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To design is to form or conceive in your mind a plan that is intended for a specific purpose. If you have ever created a grocery list or picked out shoes or accessories for an outfit, then you have designed. While design does require a passion for planning and implementation as well as an inherent inclination for creativity, many design skills can be—and sometimes must be—taught. Design encompasses more than good fashion sense or an eye for interior design. It is more about moving creativity toward a specific goal using a method or process.


Most people once thought of a design program as one that focused on decorating and making a wardrobe or room pleasing to the eye. Many industries have incorporated design as part of their marketing and advertising tools, especially with the advancement of technology. Technology-related design programs have become very popular online programs, especially for those returning to school and those seeking more flexibility in their careers. Some design programs are:
Computer Aided Design
Fashion Design and Merchandising
Game Design
Graphic Design
Interior Design
Media Arts and Animation
Web Design

Qualities and Skills

Problem solving skills are essential to a graphic designer, and they must stay abreast of the most current software. Graphic designers must also be able to communicate their creative ideas verbally, visually, and through writing. Flexibility is a must since marketing trends and technology are constantly changing. A postsecondary degree is generally required to work as a graphic designer. Interior designers and fashion designers must also be able to effectively convey a vision. In addition to creative flair, these designers will most likely need some sewing and drawing skills. Good presentation abilities and persuasiveness will also be helpful in this career.


About twenty-five percent of graphic designers are self-employed, and many more do freelance work in addition to a full time job. This type of job is perfect for those who require a flexible work schedule. Web site designers, particularly, are in high demand and can easily work from home. Other aspiring technology positions include game designers and animators. Most people in this line of work have turned a hobby into a career. More traditional occupations in design consist of fashion designers/merchandisers and interior designers. These types of designers also find flexibility in their careers and typically relish the line of work they have chosen.


The interior designers and fashion designers generally earn more than salaried graphic designers, but the latter have more success in finding freelance work.