The Price Of Education (tired ramblings)

Its been mulling over in my mind for the last 3 years now that I am 1 of thousands of students, that hundreds of colleges pump out into the design community ill prepared, that will just to land flat on our faces.

Course Fees
Most of us have to borrow thousands to pay for these courses, the majority of us (sadly enough), will end up working our way up in part time jobs or totally digress from our chosen educational path. For example, old friends from higher education courses had spent 3+ years studying “graphic design” to then become a policeman, assistant managers in Waitrose, part time sales people at card factory. These jobs are fine but why spend years in front of peers proving yourself as a creative, to throw it all away?

Student Finance Trap
Why do we get our student loans from the government so freely? So we can pay it back with interest in return for a half assed education? Debt is another reason why I refuse to move from my chosen path. No way I will be borrowing extortionate amounts of money to pay for Higher Ed’ so I can go back to a part time job in a polar opposite industry. So many complain that student debt is a life long annoyance. Some rake up so much in fees, textbooks and equipment that they will be paying it off forever.

The educational system itself is a joke. Choosing to follow the career as a graphic designer, I expected to pay my fees and be trained and prepared for life in the industry. If it wasn’t for one influential lecturer I had met in the beginning of my college days (David Johnstone), I would have probably ended up without any of the skills I poses today, I would feel even more afraid of pushing CV’s and doing freelance work. 6 years of studying and I feel the most I have learnt has been from online blogs, forums, tutorial sites and (the fountain of all knowledge :-D ) David Johnstone.

I must admit that having stuck at this college/uni thing I have learnt to deal with criticism (which is so common and a necessity in this field) and how to work with and even direct a team. Things that really I had learnt in infant school but have just chosen to have another 6 years of it directed at my creativity as an adult.

What I will say is that having gone to college I have met professionals in their own right but the most helpful and productive sessions I find is when I catch these people out of teaching mode. Being able to speak to someone on their level about what THEY DO and how they do it is the best way for me to extract the knowledge I seek. And everyone that I do speak to always has something new to add. Everyone in the teaching profession is there for a reason, but not always does it show.

Luck - Tolerance
Landing a part time job in my industry while studying is nothing short of a miracle however, having to learn on the job about things so small and inferior is a disgrace to myself and the places I have studied. Small things. tiny bits of information that probably should have been explained to me, within hours of my introduction to the life of design. I have read articles upon articles written by seasoned designers that complain about the lack of knowledge that we juniors have after graduating with 2:1’s or whatever it is that we get, it’s embarrassing and frightening to think that the next job I go to may expect me to know things that I should have been taught after paying my 3 grand.

The Future is . . . scary actually
It annoys me and also, like I said before, frightens me to think we pay all this money to teach ourselves to be creative (because such a skill cannot be taught, only encouraged) and to teach ourselves how to use software to a point where we can actually get paid to use it.

And why is it I can write 700 words when I moan but I can’t write a dissertation on a topic of my choice?

Sods law

Leave a comment on this post wether u agree or disagree, whats your view?

Check out my work already
Loads of love

Calvin. x


  1. this is a great piece of writing. very true in many ways and in general, applies to the majority of courses that are paid for these days.

  2. A very true post, I'm a Graphic Design student myself and I do feel that I am borrowing so much money only to learn everything myself-from blogs, magazines and just general experience.

    I see so many people (with degrees in varying subjects) who have come out of Uni and are working in a job which is completely unrelated to the career path they intended to follow when they enrolled.