Mar 7, 2018 at 12:00am ET By Alyssa Walker

Love design? Love jewelry? Want to coalesce two things you love into more than a hobby? Looking to make the jump from jewelry design just for fun to jewelry design just for fun—and for your career?

Consider turning those passions and skills into a career by taking summer courses in jewelry design. Why? You’ll get to spend time doing something you love and have the opportunity to turn something you love into a job you love.

Let’s take a closer look at four reasons why you should study jewelry design this summer.

1. Turn a leisure activity into a career by taking a course

There’s never been a better time to get into jewelry design.

How do those fine new jewelry brands hit the scene and make it? It’s not easy. It’s expensive, takes a considerable amount of technical skill, and requires business savvy.

It’s not for everyone, but those who make it have a strong business plan, a network of supporters, funding, satisfied customers, and a distinct vision.

How do you get those things if you weren’t born in the jewelry business? You’ve got to start somewhere—take a course and start getting your name out there.

Bottom line? Work hard. Take that course. Do well. Follow where it leads.

2. Build your portfolio in a short period of time

One thing that’s critical to your success in the jewelry business? A sturdy portfolio that shows the breadth and depth of your work—and that reflects who you are and what you stand for.

In addition to inherent ability in the field, you need to have an appropriate showcase of your work.

How do you get one? Start with the course, build the portfolio, and get your foot in the door at an internship, or use it on job interviews.

This field is based on connections—you need to have something to show for you talent and passion.

A summer course gives you that start.

3. Find your footing

Want to figure out where you fit in the world without committing your whole life? Take a summer course.

You have options in the jewelry world—you can work for someone, which is generally less creative but still requires intense technical skill, or you can strike out on your own.

Then decide—do you want to take it to the next level? Apprentice under someone. Want to take more of an artistic approach? Think about earning your design degree.

Taking a course over the summer allows you to dip in without committing and figure out where in the jewelry world you want to be.

4. Earn a degree or certificate—it matters

In this field, unless you are insanely talented from the get-go, having a certification or degree will only help you. While a formal education isn’t required, understanding the concepts behind the jewelry business in addition to all of the nuanced dexterity and artistic skills will only help you as you begin to showcase your work.

Where should you study?

Check out the UK’s British Academy of Jewellery for some fantastic summer options. With equal parts technical training and creativity, you won’t be disappointed.

Want to improve your Spanish-language skills while you learn jewelry design? Istituto Europeo di Design Madrid offers a course in 3D programs for jewelry design.

Are you thinking a bit beyond the summer? Hungry Creek Art & Craft School in New Zealand, the University of Johannesburg in South Africa, and Lasalle College in Vancouver all offer full diploma programs in jewelry design.

Convinced? Get your summer started off on the right foot and take the jewelry class. Open that door and walk through it. You can do it.

Alyssa Walker is a freelance writer, educator, and nonprofit consultant. She lives in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with her family.

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