Agreed that end of the day, talent alone should be adequate to get you to the helm of graphic designing, unfortunately that is mere wishful thinking. However talented you may be, prospective employers are unlikely to consider you, if you do not possess the much needed and coveted piece of paper in your hand that certifies the professional training you have obtained in graphic designing. Of course, the certificate alone does not guarantee your graphical designing talent, but at least it highlights your knowledge base, as well as makes it apparent that you have entered the field, out of your own choice. The certificate also establishes beyond doubt, your desire to excel in this particular discipline, going forward. Post this realization, the bigger question lies in the choice of educational institutes for getting the requisite training.
Fortunately, the options across North America, Europe and elsewhere are plenty. Additionally, within the broad field of graphic designing, various institutes specialize in sub-elements of it such as multimedia and animation, visual communication, advertising, web development and so on. Therefore, it is important for you to choose your specialization, as per your passion and interest, at this very juncture itself. You must realize that the specialization you choose now will ensure you get into the specific field that you would like to see yourself in. For instance, a specialization in multimedia programs could possibly ensure a toehold for you in the television industry.
Choice of Specialized Program
You have the choice of either opting for a short term certificate course or a long term course that leads up to a professional degree like a Bachelor's in Fine Arts. Both have their pros and cons. With the shorter versions, you are likely to start off working sooner; the trade off being that you will really have to work your way up. Of course, if you are confident about your talent, this might be the ideal choice for you to make, as your work will itself ensure your progression to the top. On the other hand, you are likely to enter at a higher level as well as grow faster, if you are armed with a professional degree. The trade off in this case would be that you would be studying for at least a couple of years more than a short term certificate course.
Both the aforementioned programs offer the option of interning with a designing studio or firm, while you are doing the course. Often, you would also have the option of starting work with the studio or firm in question that you interned with, after you complete your course. If your performance during the internship has been of that level, these firms would be willing to hire you, even before you actually complete the course. Most professional colleges tend to maintain good relationships with businesses such that a steady stream of graduating students goes on to joining these firms.
It would be useful to keep a track of the placement record of the course or school that you are planning to join. A poor placement record should alert you to the possibility that the course may not be good enough, or its industry relations may be subpar.
Programs Offered in your Area
It is likely that you may not intend to venture too far for your education in graphical designing. Therefore, it would make sense for you to check out the courses that are on offer in your vicinity. Searching online for relevant courses and schools is likely to prove immensely beneficial. You might be amazed, but there are such courses that are offered online as well. An instance would be The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division. While providing you the relevant courses, the institute give you a full-fledged certification of completion of the program, at the end of it, akin to all other programs undertaken offline in real time.
Going Beyond the Online World
Books would be a great source of useful information on pertinent courses. Being portable, they offer that much of an edge over online resources; they also proffer the advantage of you being able to mark out relevant sections or points in them.
Magazines too are a very good source of relevant information in this matter.