experience is needed, but in order to get hired somewhere, they are looking for someone with experience. Shouldn’t that be simplified with a reputable portfolio and several letters of recommendation from professors and clients as well as a resume (not to mention degree as well).

    Web experience is a must – print and web go hand in hand with required design mediums.

  • Karina Jimenez

    This was an interesting read, even though it exacerbated my anxiety over finding a job after graduation! I’m always a little surprised when people bring up that communication is an important skill for the job…is there a job where that isn’t important? At the very least, you need good communication skills to get through the interview!

    On another note, the section about Print vs. Web can basically be summed up with “Print or web? Yes. Both. Learn everything.” I understand why a hiring manager would look for both of these skills in a candidate, but I also think the survey is a little flawed. Without knowing too many of the details, I can’t imagine someone taking this survey and saying, “no, I don’t think this skill is important.” I don’t think that means they wouldn’t hire someone who didn’t have both specializations. There are so many other factors in getting a job. I guess my point is this: if you hate web graphics, but love print, you shouldn’t feel ashamed and worried that you won’t get a job because of this survey. I also think there’s something to be said for being really passionate about one specific thing.

  • Kaitlyn Ayer

    It’s nice to know that the program is specifically ensuring that its students have every resource possible to ensure that they do well in the industry. Both the research data and the evaluation help tremendously with assessing where you are in being prepared for the actual jobs thrown at you.

    I’m a little intimidated by the communication requirements, not because I can’t communicate, but more so that I operate on a “if I’m not a part of the project, my input isn’t needed” policy. How do you know the difference? On one hand, you do need to interact, but at the same time, it would be rude to provide feedback on something your feedback wasn’t asked for. It’s not the ideal predicament to be in honestly.

    Regardless, this is a really nice reference point to work towards. Having this information readily available isn’t something that all students get.

    • Christine Marie Dupont

      Kaitlyn, you are very right. It wouldn’t be polite to just give someone your opinion on their work if it is not asked for :) In a course like this, however, it’s sort of a a golden rule that you will both ask for feedback AND provide it (even if it’s not asked of you in the first place). We want to foster a sense of community with your fellow students/designers, and part of that is sharing constructive criticism and helping one another to improve. :)

  • Cleigh Gordon

    Cleigh Gordon
    Its good to have a entry like this so graduates don’t go into the industry with the wrong impression. Personally I have a hard time public speaking and it’s good for me to know that I will have to overcome that to be successful. I personally like web. In such a digital age I feel as print is slowly going to fade away. Also valcencia’s TVCA program is great for students. It holds them to a industry ready schedule. It also makes us understand the industries demands.

  • Jean Scudder

    This article introduces some essential learning tools that are necessary for me as a student who has an interest in the Graphic Design Program at Valencia. I found it beneficial to read the surveyed responses regarding new hire skills, which will help to inform my future educational choices. The percentage breakdown of industry expectations of graduates was especially effective in communicating to me how to realistically narrow my focus and goals. To be able to have a tangible understanding of the hierarchy of what design skills are most important as I enter the work place is invaluable. I am also better able to honestly evaluate my strengths and weaknesses by reading the criteria of what is strongly recommended by industry professionals. Furthermore, by considering these newly introduced standards throughout the curriculum, I might be able to more accurately avoid misleading self perception. I also found the TVCA guidelines especially helpful in evaluating my aptitude in approaching my design methodology. This article is offers essential information in helping students properly place their time and focus for future success in the graphic design industry.

  • Lilianne Thibodeau

    These expectation can be seen in other career fields its always important to work hard, be on time, and meet deadlines. Because like it said in the article you can be a great designer but if you cant meet the deadline then what use are you to the company. Reading this help me to see that its better to know both interactive and print design. I really enjoyed reading this article it help me to see what I was already doing and what I need to start doing to make sure that I am ready for the field , so that I can secure a position.

  • Jessie Padgett

    It is nice to find an article that helps us foresee what graphic designers are expected of. I’m am thank to have come across this article, especially when I myself plan on going into the Graphic Design program and field. I am also thankful for the brilliant people who have chosen to ask local professionals to take a survey to improve their two goals in mind. It has been eleven years since this article was posted, but I’m positive nothing has really changed except for technology obviously. But it introduces the essentials I need to know. It is very beneficial for those like me that can refer to this for some knowledge as to what clients are expected of me when I do a project for them. I liked finding out that an internship is important considering I was looking into doing an intern or two. I also already knew that communication was already important, considering graphic design is based on communication solely. Thank you for the knowledge you provided within this article.