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Learning graphic design on your own is not as hard as it might seem. Apart from amazing tutorials like on Tutpad and Envato, there are also plenty of “official” options. You can get a real graphic design degree with an online university. Some of these courses are easily affordable and others are much more expensive. There really is something for every budget.

Below are our top choices for stand-alone classes and online degrees which you can mix and match and learn as you go. Some of these programs have free courses and other paid courses. Others have free ten minutes snippets and then you have to pay. Some have subscription methods for all around access and some charge per course. Like I said, there is something for everyone.



Stand-alone courses


Skillshare is a platform where professionals teach their peers specific skills through a video course. The system is subscription based and you get a month free to try it out. The courses are all high quality and the teachers are good at what they do. In Skillshare’s own words, their purpose is, “to make the new economy an open meritocracy, where the skills and expertise needed to succeed are available for anyone willing to learn them.” I couldn’t put it better myself.

Skillshare has an app which lets you watch courses on any device. All courses have a project at the end for hands-on experience of the lesson learned.


The Udemy platform is similar to Skillshare but the courses are paid one by one. They are always having site-wide sales where every course costs $10 when it might usually cost $200. The design courses on Udemy are mostly skill based, like on Skillshare but I seem to find that the quality of the experience is better on Skillshare. Nevertheless, taking advantage of a site-wide $10 sale can get you a whole bunch of courses for things you need to learn or brush up on. I took some pretty good Inkscape courses on Udemy.

After finishing a course you can add it to your Linkedin profile as part of your education section.

Creative Live

Creative Live is a great platform for learning design. The whole premise of Creative Live is creativity so they strive on giving you really good quality courses. Some courses are live and others can be watched at any time. The courses are paid per course but they have groups of courses called Learning Paths where you can take a bunch of courses and learn more skills.

E-learning concept with mobile devices flat decorative icons set vector illustration


Coursera is a platform which offers courses directly from Universities. There are options to take stand-alone courses or an entire specialization of five courses. In terms of Graphic Design, there is a Graphic Design Specialization from Cal Arts which can really help a beginner designer comes to terms with all the aspects of the field. You can either pay per course or for the specialization. Coursera also has a mobile app for watching courses on the go. Coursera also gives Linkedin accreditation and a certificate of completion.


The Alison platform is free for all users, and there are also learning paths. Obviously, the “free” aspect is appealing but some employers will not accept Alison courses as education since they are not accredited by anyone. You can buy a certificate but it all depends on your employer if they think it’s good enough. For a designer starting out without much money to work with, then Alison is great.


Lynda is the Linkedin Learning platform. All courses are accredited and go straight into your Linkedin profile once you have finished them. There are some really good, high-quality courses on Lynda. There are stand-alone courses, learning paths, documentaries and weekly series. The system is a monthly subscription and you can take as many courses as you like.



Online University Degrees

Academy of Art University

The Academy of Art University is one of the top options for getting a graphic design degree online. The entire course takes about four years and the classes are done on your own and with calls to the teacher for feedback and direction. This four-year university course is a bit expensive but totally worth if what you want is a degree.

The Graphic Design School

The Graphic Design School is based in Australia and is one of the most creative outlets for online learning at a higher level. You can get an Australian certification after you finish the entire Graphic Design curriculum. At the end, they help you set up a portfolio, build a resume, write a cover letter among other things.
There are other online universities where you can get a graphic design degree, check them out on this list from College Choice.


On – 29 Aug, 2018 By Orana Velarde

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