The AIGA Professional Design Certification represents a commitment to the design profession and to lifelong learning. This new online design certification program is open to design practitioners at every level who are committed to expanding their careers and the profession in all design modalities, including but not limited to graphic design, visual communications, interactive and web design, and UI/UX.
About AIGA Professional Design Certification Programs
In ongoing AIGA research, 90% of community members said they would be interested in an AIGA professional certification. We know that this new program will help advance the profession, bring design to the executive table, and make design a strategic function in organizations. Through this certification, we want to create inclusive pathways for those where a degree is not a viable path, or those who have learned their craft in action and want to validate their professionalism. This pathway allows for non-traditional backgrounds to be included in the profession.
As an AIGA Professional Certified Designer, you will:
- Differentiate yourself in a competitive marketplace for job opportunities and clients
- Receive the AIGA Certified Designer distinction and badge
- Help create accountability and professional standards for design
- Commit to your craft and professional practice
AIGA Professional Design Certification Pathways
Congratulations! You have made the important decision to pursue the AIGA Professional Design Certification. First, you must complete the knowledge assessment via the AIGA Professional Design Foundations Certificate and decide whether to apply for the AIGA Professional Designer or AIGA Design Leader distinction. Learn more about the pathways below.
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Download our free course catalog to dive deeper into the types of certification, steps to get certified, course descriptions, and portfolio assessment rubric for testing.Yes, I want to learn more!
A distinction among professional designers would be helpful, especially in the hiring process.
AIGA Point of View Research
Benefits of AIGA Professional Design Certification
Professional certification is shown to be a valuable credential for career advancement and it is preferred and/or required for jobs in many professions. Certified professionals in other disciplines that have adopted a certification program usually have higher labor force participation and get paid more (35 percent higher earnings according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics). AIGA plans to invest in this new certification program and bring it to that level of recognition.
As a certified professional designer, you have demonstrated your design knowledge, understanding, and skill. The AIGA Professional Design Certification does not require a degree, or previous design education, which creates a pathway for non-traditional designers to enter the profession, creating a more diverse and inclusive profession.
Advocacy for the Profession
By becoming a certified designer, you are establishing your commitment to the profession, you are an advocate for the profession, and demonstrating your knowledge and understanding of design. As a certified designer, you are not only advancing your career, you are increasing and enhancing your expertise.
Certification helps differentiate those who are committed to the profession, to its standards of professional practice, and to continued learning. Certification is used by recruiters and hiring managers to identify candidates who are committed to learning and professional practice, creating accountability to both learning and ethics.
Certification fills knowledge gaps and builds important skills needed for the future advancement of the design profession that are not often covered by design schools; discovered in our AIGA Design POV research. Certification also helps to refresh knowledge and shows commitment to lifelong learning.
Design leads people and organizations to be a force for change at all levels of an organization. Leading organizations were shown to be more likely to understand and see the design team as a strategic business partner, working with senior management to implement organizational strategies with respect and investment in mutual growth.
I love this idea. Certifications are excellent for professional development. Helps keep designing fresh and fun.
AIGA Point of View Research
To earn the AIGA Professional Design Certification, there are three steps:
Knowledge/learning assessment via AIGA Professional Foundations Certificate which includes both a learning and assessment component.
Professional practice assessment via AIGA Professional Portfolio Assessment which includes two levels based on typical design careers:
AIGA Professional Designer (AIGA PD)—Ideal for individual practitioners focused on the craft. Eligibility criteria:
- At least one year of professional experience in design
AIGA Design Leader (AIGA DL)—Ideal for individuals in design leadership. Eligibility criteria:
- At least seven years of professional experience in design
An ongoing commitment to learning and to AIGA standards of professional practice and code of conduct demonstrated via annual recertification.
Empowering Designers to Change the World
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