I have an AAS degree in Graphic Design from 2004. I have worked steadily in the graphic design field ever since (employee, contract & freelance). I am now looking to further my education and would like to know how professional certificates from places like EDX.org are looked upon by potential employers in comparison to traditional education paths (Bachelor's Degree).


No one really cares. Your portfolio and past work carry far more weight.

Only a BFA will be seen as a benefit. Perhaps Adobe Certification depending upon the position you are applying to (See Here)

In short.... education gets your foot in the door starting out, once you've been employed for a number of years, it means next to nothing compared to your portfolio and work history.

You should also do a bit of research regarding online education and "diploma mills". Often these pseudo-schools rely on non-refundable tuition and the failure to complete courses (sometimes due to unrealistic assignment loads for working students). There have been several reports over the past few years I've seen regarding big name "online schools" and their actual graduation rates.

I can't speak for EDX specifically, it seems to be rated fairly well among some professional reviews. But I would be wary of anything other than a traditional education if your focus is on employment. You can still go for a non-traditional education. I'm merely suggesting you do as much research as you can before registering for anything. I would always defer to accredited courses if my focus was on career building. I can find zero information regarding the accreditation of EDX courses in general.


Certifications are good but projects are better.

The substance, in my experience for hiring new employees, tends to outweigh where the background came from.

Yes a degree from RISD is outstanding but if that person has low-quality work, just having a degree from a good school or lots of certifications doesn't sway me.

A personal example is when I started I had no experience in the company's composition software but I had done a lot of work on another kind and I had some projects to back it up. I got hired despite 0 knowledge of the software.

My advice would be to get the certifications and then add some new projects revolving around the new skills you acquired.


Further to the above/below answers, the fastest/best way to be better thought of is to do better work. Use your time to make examples of this as both self promotion and demonstrated capacity for both quality and production competency and completeness.

One of the best (recent) demonstrations of this, that I've seen, is this guy making a mockup of an entirely new football league, and populating it with progress reports, commentary and cross platform social networking explanations and insight into the processes and inspirations.

This works on many levels because it's quite clear it's a passion project without direct payoff, that he's absolutely diligent and thorough, and thoroughly competent and capable. It's a perfect demonstration of capacity and capability, and would see him hired over many others, if he needed work, because it's unlikely anyone else has anything like this to show for/of their absolute passion for graphic design.

Enough blather, the example is fonts, logos, icons and characters, etc...


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