Graphic Design: Degree Or No Degree?

Through my design career I have come across many job adverts for a graphic designer 'with a degree'. It always made me feel a little frustrated – "If I do not have a degree do you automatically assume I will not be good enough to join your company?". Surely a designer's portfolio and / or experience should say more than a piece of paper with a qualification on it.

I studied for a higher national diploma in graphic design at college and when the course finished I had the chance of pursuing a degree in graphic design or go for an advanced diploma in art and design. One of my lecturers told me that the degree contained more theory work where the advanced diploma was more practical. I opted for the practical work … after all that's what graphic design is.

The advanced diploma was only a year of study but most of the work was project based even if the deadlines were a bit too generous at times. However, since leaving college (armed with my qualifications) I admit that I learn more during my first design role and by teaching myself. That kind of education never stops with the design world and technology continuously changing.

This led me to question the importance of a degree as a designer and I know that I'm not the only one to ask this. In my honest opinion a degree does not automatically make someone more creative and successful than a designer who is self taught or who has learnt on the job. Their portfolio should be the strongest reflection of their skills and abilities especially when it comes to finding employment. Do companies advertising for a designer 'with a degree' honestly think that they are going to employ a better designer or is it a status thing?

Now I know that things have changed since I was at college so I thought I had a look at what degree courses my local college offers and found that they offer a BA in Art and Design. Here are the modules:

Year 1: Visual arts; applied crafts; digital arts; site specific design; graphic design; performance related design; web design; animation; self-employment; video production; community art; textile design; teacher or lecturer.

Year 2 : Creative skills and concepts; integrated project; visual literacy; digital applications; specialist options: skills development; contextual studies; personal development planning.

Year 3: Creative practice; contextual practice; specialist options: skills application practice; research skills; critical and contextual studies; pathways and concepts; professional and studio practice; professional and contextual studies; creative futures.

I did not study most of this stuff and I've spent 9 years in design studios working on a wide variety of projects of all sizes and with good feedback. I'm now working full-time as a freelancer trying to grow my own business. I like to think that I turned out okay without a degree.

So I guess my question is … does a degree make a better designer or is it all down to natural creative flair, experience and keeping up-to-date with the latest trends?

Mongofiles Review

Emailing large files can be a problem in many cases because majority of email providers place a limit of 25MB. Even if your files don’t exceed that limit, it can take a lot of time for it to upload. Fortunately, there are services that offer quick and hassle-free help. One of the most notable sites today is Mongofiles. Basically, users simply need to visit the provider’s site, select the file to be sent, and write the email address of the recipient.

Mongofiles uploads the file you choose into their server and then gives you a private link. Whoever receives this link can download the file immediately, safely, and quickly. The service is definitely a great solution for those who need to handle large files. Mongofiles allows you to send up to 2GB of files which is more than enough in 99% of cases.

It’s easy to see why the service offered by Mongofiles could be so attractive but there are similar websites out there. So how is it different? One thing that differentiates it is that the provider takes your security seriously. Here are other aspects you should consider:

• Private Link – other providers may offer the same file uploading service but a key selling point for Mongofiles is that they keep your files private. Only people you share the link to would be able to access the files. On the other hand, other providers make your files searchable for other users. There is no encryption or security features offered because they make money from people visiting their website to view potentially useful information.

• No Advertisement – many file uploading and sharing sites make their money from advertisement. That’s why if you register on these websites, expect your emails to be “sold”. Even if it isn’t sold to third-parties, you will still receive advertisements and offers from the company on your inbox.

• 30-Day Active Link – the closest thing to Mongofiles is probably YouSendIt. However, the latter only keeps your sharing link active for 7 days while Mongofiles links are valid for 30 days for the free service. Links on the premium service don’t expire. In many cases, this has proven to be useful because no one wants to keep uploading the files if the recipient lost it or if you need to keep track of files.

• Free Up to 100MB - if you like what you’ve read about Mongofiles so far, then go ahead and try it for yourself; it’s free. But keep in mind that the free service is limited to 100MB of files only. The company has a no-spam policy so you need not worry about your privacy. For those who need to send large amounts of files, 10GB of space is offered at $5 a month. Business users can take advantage of the 100GB of storage with 128-bit encryption. It is available for $50 a month.

