A few years ago to be a graphic designer, you needed an appropriate degree and experience. These days' degrees are probably the longest and most expensive way of getting a I.T qualification. Even long distance learning is very expensive. The easiest way to get the training you need, which is the latest in the industry, is by finding computer based training for graphic designers.
Teaching yourself the skills needed for a graphic design post will enable you to get up to date skills, which are useful in the ever transforming world of graphic design. Although, it will not give you a certification at the end of it, you will have enough knowledge to pass any graphic design qualification after enough training. Computer based training will prepare you for practical testing and the practical side of any graphic design post.
So what training do you go for? The training you opt for will depend on what you want to specialise in. Many graphic designers specialise either in marketing and promotional design, animation or web design. Each requires you to have a different set of knowledge, but all require you to be creative. Have a look at what interests you the most. Animation and image design are more about image creation and manipulation, whilst web design will require knowledge of HTML and other programs.
Training in a program, such as Adobe is crucial in graphic design as it is the main program used by professionals, since it is probably the best out there. The Adobe range covers all aspects of design, from web design by the Dreamweaver program, image design by Photoshop and others, as well as animation/video in Flash or Illustrator. As well as preparing by using Adobe training gear and learning the theory, have a go at using the program. Be hands on with your learning, which when combined with theory will really help you gain the skills needed.
Lastly, any good graphic designer will keep up to date with the latest fonts and styles. Keep constantly researching what's new to world of graphic design by looking online, reading books and magazines. Then put your research into practice by having a go at each design and adding your own creative touch to it. Research is vital to your role as a graphic designer, so attune your research skills too.