Whether you work for a consultancy or set up your own studio, a degree in graphic design opens the door to a range of creative and design-related careers

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree include:

Jobs where your degree would be useful include:

Remember that many employers accept applications from graduates with any degree subject, so don't restrict your thinking to the jobs listed here.

Work experience

Courses often provide the opportunity to work on projects with leading businesses and organisations. There may also be opportunities to take an optional work placement in industry either in the UK or abroad.

Only a few graduates get jobs as a result of their final degree shows. Internships are a more common way of finding work and building up experience, making contacts and increasing your portfolio. The design world is small and design agencies will recommend interns who have impressed them, or contact them if there are suitable opportunities in the future.

Participating in relevant competitions and exhibitions can help you to promote yourself and build up your network of contacts. You could also try and get some work experience, for example working for a film production company, television channel or even a magazine, or do some voluntary work on local projects.

Search for placements and find out more about work experience and internships.

Typical employers

The main employers of graphic designers, include:

  • advertising firms
  • branding specialists
  • design consultancies and studios
  • media and communication companies
  • packaging companies
  • PR agencies
  • publishing companies.

In the public sector, you could also find employment with museums, local authorities, schools, colleges and hospitals.

Some graduates set up their own studios and work as exhibiting artists or work as part of a studio collective.

Find information on employers in creative arts and design, marketing, advertising and PR, media and internet and other job sectors.

Skills for your CV

A graphic design degree develops your understanding of effective graphic communication and enables you to build a good mix of subject-specific and technical skills, including:

  • branding
  • coding
  • computer software skills, e.g. Adobe graphic design software and web design skills
  • digital media
  • editorial design
  • drawing and sketching
  • information design
  • interactive design
  • moving image
  • photography
  • printmaking
  • typography.

You also develop a range of other skills that are sought after by many employers. These include:

  • creativity - to be able to effectively convey ideas or meanings
  • communication skills - essential for discussing projects with the client and colleagues
  • teamwork - collaborating on a range of creative projects with other graphic design students and those from other creative courses, e.g. filmmakers, fine artists, dancers, philosophers and writers
  • time management - managing and delivering a range of creative projects to deadline
  • analytical skills
  • research skills
  • ability to work independently - in order to produce your own work and build your portfolio
  • presentation skills - for presenting your work or a project to others
  • entrepreneurial skills - your portfolio has to be creative, imaginative and commercial.

Further study

Studying for a Masters degree can help you develop in-depth knowledge of a specialist topic, for example typography or illustration. Alternatively, it can enable you to move into a related area such as multimedia, landscape architecture or interior design.

Some Masters courses offer the opportunity to collaborate - either formally or informally - with other creatives, such as fine artists or film makers. Studying at postgraduate level also gives you time to enhance your portfolio and build a bigger network of contacts in the industry.

Short, further education courses are another good option for learning new technical skills or honing existing ones.

For more information on further study and to find a course that interests you, see Masters degrees and search for postgraduate courses in graphic design.

What do graphic design graduates do?

More than half (54%) of graphic design graduates are working as web, multimedia and design professionals 15 months after graduation.

Further study2.6
Working and studying6.2
Graduate destinations for graphic design
Type of workPercentage
Arts, design and media58.6
Retail, catering and customer service12.5
Marketing, PR and sales8.4
Clerical, secretarial and administrative3.7
Types of work entered in the UK

Find out what other art and design graduates are doing 15 months after finishing their degrees in What do graduates do?

Graduate Outcomes survey data from HESA.

How would you rate this page?

On a scale where 1 is dislike and 5 is like

success feedback

Thank you for rating the page