The plight of many college grads is in finding work in their selected field. Though every academic focus has its own promise and potential for careers, not all programs can say that 100 percent of their graduating class was able to find jobs. Last semester, however, UVU’s graphic design program did just that.
According to a report by Elizabeth Draper, the art and visual communications Adviser, all of the 11 graphic design students who graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fall 2014 were successful in securing careers after graduation.
These numbers do not shock Associate Dean of the School of Arts Jim Godfrey.
“We usually have about 90 percent job placement,” he said. “So this isn’t that big of a surprise.”
Though 100 percent is not a far leap from the department’s usual performance, it’s still an impressive feat for these students to consistently find work. Graphic design being a competitive field, skill is necessary. In keeping with this, Adviser Dane Abegg explained that the image of the “starving artist” usually only applies to bad artists. “If you are not a good artist,” he said, “you aren’t going to have much success.”
In recent years, whether it be a triumph of the teaching staff or just a talented group of students, UVU has churned out a notable amount of skilled students, armed with degrees in graphic design and enough talent to attract the eye of many companies, spanning many different companies like DOMO, Riser Media and Deseret Digital Media.
Drew Milton, a graduate of the class of 2013, scored a position at the Adobe offices in Lehi as senior interactive designer. “Like any program you get out of it what you put in,” Milton said. “I worked really hard, asked a lot of questions, immersed myself in the academic experience, took advantage of opportunities given to me and created opportunities for myself.”
Milton also appreciated the chances the program gave him to network, explaining that the classmates and professors he met at school have been instrumental in sending him freelance work and other opportunities that he otherwise would not have known about. “One of my instructors texted me a full-time job offer during the graduation ceremonies,” Milton said. “I ended up taking the job and it led to other opportunities that placed me in the position I am in now.”
Milton was quick to point out that, while not completely necessary for working in graphic design, a college degree is very important to various companies, Adobe included. “Many employers won’t seriously consider you unless you have that magical piece of paper,” he said, “Plus, most major employers contact universities to get recommendations for up-and-comers and soon-to-graduate all-stars.”
This is especially true here at UVU, with a heavy emphasis placed on getting internships before graduating and countless job placement opportunities. Even if it’s not just for the grades and the diploma, the university experience plays a significant role in forming professional connections, obtaining references and building a portfolio. For those creative types out there who are still hesitant about chasing a career in graphic design, you could do a whole lot worse than UVU’s program.