Does your design work suffer from not having a design degree?

Our design correspondent Daniel Benneworth-Gray ponders the value of a university education. Is his work suffering because he didn’t do a formal design degree?

I revisited my alma mater recently, for the inaugural York St John design symposium. As well as fascinating talks from the likes of Craig Oldham, Jack Renwick and Ken Garland, the place was inevitably, distractingly full of students; bright-eyed, bushy-tailed, buzzing with curiosity and brazen in their unerring ability to sit down without having to make a sequence of noises. And every single one of them an essay or two away from being significantly more qualified for my job than I ever will be.

I didn’t study design at university – it was film and theatre for me, in pursuit of my chosen vocation of being the next Cameron Crowe (still happening, any day now). Only later did I find myself gravitating towards design, so I’ve always been a little curious as to what I may have missed out on. Are there glaring holes in my knowledge? Is my work somehow suffering because of some mysterious academic rite of passage? Precisely how much of an imposter am I?

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Central London

SENIOR CAD TECHNICIAN

Old Street, London