SOURCE: Career Education Corporation

September 12, 2011 05:00 ET

Education by Design

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - Sep 12, 2011) - (Family Features) For those considering a career that makes the most of their creative talents, finding the right art and design school ( is a critical step. Knowing what to look for can help you narrow the field and make smart decisions.

Design is projected to be one of the faster growing professions in the country, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). This job category encompasses a wide range of disciplines -- graphic design, fashion and interior design, commercial and industrial design, website design, even gaming design and animation. There are a lot of creative outlets out there -- it's time to design a path to taking your talents to the next level.

What to Look For in a School

Type of Program. Large public colleges and universities tend to offer a broad curriculum that includes typical liberal arts classes, while smaller colleges, institutes and online schools may concentrate on a particular industry or offer more specialized opportunities. Both have their advantages, but you need to weigh the pros and cons of both.

Current Connections. Does this school have industry-current software and technology available to students? Are there connections to the industry through internships and networking opportunities? For those pursuing fashion degrees (, how will your work be showcased and what industry people will be able to see it?

Faculty. Check out the people who will be teaching you. Look at their academic credentials as well as professional experience, awards and current work.

Location. Decide whether you want to live close to your current city of residence, or if you're willing to move. Is there a school near the hub of your desired industry, where you're more likely to have opportunities to interact with professionals? Or is there an online program that will let you pursue your degree from where you are?

Doing your homework now will help you find the school and program that best suits your needs -- and helps you get on the path to a creative career.

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