Can I return to design after 9 years?

I'm 39 and I used to be a freelance Graphic Designer/Artworker/Mac Operator about 10 years ago and was finding it hard to find work. I chose to take a normal non creative job to allow me to pay the bills. I stayed in that job 9 years and always regretted it. I wish to get back into some kind of design role again and am wondering should I go back to study? Maybe a HND or even a Degree? I'm educated to HNC level in Visual Communication and HND in Illustration, but always felt like I had missed out on some key elements of Graphic Design by not continuing with an HND.

I'm actually also really interested in UX Design as I had some exposure to it in my previous job but nothing too in depth. I have no knowledge of web design at the moment either, but am keen to remedy that via online couses provided by Lynda.com etc. I'd really like to pursue UX Design as a new career path as it resonates with me in terms of the design and psychology aspects of the subject.

I guess what I'm after is confidence in my abilities, be that in Graphic Design or UX Design. So should I study Graphic Design to further the knowledge I already have or just pursue something new which incorporates that knowledge? 

Either way it would be great to know of the most rated online/distance learning course for either. 

— Nick


Expert answers

Alice Davies's reply:

You hit the nail on the head when you said "I guess what I'm after is confidence in my abilities' Get skilled up in what you need for sure but I would more importantly recommend that you get yourself some sessions with a coach who can ignite your confidence and get you in the best place possible within yourself to take on a new career adventure. You have to go through the crap to get to the gold.

I would highly recommend a CTI trained coach, you can find them registered on the International Coaching Federation website.

I can't recommend any related design courses I'm afriad but as you rightly point out there are lots. 

Best of luck


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