Brought to you by Open Colleges

Finding a new approach to study: David’s course in digital design

by Gabi Byrnes

Updating your skills in the digitally advanced field of graphic and web design is more achievable than ever with Open Colleges’ Diploma of Graphic Design, as David Soccio proves.

Hailing from Vermont in Victoria, David always had artistic leanings growing up. “In high school, I did arts as well as woodworking and design. Somehow I just didn’t find a way through after I finished school. “

Turns out that finding a new approach to study was all David needed to start him down the path in his desired field of study. “I have always been interested in graphic, web and digital design. I just haven’t been a real ‘studying’ person. I researched how I could do it and I found Open Colleges. That’s how I got into it!”


Some of the work David has handed in for his Open Colleges graphic design course

Having lots of different course options was also a big help to David, who successfully completed a Professional Certificate in Graphic Design and Desktop Publishing before moving on to the CUV40311 Certificate IV in Design (specialising in Digital Design).

At Open Colleges, the online courses on offer come in different levels of accreditation, from nationally recognised certificates and diplomas, to custom-designed professional certificates and short courses, enabling students to tailor a pathway of study to meet their individual goals.


Some of the work David has handed in for his Open Colleges graphic design course

For David, already a skilled employee in the print industry, that goal was to move away from the more hands-on side of design where he currently works and into something more creative. “I am actually doing printing at the moment – offset printing, on a big press. It’s pretty tough at times. It’s very mechanical. I have to change all the ink and the rollers. I’m always fixing nuts and bolts and things like that. I guess it’s a different side to graphic design.”

He’s hopeful the course will give him the accreditation he needs to turn over a new leaf. “I intend to find work in graphic design. It’s a new career path for me. I hope when I finish that I can get into something. “ And his dream job? “My dream job would be to work in a graphic design studio.”


Some of the work David has handed in for his Open Colleges graphic design course

The Diploma in Graphic Design has certainly provided plenty of creative outlets for David. This brand new course is an exciting combination of graphic design and web design – all in one contemporary, cutting edge program which is geared towards giving you the skills you need to work in the emerging digital marketplace.

The course aims to develop students’ illustrative and design capabilities (both web and graphic), which they then get to apply to real projects. “I’ve done brochures, business cards…a lot of print stuff, because I’m doing the print side of (graphic design), not the web side of it.”


David studies from home for his flexible, online Open Colleges course

These are completed using Photoshop, InDesign and other flagship applications on Creative Cloud, the latest iteration from Adobe of their industry-leading suite of design software, created with professional and commercial users in mind. David stresses, though, that the software is very accessible, when you get the hang of it. “I actually found it quite easy! Some of the things you see look pretty crazy but once you actually get to use it – well, it’s not as hard as I thought!

Another pleasant surprise for David was how easy he found studying at home with Open Colleges’ online delivery format. “You’re sent all your materials – textbooks and software – which is really handy.”

Course materials can also be accessed round the clock on OpenSpace, Open Colleges’ virtual online campus. According to David, “The way it’s outlined on the Open Colleges portal is really straightforwards. It’s really easy to use.”


Some of the work David has handed in for his Open Colleges graphic design course

Although you’re not physically sitting in the same classroom, students are expected to provide support and feedback to their peers, either through the student forums on OpenSpace or via one-on-one contact, as David explains. “You have to have discussions with your other classmates during your course, usually by emailing.”

Support from the experts and trainers is also readily available. “If you need stuff answered or help, the trainers are more than welcoming to talk to and email. They get back to you quite quickly, which is good,” says David, who has kept up fairly regular contact with his trainer throughout his course. “Isobelle is my coordinator. She is very nice! I have gotten to know her a fair bit.”

The freedom to study from home, with access to help whenever it’s needed, is important for students like David, who are balancing study with the demands of the workplace. In David’s case, it means being able to use his spare time to focus on the things that matter. “On my days off, I just stick around home. I own a house, so I’ve got to keep it maintained. I also DJ a couple of nights a week.”

So what would David tell others about his online study experience? “I would definitely recommend Open Colleges. I have recommended it!”

The Diploma in Graphic Design is a nationally recognised qualification. The course  has been custom-created by the Faculty of Creative Industry in collaboration with current leading design professionals to provide students with a unique glimpse into the many skills and talents they will need to be successful in the digital world.

header photo credit: many thanks 

Leave a Reply