Online Masters Degree in Illustration

Master's degrees in illustration develop your talents for diverse career paths such as advertising, education and the fine arts. As an illustrator, you could create sketches for a new children's fantasy book or produce accurate anatomical drawings for medical textbooks.

Exploring master's degrees in illustration

Graduate studies can help bring your imagination to life, deepening and focusing your knowledge of illustration tools and techniques. Programs typically cover traditional and digital approaches, with elective classes spanning graphic novels, cartooning, character drawing, fashion illustration and more.

Schools often require studio time, practice in various techniques, coursework in art history, and a final presentation or portfolio. Programs might offer professional development such as internships, art weeks and career consulting.

Career options and salaries for illustrators

Opportunities for artists range from advertising professionals to self-enrichment teachers offering private lessons. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics calculates that craft and fine artists earned a median annual salary of $43,470 in 2010. The BLS provides these median wages from 2010 for related careers:

  1. Art directors: $38.77 per hour
  2. Craft and fine artists, including painters, sculptors and illustrators: $20.90 per hour
  3. Graphic designers: $20.92 per hour
  4. Self-enrichment teachers: $17.47 per hour

Talented illustrators find work in various fields: Your individual interests, education and background could determine your path in the competitive world of art and design. Leadership roles such as art director tend to require experience in the field as well as a degree.

Growth outlook for creative careers

Illustrators with an interest in teaching or digital art are expected to have some of the best opportunities in the coming years. The BLS expects the following rates of job growth for related careers between 2010 and 2020:

  1. Art directors: 9 percent growth, creating 6,700 new jobs
  2. Fine artists, including painters, sculptors and illustrators: 8 percent growth, leading to 2,000 new jobs
  3. Graphic designers: 13 percent growth, resulting in 37,300 new jobs
  4. Self-enrichment teachers: 21 percent growth, with 52,800 new jobs

With slower than average job growth projected for fine artists, many illustrators are turning to careers like graphic design. If you'd like to work as a graphic designer, you'll benefit from digital illustration training and an education in programs like Adobe Photoshop and InDesign. Explore online master's degrees in illustration and discover how you can mix high-tech training with an artistic degree.

Featured Online Illustration Degree Programs

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  • Campus-based and online degrees include Computer Animation (BS), Digital Arts and Design (BS), Graphic Design (BS), and more
  • Students take ongoing portfolio courses that allow them to build and refine their design portfolio
  • Courses teach skills such as advertising, branding, visual messaging, and concept design
  • Curriculum combines elements of creativity, art, business and life skills, technical prowess, and academic achievement
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