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July 11, 2017

When Brent Buford realized he didn't have the skills his dream job required, he found the solution at JCCC. Now his dream's within reach.

Brent Burford had done everything right. He picked the “right” school, chose the “right” major, and just a few months before graduation, he discovered the “right” job. The perfect job.

One problem: Burford didn’t have the graphic design skills the job required.

“I didn’t realize I needed those skills until close to graduation. So I graduated, and then I started looking at a couple of universities, places around the Kansas City area,” Burford said.

Judging quality and price

Burford started with design schools, but he didn’t want to add to his student-loan debt. Design schools gave him sticker shock. “Design schools are very expensive,” he said.

“Johnson County Community College was recommended to me by counselors at my university, as a school and a program that was well-reviewed in the Kansas City area,” he said. “I saw the quality of work from here, and I was very impressed.”

The cost of tuition – nearly a third of what he had been paying at his “old” school – didn’t hurt, either.

“Especially with the stigmas surrounding community colleges, Johnson County is a really impressive school. I’m not just saying that. Just touring, I knew it was for me,” he said.

Gaining needed skills

That “perfect” job – as an art director for an ad agency – will now be within reach, thanks to graphic design classes at JCCC.

As a complement to his bachelor’s degree in marketing, he’ll have the skills to pursue what he really wants to do in life.

“I enjoy communicating visually. A lot of my bachelor’s degree was involved in writing, and that doesn’t excite me nearly as much as the visual aspect,” Burford said. “Being able to communicate visually through a variety of mediums is essential for an art director.”

‘JCCC fit perfectly’

Burford has finished some classes in graphic design and has started looking for art director positions again.

“Graphic design at JCCC fit perfectly into my plan,” he said. “And I’m paying a fraction of the price for essentially the same education as somewhere else.”

For more information about JCCC graphic design, contact Nancy Schneider-Wilson at 913-469-8500 ext. 3602.