Whether you are a personal user or a business user, Mongofiles offers something for everyone. When you compare their prices with online backup providers today, it also becomes clear that you can store so much more with this provider. Read Mongfiles reviews.

Demonetisation: Impact on E-Commerce Platforms

India is still recovering from the unexpected demonetization of rs 500 and rs 1000 notes. A huge change is encountered in the routine of every business and the e-commerce industry has not been spared even. One of the most significant economic change in the lifetime of Indians experiencing vast tremors. While some people were hailing it as a masterstroke move against against black money, terrorism, and currency counterfeiting. Whereas, certain section of people were creating hue and cry against it. This change is placing a tremendous impact on trade and consumer demand. A lot of discussions and discussions are already going on these topics, so I will spare you on that!

The e-commerce platforms are reeling under pressure due to undelivered orders because a lot of customers have opted for COD, but are still offering the old currency notes only. Such drastic economic change has led to an increase in the use of cashless services but the e-commerce platforms are finding it very difficult to complete orders that have been marked for cash on delivery.

On one hand, there have been a huge increase in digital payments but on the other hand the percentage of undelivered online purchases too have gone up. All of this has claimed in huge returns as the customers who place online orders and choose for COD mode for payments, urge the delivery person to accept the old currency notes or take back the order.

Due to demonitisation, the e-commerce platforms have stopped COD mode of payment which is credited for close to 60% of online shopping in the country. COD is one of the popular payment options for a large section of India consumers who shops online. This is due to the sheer convenience it offers to its customers who wish to receive their orders first and pay later.

In order to compensate, these platforms have added credit card on delivery as one of the payment options to put customers at some ease who are running out of cash. More discounts are offered by renovated websites on online payments as well as zero cost EMI schemes.

The spokesperson of amazon has said that the company has incurred ten times growth due to credit card on delivery mode. However, this is not helping the sellers much who have complained that these efforts are not compensating for the loss incurred over COD mode.

No doubt, there will be a lot of inconvenience in the initial period but in the long run, everyone is hopeful of a better growth, reduction in cash on delivery services, along with a quick return investment.

Labor Union Electrical Training Program

There are many places in the United States where you can get training as an electrician, either for your own basic around-the-home repairs or to build yourself a great new lucrative career as an
electrician. One school in California devotes itself to nothing but electrical training for those who can demonstrate the skill and the ambition to follow through. Lets take a look at what it offers.

In Los Angeles County, California, for example, electrical training is highly regulated and legislated. The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers IBEW and the National Electrical Contractors Association NECA are committed to compliance and electrical training that teaches the
methods, tools and regulations to apprentices in the union labor force. The organized workers and administrators realize how important electricians are to the construction process. They have put together an institute for electrical training that teachers journey level electricians the basics of working with logic control systems that are programmable as well as the complex data that are found in today's commercial and residential buildings.

This labor union electrical training program is actually funded by private industry, with contributions coming from the union workers themselves and by their employers. Those apprentices taking part in the training dont have to pay tuition and even get paid a living wage for their hands-on learning.
Apprentices in the training program work under a journeyman electrician who teaches them the electrical trade both in the classroom shop and on the job site. Classes are held in the evenings for at least six hours each week. Wage increases are given periodically dependent on reports of work experience, grades in the classroom and attendance.

Electrical apprenticeship training lasts for five years. Every apprentice attends at least 160 classroom hours each year. They almost must complete a minimum of 8000 hours on the job.

The electrical training program is the NECA and IBEW way of showing customers and potential customers that they are committed to producing highly qualified electricians. As a result of this training the jobs that this work force takes on are completed on deadline with the highest quality products and work. Call backs are a rarity.

Once the initial electrical training at the institute is completed the learning has not ended, however. Its an ongoing process, especially in light of the various green energy projects around the state and the nation. One of the primary goals of the electrical training is the instruction in work place safety. All electrical training courses teach safety. One course is devoted to a safe workplace. Its not just a matter of keeping electrical workers safe, either. The electrical raining takes into consideration that while electrical projects are being completed in retail, office or other commercial environments, employees of the client may continue to work in the facility. They must be kept safe as well.

Electrical technology is evolving continuously and the electrical training institute is away from that. Each graduate electrician is keep up on the latest industry developments and continuing education electrical and related courses are offered on a periodic basis.