Can an online academy replace university degrees?


Many young people are drawn to the fun aspects of higher education: mixing with like-minded souls, societies for those with common interests, events and parties. But in the past 12 months, all of that has disappeared.

“At the moment, during this pandemic, you won’t get that ‘college experience’ and it seems unlikely to come back,” says Issy Pleasance, a first-year graphic design student at the University of Edinburgh. “I was really looking forward to messing around in the studio and talking to my tutors. It’s something we couldn’t do, and it was quite difficult. I wish I had more help in class road. It’s pretty unguided. It feels like a glorified online course at times.”

But it’s impossible to find a job in the creative industries without a degree, right? Well, it’s not.

Unfit for use

Talk to the heads of design agencies, big and small, and they’ll always tell you the same thing. They don’t really care if you have a degree or not: they just care about your passion and skills. Indeed, many bosses are wary of design degrees that are big on theory but don’t do a great job of preparing you for the real world of work.

Stuart Watson, founding partner of Nomad Studio, is typical when he says, “300,000 design graduates every year, yet I struggle to find more than two that I can hire. I just don’t know what happens to the others. .”

As we wrote in our article Five Predictions for Creative Jobs in 2021, we believe that design degrees will continue to decline in importance over the next decade for this reason. But then, what are the alternatives?

Alternatives to college

Another path to the creative industries is to get an internship in the field you want to pursue. This way you learn on the job, and everything you do will be relevant to your future career. Internships are advertised on job boards, but it’s also worth writing directly to the studios you want to work with.

There are two main problems with pursuing the internship route to full-time employment. The first is that competition for these opportunities is very hard to come by. And the second is that they don’t always get paid, so you might have to borrow a lot of money, especially if you have to move to a big city like London. Read the article How to Get an Internship at a Motion Design Studio for more information and insight on this topic.

Another way to train for a creative role is to learn on your own. There are many resources on the Internet for online training, from Linkedin Learning to YouTube videos, and there are many examples of professionals who have succeeded in this direction.

However, you need to be incredibly motivated and disciplined to learn on your own. Another downside is that you won’t have anyone to encourage you or point you in the right direction career-wise. Again, you’ll know a lot of theory, but not necessarily how to translate that into creating the kind of work employers are looking for.

Created offers a third way between these two approaches. The online academy provides training for designers looking to enter the creative industries directly, which focuses on real-world projects rather than abstract theories. And you will be guided by mentors who are themselves creatives and who will know precisely what skills you need to develop to meet the needs of employers. In the words of Craig Campbell, a graduate of Created’s Motion Design Professional course: “I wish I had this when I was in college; I’d probably be in a different place now.”

What does Created offer?

Created was launched directly in response to college students not feeling equipped to join the workforce after graduating. While university courses tend to remain static over time, making them less aligned with real-world needs, Created’s shorter courses are flexible and stay current. Through its industry council, the online academy reaches out to employers and asks them directly what they want. Then it develops its training in partnership with them, to ensure that they are well balanced in terms of the skills required.

Created currently offers two courses in UI Design: UI Design Foundation and UI Design Professional. These focus on design systems, digital branding, immersive storytelling, and implementing assets and brands across devices – all the principles you need to add design to user interface to your creative skill set

Created’s UX Design Foundation and UX Design Professional courses build on how the future of design depends on how we interact with technology and focus on design solutions, content strategy and interactive prototypes .

Created also offers Motion Design Foundation and Motion Design Professional courses. Motion design is a skill that is increasingly in demand, and in more places than you might think: read the article 5 unexpected industries that use motion design to learn more.

In addition to pure software skills, these courses provide the holistic “soft skills” that employers are currently looking for, such as learning about communication, process, technology, and work practices. Students are taught directly by mentors and complete real industry dissertations. The courses require 10-15 hours of study per week for nine months and are considerably cheaper than a university degree at just £4,750. And in the end, you’ll come out with a demo reel or portfolio fully ready for an interview.

Learn more about studying with Created here.


Comments are closed.