Online Graphic Design Degrees
Can you tell a story with pictures? Graphic designers create compelling visual presentations across most industries, including entertainment, advertising and public relations, marketing, education, and print and digital publishing. Your employer may ask you to create an annual report, online multimedia presentation, interactive advertisement, corporate logo, Web page or billboard.
Many graphic designers work for independent creative firms, while others are found in the graphics and publications departments within large companies, and others are self-employed. As the field evolves, graphic artists take their talents to emerging media, including game publishers or mobile software development firms.
Options for online graphic design degrees
A bachelor's degree in graphic design is generally required for entry level as well as advanced positions in the field, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. More than 80 percent of graphic designers in 2010 held bachelor's degrees, and 11 percent had completed their associate arts degree, the Department of Labor reports. For creative individuals already working as artists, technicians or illustrators, online graphic design degree programs could provide flexible, self-paced training.
Classwork may include studies in graphics production, animation, Web design, art history and theory, design software, and communications. You'll study contemporary 2D and 3D graphics programs, photo editing software, and fonts design. You can find a variety of on-campus or online graphic design degree programs that offer access to industry standard software applications. Experienced designers preparing to advance to art director or creative management positions can also enroll in post-graduate programs with a focus in business or leadership.
Graphic design career outlook and salary
The BLS projects a 13 percent increase in all graphics arts jobs during the 2008-2018 decade, which is about average compared with other occupations. Candidates with Web design and animation experience should see the greatest demand. Wages vary widely by level of education, practical experience, industry, size of firm and geographic location. Per BLS data, mean annual wages were $23.14 per hour for graphic designers in 2010, or $48,140 annually. These salaries reached $57,240 in California, where the highest wages were found. Other top-paying states were New York, Florida, Texas and Illinois. With the right training, experience and skills, you could potentially earn more by advancing into management or by becoming a partner in a design firm.