Among the benefactors of reality television's roaming eye are artists and graphic designers. Whether or not you are a fan of the genre, there are clear benefits to being wooed by reality TV. First, big winnings may be at stake, like the prizes possible in these recent contests:
- American Institute of Graphic Arts or AIGA's "Command X"
- Bravo's "Work of Art: The Next Great Artist"
- MTV's "Are You a Digital Artist?"
Even better, winning these or other splashy awards could gain the attention of big name clients. Contestants are not the only ones to benefit: The focus on the field increases appreciation for other artists and designers as well. Luckily, you do not have to be a reality TV celebrity to become a designer, but you do need the right training. Bachelor's degrees in graphic design can get you started.
Earning bachelor's degrees in graphic design
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics points out that bachelor's degrees in graphic design are usually required to work in the field because graphic designers need diverse skills that combine artistic talent with specialized software expertise. Courses typically cover the following areas:
- Advertising design
- Digital illustration
- Digital image manipulation
- Design principles
- Electronic design
- Graphic illustration
Your program should nurture your creativity and teach you how to use industry-related software applications, such as Adobe graphic design and animation products. Bachelor's degrees provide a well-balanced blend of classwork that can help you develop communication and problem-solving skills that are useful in the field. Marketing and business skills are also important for success.
Career options and outlook for graphic designers
The BLS anticipates near average employment growth for graphic designers of 13.4 percent between 2010 and 2020, with competition for jobs. The best opportunities are likely to go to those with website design and animation experience. The BLS also notes that a broad liberal arts education and business or management experience are useful preparation for graphic designers.
Graphic design positions exist in advertising, book publishing, computer systems design, media and more. According to the BLS, the 2010 median salary for graphic designers was $43,500.
Bachelor's degrees in graphic design involve a lot of hands-on practice with software programs, and web-based studies allow you the time you need to master these tools. Online programs offer flexible, part-time schedules, which are helpful for freelance artists juggling multiple projects and clients.