Online Visual Communications Degrees

Visual communications professionals create static, print or multimedia presentations that satisfy their clients' business objectives and convey their ideas. These concepts, finished graphics and text can be used in marketing, education, entertainment and business communications. In this field, you might be directed to create a banner advertisement, a print magazine or brochure, an animated Web page or training video. With the continual development of interactive media, you could choose to focus on digital applications and presentations for mobile devices.

These artists and designers may work for a consulting firm, design company or corporate internal communications department. As a freelance consultant, you could be called in to create magazines, annual reports, email newsletters, fliers, logos, product packaging and convention displays. Job titles within the industry include these:

  • Advertising illustrator
  • Desktop publisher
  • Flash animator
  • Game designer
  • Graphics/art director

Online visual communications degrees offer one path to gain creative and technical skills needed in this career.

Inside look at online visual communications degree programs

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics notes that bachelor's degrees are required for most entry level or advanced positions in graphic design. Professional certifications or associate degrees provide technical skills or the qualifications needed as an assistant graphic designer. More than 80 percent of graphic designers in 2010 held bachelor's degrees, according to the Department of Labor.

Visual communications programs offer coursework in design and animation software, Web design, typography, artistic concept and layout, print production, photography software, and desktop publishing. Other helpful classes include journalism, marketing, advertising, public relations, 2D and 3D modeling software, and digital illustration programs. For working adults, online visual communications degree programs allow you the flexibility of pursuing training without interrupting your career or family life.

Visual communications career outlook and salary

The BLS predicts a 13 percent increase in employment for graphic designers during the 2008-2018 decade, and employment growth for art directors of 12 percent. Median 2010 wages for graphic designers were $43,500 annually or $20.92 hourly, with top-tier annual salaries of nearly $77,000. The median annual salary in 2010 for art directors was $80,630, but they may hold additional credentials such as degrees in art administration.

The BLS expects professionals with animation and Web design expertise to find the greatest opportunities in the graphics field. Find out how earning online visual communications degrees can boost your qualifications.

Visual Communications Schools

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