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Arts and Communications Careers: Job Options and Requirements

Arts and communications is generally offered as a bachelor's degree program. Continue reading for an overview of the programs, as well as career and salary info for some career options for graduates.

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A career in arts and communications typically requires a bachelor's degree. With a major in graphic design, journalism, English, or communications those interested in a career in arts and communications can consider becoming a graphic designer, publishing editor or broadcaster.

Essential Information

Arts and communications careers are for people who enjoy expressing themselves through design, literature or language. There are many types of jobs in the spheres of art and communication, and a common trait is that they require creativity and ingenuity. Example career fields that combine the two areas are public relations and marketing, TV and radio broadcasting, graphic design and publishing. All of these fields may be entered with a bachelor's degree.

Career Graphic Designer Publishing Editor Broadcaster
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Other Requirements Portfolio Apprenticeship or internship On-the-job training
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024)* 1% -5% -13% for broadcast news analysts
Median Salary (2015)* $46,900 annually $56,010 annually $65,530 annually for broadcast news analysts

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Options

Many career options are available to graduates of arts and communications degree programs. Graduates can choose from careers such as graphic designer, editor or as a broadcaster. Below are overviews and detailed descriptions of possible career options for arts and communications graduates.

Graphic Designer Job Options

Graphic designers are employed in the television and film industries, in software and video game design and in marketing and advertising. Some typical job titles are:

  • Graphic designer
  • Graphic artist
  • Desktop publisher
  • Web designer

Their duties include tasks such as developing graphics for company logos, websites or advertisements, using software to create or alter images and designing print layouts.

Job Requirements for Graphic Designers

Graphic design programs include coursework in color and design theory, computer-aided design, typography and occasionally marketing, in addition to basic liberal arts courses. Having an associate's degree in graphic design will sometimes be enough to qualify for an entry-level job, but according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a bachelor's degree is usually required (www.bls.gov). Employers often require job candidates to submit a portfolio of their work upon application. O*Net Online indicates that designers interested in higher-level careers need several years of related work experience as well.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Graphic designers could see employment increase by 1% between 2014 and 2024, the BLS predicted. As of the May 2015 BLS salary report, graphic designers had a median annual salary of $46,900.

Editor Job Options

Publishing houses, magazines, newspapers and even online publications hire specialists to proofread and edit submissions, negotiate author and publisher contracts and acquire new works for publication. These people are generally known as editors, but some specific job titles include:

  • Managing editor
  • Copy-editor
  • Editorial assistant
  • Proofreader

Job Requirements for Editors

The Association of American Publishers, Inc. states that much of the preparation for editorial careers comes from apprenticeship or internship. To obtain these apprentice positions, at least a bachelor's degree in a discipline such as English or journalism is expected, according to the BLS. Entry-level positions require strong writing skills, but full editors make many business decisions that demand more than just good writing and grammar.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Editors are expected to see a decrease of 5% in employment during the 2014-2024 decade, the BLS noted, due to the changes in publishing from print to online delivery. In May 2015, the BLS reported that the median salary earned by editors was $56,010.

Broadcasting Job Options

Radio and television broadcasters are responsible for a number of duties, some of which might include on-air announcing, operating control boards, script writing and selling airtime. They also often work at community events as MCs or in a promotional capacity. Job titles in this field are:

  • Disc jockey
  • News anchor
  • Program director
  • Show host

Job Requirements for Broadcasters

The BLS states that a bachelor's degree or formal training through a technical school is required to obtain most broadcasting jobs. Beyond that, employees are expected to participate in extensive on-the-job training.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

The BLS expected broadcast news analysts, a group that includes radio and television broadcasters, to see a 13% decline in employment from 2014 to 2024. Broadcast news analysts saw a median salary of $65,530 as of the May 2015 BLS report.

In addition to a bachelor's degree, graphic designers need to develop a portfolio to demonstrate their work to potential employers. Editors and broadcasters benefit from on-the-job training or completing an apprenticeship in their field to prepare them to compete for jobs.

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