Remember college? Getting to the 8.30 class late just so that you could that additional 5 minutes of sleep and walking into the class like a boss. Peeking on the hot chicks walking by – those were the days, for sure. But at just the age of 18, you’d probably had no idea what you wanted to do with life, much less how it was going to look like. And now, you think about the things you never learnt that is actually needed out there in the real world, and it’s overwhelming.

It’s generally very easy for you to feel like you’re living in a bubble when you’re at college and that’s because you are. And to be a designer is why you’re going to school, the things you will learn are vast and great, but the things that you don’t learn become quite obvious quickly. If you’re a student currently, you might be wondering what you’re missing on, and therefore, we went a step ahead and put up a list of some of the more important things that will prepare you for the real world – the ones you don’t learn in school.

How To Handle Customers

There are different paths and places you can end up at, as a designer. You could be at an agency where you never interact with a client, or maybe you’re out freelancing and dealing with clients day in and out. The interaction between you and your clients is critical to the relationship and more importantly, whether it succeeds or dies. Pray that you learn that at school.

Design Skills They Won't Teach You in College/University What
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That being said, most of this comes with experience, but eventually you’ll learn how to communicate effectively and manage the people that most probably would be your customers. Whether you’re gonna have instant noodles or a sirloin depends on these people (directly or indirectly). It’s like learning a new thing, you’ll figure it out as you go by.

How To Present Your Project

So you walk into the client presentation, all stations ready like how you’d presented your assignment to your lecturers. Stuffs prepared, everything lock n’ load and you’re ready to fire in the hole. You’ve even borrowed your father’s fancy tie. After putting it all out there, you look at your customer and you be like…

Design Skills They Won't Teach You in College/University Perfection
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And your clients be like…

Design Skills They Won't Teach You in College/University Really
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(Ok, maybe that’s exaggerating, but you get it right).

The way you communicate with your clients and to another fellow designer are completely different. And sometimes it’s a hard pill to swallow, because in the end, you do the job, not them. If you go Einstein all over them with your knowledge, maybe you’ll get the job. But you have to keep in mind that, clients don’t really care about your rocket sciences, all they wanted is your design and the final complete job. And in any case they don’t, you’d be better off looking for another client.

The Reality

Many of you would probably assumed that once you got out of college, picking a job is as easy as picking your favorite candy at Sticky eh? Employers would be waiting at the front door “begging” you to join them and money would grow on trees.

Design Skills They Won't Teach You in College/University Begging
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That will never happen, right?

Design Skills They Won't Teach You in College/University RealWorld
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Now let me wake you up with this: your college degree or master wouldn’t matter out in the real world, sure, it could work back in the 90’s, but the job market now won’t be impressed by your fancy paperwork. All they want are results, masters or not. The only time when you need a paper was to get through the interview, but after that, you’re on your own.

College ain’t gonna teach you all of that, duh, but it’s one of the cruelest reality you’re about to face out there. That, and don’t even start on taxes and managing clients. None of that can be learnt through books, it’s all experience and getting your hands dirty.

How To Handle Negative Comments

Allow me to say this: All the things people say about Millennials as a generation means nothing to me to be honest. Sure, some were raised like Princess Anna, but some were taught the same things as well and yet, they’re out of the demographic. So listen, Millennials or not, each human being think that they’re special in ways, so tell the haters to piss off.

Design Skills They Won't Teach You in College/University BeYourself
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Nonetheless, you should keep in mind that all of us will need to learn how to take criticism better. Sure, you’ve jerk professors lecturing you, but there ought to be customers you just want to beat them up. Now, that wouldn’t be professional nor a great sight either, even if Dicky deserves it, you need swallow it up like a man.


So, how do you feel after all of the above? Excited yet? Yeah, probably not. But don’t worry, it may cost you a hell lot of money and cost you your young teenage hood that you’ll never get back, but DUDE! – it’s gonna be worth it, right? RIGHTTTTTT??

Also Read: 10 Jargon We Always Hear From Our Graphic Designers

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