I’m not sure if this is acceptable to post but I will give it a shot…
I would like to make a business out of my Glowforge, if possible. My educational background is in computer forensics but I am thinking of getting a certification in graphic design. Currently, I am looking at a “plan B” of a certification of cyber security in case a business doesn’t work.
To be honest, I feel like a “Jack of all trades”, yet a master of none!
Just wanted to get some thoughts on how a business with GF is possible. Should I do a cert in graphic design, or stick with cyber security?
Depends on what kind of business you are looking to do. Honestly you don’t need any graphic design certification to create a business with Glowforge. And you should definitely stick with cyber security. It’s stable and in demand.
My husband was a 3D graphic tech and designer back in the day, and when the housing market collapsed, and businesses starting going under, the things he and his uncle (who is a graphic designer for advertising campaigns) were considered…hmmm… nonessential to daily operations? More like an added luxury than an actual necessity.
Long story short, they were laid off, and his uncle was huge in the industry. Companies suddenly only wanted unpaid interns or people to work for pennies as both graphic designers and web designers, which are two different fields.
And if you are considering making a business off of Glowforge, you’ll need a plan B anyways. Things happen to machines that get used daily, parts wear out. In pandemic times, supply chains are interrupted and inventory is low.
You really want to think through what exactly you want to offer. For me, I have made practically nothing trying to sell products or designs I made. But I bring in a steady income as a cutting service.
I do not have a graphic design background, but I do have experience as a pattern maker and my educational background is in international trade and regulations.
As for my husband, his computer and 3D skills were put to use in a dental CT machine company. Even when the other fields picked back up, he didn’t want to go back to design because it was too unstable.
I’m a graphic designer. No one wants to see a graphic designer’s certifications, they want to see a portfolio. Don’t get me wrong, If you feel like getting some education in graphic design, go for it! With the right instructors/classmates you can learn great theory and amazing techniques, but the portfolio you build at school is infinitely more important for getting jobs than the piece of paper you get for finishing.
I’ve been out of work since 2009 due to medical issues. Went back to school in 2012 to finish my BS in Computer Forensics and was diagnosed with a rare cancer in 2017. I definitely want a Plan B, however, I’m not sure if I will be marketable wing out of the workforce so long?
The only thing I do have going for me is the 2 years off and on I did for internship.
honestly, certifications really don’t mean anything in the business. i’ve done plenty of hiring and resume/portfolio reviews for graphic designers over the past 20 years and i’ve never even paid attention to a certification. a degree (2 or 4 year) will mean something to many companies, especially in-house. and you may not even get in the door for an interview w/o a degree for those opportunities. but in the end, it’s all about portfolio. you can have a masters degree from a prestigious art school, but if your portfolio doesn’t do what i want, i won’t bother interviewing you.
that said, as @cmadok said, to make a business with the GF, the only thing you need are good ideas and good execution. someone buying something from you doesn’t care what your background is, they only care about the product.
so if the certification program helps you get better at what you’re doing, it’s worthwhile. if you’re looking to it to help you with getting a job, it’s honestly not worth the digital piece of paper it’s printed on. graphic design is not like IT, and conceptual and execution skills are not objective things that can be measured that way.
As a graphic designer for 20+years now: it can be a fantastic career, especially when you veer into some specific industries. That said, a cert is absolutely unnecessary and, in my experience, no one hiring would care if you had one or not. Better is proficiency with industry software, a great eye for design and a solid portfolio.