In September 2022, the first students will begin to study in the Graphic Design updated bachelor’s program at the Lviv National Academy of Arts. The Lviv IT Cluster members modernized the educational program to bring it up to market needs. For this purpose, the Cluster team formed a workgroup that joined the best experts in the field of UI/UX design from community member companies.
Senior and Lead specialists from Qubstudio, LinkUp Studio, OTAKOYI, and Pingle Studio, together with representatives of the Academy of Arts, reviewed the Graphic Design curriculum. They paid considerable attention to what competencies students should have after graduation. And analyzed the topics and tasks to be performed by students as part of the modernized educational program. Besides, specialists from the Cluster companies will be involved in teaching and mentoring, and the Cluster will help organize student internships in IT companies.
“A distinctive feature of the Graphic Design program is a wide range of knowledge and skills students will acquire during their studies. This year we are closely collaborating with the Lviv IT Cluster to update the program’s curriculum. Even more time we’ll devote to the study of interface design. Individual mentoring of student projects by IT companies’ representatives and internships in close to real-life conditions will be the core elements of the learning process. Our students systematically work on tasks of different degrees of complexity. After graduation, everyone will receive a strong portfolio, which is necessary for a successful designer career,” says Petro Nagirnyi, PhD, First Vice Rector at Lviv National Academy of Arts, Graphic Design program’s curator.
To enroll in the Graphic Design program, students need to write a cover letter and perform a creative task at the Academy of Arts. During the first and second years of study, students will learn the graphic design basics. During the second year, they’ll have a separate subject in UI/UX, and in the third year, they’ll be able to choose one of three majors: Book design, Interaction, or UI/UX Design.
The updated program breaks new ground for students. In addition to theoretical knowledge, they will develop soft skills, master the basics of project management and learn how to work with practical tools such as Figma, Mirror, xMind Adobe Illustrator and others. The Graphic Design program is also updated in the context of helping students develop product thinking.
“The UX/UI field of the Graphic Design program in Lviv National Academy of Art is for those students who want to become highly qualified designers and solve complex problems of businesses and users with the help of the interface designed by them. During the training, they will gain the full range of skills required: research of businesses and users, generating innovative ideas, creating and testing an interactive solution in the form of a wireframe, and a visual display in the form of design layouts. The knowledge that students will receive at the Academy will allow them to easily enter the IT field and find the company of their dreams”, adds Yaroslav Zhmykhov, Lead UX Designer OTAKOYI, member of the Lviv IT Cluster workgroup on updating the Graphic Design program.
The program is novel in its complete centering on the market and current needs of IT companies. This was achieved by developing its backbone – the graduate competencies matrix by the leading specialists from IT companies. Namely, those specialists responsible for training new Trainee and Junior employees within the company. That is, the approach used to improve the knowledge of newcomers in companies has been transferred to the educational program for student education.
“More than 4,000 students are already enrolled in our updated bachelor’s programs. Graphic Design – is the 18th educational program within the IT Expert project. The Cluster has updated this program in cooperation with the Lviv Academy of Arts, and it will be the first in Lviv to produce UI/UX designers with the necessary education level to work in IT companies,” said Stepan Veselovskyi, CEO of Lviv IT Cluster.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree, graduates of the Graphic Design program will have a Strong Junior level. They will be able to find a job without additional training or preparation easily. Many students will be able to work while studying if they show good results to mentors or during internships in companies.