In this episode we discuss whether a formal design education is worth it, or if you’re better off being self taught. We also look at what employer’s commonly look for when hiring designers, and how to make yourself a more attractive candidate. Some of the answers may surprise you!



Show Notes for This Episode:

[1.00] Finding out what is really in a design course
[2.15] How Lisa’s formal education helped her (and didn’t help her!)
[3.00] Some of the best points of a formal education
[3.50] Do employer’s ever look for a degree?
[4.30] The ego of only feeling like a designer if you have a degree
[5.15] Some of the more fun projects within a design degree
[6.00] Ian’s design education (multi-media course)
[7.19] Why courses don’t always help give you a ‘creative edge’
[7.50] There’s no substitute for experience
[8.00] Why the right decision for education depends on you and your nature
[9.00] Some designers that Ian follows who are getting an education whilst building a portfolio
[10.30] Employers look for experience above all else
[11.05] How we hired Lizzy for Design Cuts (she took her work to the interview)
[12.20] You have the weigh up the right path for you
[13.30] Why design school can give you accountability (but some other options for the self-disciplined)
[15.00] What Lisa looked for when hiring people in her role as an Art Director
[16.00] Design education can go both ways
[16.55] The financial cost of a formal education
[17.30] Other ways you could allocate the finances
[18.45] Think about what you want to do for a creative career (broad vs niche)
[19.40] Dustin felt like a poser, not having a degree
[20.25] Tom’s shortcomings from being self taught (the dreaded comfort zone)
[22.30] Design education can teach good process and workflow
[23.35] A design course helped Lisa a ton with her botanical painting
[24.10] Dustin’s music course, and his honest experiences of this
[25.50] Picasso’s ‘learn the rules so you can break them’
[27.00] Dustin chatting about the Beatles
[27.50] Lisa on how she does several courses a month
[28.50] “You can to train your head first, so your heart can soar” – Dustin and Lisa’s upcoming hit song lyric!
[30.00] How Ian benefits from online courses
[31.30] Why we should take advantage of the education available to us online
[33.00] Follow what you’re passionate about, there is no set path!
[33.40] Ask people who have been there and done it


“A must for every creative freelancer (or those aspiring to freelance). Thank you for being so… honest! Such a wealth of information from people I admire who have ‘been there and done that’. Listening to the podcast every week feels like I’m among friends. Can’t wait for more episodes!”AG_GD