Do art and design fascinate you? Do you have an interest and an ability to draw or paint and want to take the next step toward extending this into a career? Are you fascinated by visual communication, information design or interactive media? Offered in partnership with Sheridan College, York's Department of Design is the first and largest program in Ontario that offers the Bachelor of Design Honours degree. Whether your interest lies in typography, visual language, communication or interactive media, a degree in Design may be the exact fit for your future.

Career Options in Design

This list is not exhaustive but it provides a solid idea of what fellow graduates have gone on to do and what potential careers a Design degree can offer. Some options are more directly associated with specific areas of Design than others.

  • Artist
  • Art Gallery Director
  • Artistic Consultant
  • Communications Consultant
  • Computer Games Designer
  • Curator
  • Editor/Publisher
  • Editorial Designer
  • Freelance Designer
  • Graphic Designer
  • Information Designer
  • Illustrator
  • Interactive Media Designer
  • Journalist
  • Marketing Director
  • Media Correspondent
  • Media Consultant
  • Museum Director
  • Packaging Designer
  • Painter
  • Photographer
  • Product Designer
  • Set Designer
  • Visual Arts Consultant

Some of these career choices may require additional education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential education or professional formative courses and exams. For a more in-depth description of some of the careers mentioned above visit Career Cruising (login information can be found on the home page of the Career Centre's online system) or the National Occupational Classification website.

Skills Developed through a Design Degree

A background in Design ensures that you develop the skills and mindset to tackle many different professional challenges.

Core Skills

  • Knowledge of theory, the history and the practice of design in different media
  • The ability to design visual projects, create them and present them to peers
  • An understanding of modern design software and design programs
  • Knowledge of typography, time-based communication, and a variety of specialized design areas including package design, editorial design and environmental graphic design

Communication, Data Gathering and Organizational Skills

  • The ability to present your thoughts clearly and intelligently in written statements and written opinion pieces
  • Deduction of information from various sources and the ability to concentrate on relevant resources
  • The ability to organize, understand and analyze sources of information and to apply novel forms of technology or new information to different professional settings and tasks
  • The ability to explain complex ideas clearly to others and to apply complex theoretical concepts to everyday practice and professional dilemmas
  • The skills to collect various types of information, assess them, analyze and incorporate potential linkages from different fields, put them into writing and efficiently convey your message and the goal of your work

Management and Teamwork

  • The ability to interpret and analyze information presented by peers and efficiently and constructively support or challenge their proposals, theories, ideas and reports in order to achieve a project's intended and successful end result
  • Skills enabling you to work effectively in group situations, partaking in decision-making, leading and contributing in various capacities to the ultimate success of the team and task
  • The ability to debate, persuade, mediate and present your thoughts and opinions to others, as well as the capacity to recognize and incorporate other potential solutions or applications to given problems
  • The capability to identify priorities and proper courses of action, to plan the execution of tasks and to determine and delegate responsibilities to group members to most effectively carry out projects

Professional Associations and Organizations

Knowing the industry and how to excel in it after receiving a degree are key elements of future success. University study sets up the building blocks you will need to develop and enhance your understanding and knowledge in your career. Being part of a professional organization or network and gaining further insight through training are excellent ways of increasing your knowledge of the field.