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Associate of Science (AS): Graphic Design Degree Overview

Associate of Science (AS) programs in graphic design provide students with the basic skills required to convert a message into an eye-catching printed poster or interactive image used on the Web. Learn about the program and job outlook.

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Essential Information

A.S. programs in graphic design are not extremely common and are often found at for-profit schools; programs that result in an Associate of Arts or Associate of Applied Science degree may be more widely available. Students learn techniques in computer graphics, Web design, digital imaging and design production. Many A.S. programs allow students to create and design a portfolio of work to highlight their skills to potential employers. A high school diploma or GED credential is normally required for entry into 2-year associate programs.


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Associate of Science in Graphic Design

Within the A.S. program in graphic design, students gain knowledge of interactive art systems, creative design, production processes and communication skills. Typical courses include:

  • Typography
  • Computer graphic illustration
  • Motion graphics
  • Package design
  • Image manipulation
  • Digital photography

Possible Career Options

Although graphic design positions typically require one to have a bachelor's degree, associate's degree holders may enter the workforce as graphic design assistants or junior designers. Entry-level job titles include:

  • Production assistant
  • Illustrator
  • Web page designer

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, job openings for graphic designers are projected to grow by 1% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). Graphic designers earned a median salary of $46,900 per year, based on May 2015 BLS data. It's important to keep in mind that most graphic designers hold a bachelor's degree.

Continuing Education

Graduates can further their education through the completion of bachelor's degrees in graphic design. Bachelor's degree programs provide students with advanced technical proficiency and design analysis. Even if students don't pursue a 4-year degree, they still may still need to master new design software or technological advancements in their careers.

An associate's program in graphic design can teach students the basic art, design and production skills needed for entry-level jobs as graphic design assistants. Graduates can pursue a bachelor's degree, which is the standard education requirement for most graphic designers.

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