How to become a Designer


Design is an ever-evolving field, from web design, app design to graphic design and everything in between. Design is an increasingly popular career path as it’s easy to find contracting work, is flexible and you can work from anywhere in the world. If you’re looking to become a designer, there are a few key steps you can take to get started. Let’s break down the basics of what it takes to become a designer in Australia.

Step 1: Build your skills through training

Most designers in Australia have some sort of post-secondary education, such as a diploma or degree related to the design area they wish to work in. There are many institutions across the country that offer courses related to the various types of design, including the University of New South Wales and RMIT University. It’s important to do your research and select a university that has programs related to your desired type of design, as well as one with industry connections that can help you land internships or jobs after graduation. Some courses offered guaranteed internships which can be a key step in starting your own freelancing career.

Step 2: Get work experience as a designer

Gaining professional experience is key for becoming a successful designer in Australia. Clients will look for designers who have professional experience before considering them for any work. To gain this experience, many aspiring designers choose to complete internships or freelance projects on the side while studying or working full-time. This allows them to gain valuable industry insights and build their portfolio so that they can stand out when applying for jobs after graduation. Additionally, building your network within the industry, attending conferences, and completing further study where you can meet other professionals who could be potential mentors or clients down the line.

Step 3: Show off your portfolio

Creating an impressive portfolio is essential when pitching for work with clients. Your portfolio should showcase your best work and demonstrate your skillset across various mediums, such as websites and digital graphics, print media, and photography. Make sure you include projects that highlight both your creativity and technical skills so that employers can better understand why you would be a great fit for their company or project. Additionally, make sure your portfolio website is easy to navigate and looks modern – first impressions count. If your website looks bland, then people will think your work won’t be very creative either.

Step 4: Start your freelancing career

Now that you have the education, experience and portfolio to inspire, you can branch out and start your own design business. Starting your own business allows you to be in control of your own career and set your own hours. However, it is important to note that starting your own business can be a lot of work and may require some initial investment.  If you prefer to work independently, another option is to work as a freelance designer. This option allows you to set your own hours and rates. However, it is important to note that working as a freelancer can be unpredictable and you may not always have steady work.

Becoming a designer in Australia starts with education and ends with gaining real world experience through internships or freelance opportunities. If you stay focused on building up your skillset through hands-on practice and keeping up with current trends within the industry, you will put yourself one step closer towards achieving success as a designer in Australia.  

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