AAS in Visual Communications: Degree Overview

Associate of Applied Science (AAS) programs in visual communications teach students about communication delivered through various visual formats. Learn more about the curriculum and what graduates do when they finish their degree program.

Essential Information

Associate of Applied Science in Visual Communications programs provide theoretical and practical training in the field. Alongside general education courses, students study graphic design and marketing. Some programs allow students to choose concentrations based on their career goals; specialization options include graphic design, 3-D animation, multimedia and web design.

Prior to graduation, programs may require students to develop a personal portfolio that can be used to showcase their abilities to potential employers. They may also be required to participate in internships to gain experience.

Associate's Degree in Visual Communications

Visual communication degree programs can be completed in two years and usually require 60-70 semester hours of coursework. Along with basic computer knowledge, a high school diploma or its equivalent is generally required for admission. Course topics may include:

  • Design media
  • Digital communication
  • Animation
  • Graphic design
  • Computer illustration
  • Web design

Popular Career Options

Completing AAS programs in visual communications typically prepares students for entry-level postions in fields such as graphic design, advertising or video production. Job titles include:

  • Graphic designer
  • Multimedia specialist
  • Website developer
  • Digital media designer
  • Animator

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects job opportunities for multimedia artists and animators to increase by 6% from 2014-2024, while job opportunities for graphic designers are expected to show little or no change during the same period. In 2015, the median annual salary of multimedia artists and animators was $63,970, while graphic designers earned a median annual income of $46,900.

Continuing Education

Graduates can keep up with changes in this dynamic field by enrolling in visual communications certificate programs. Certificates are available in a variety of specializations, such as motion graphics, video production, graphic design and Web design. Those interested in boosting their career potential can pursue bachelor's degrees in visual communications.

By earning an AAS in Visual Communications, students gain the fundamental technology and design skills they need for entry-level work or to pursue further education in related topics.

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