Four-year online degree programs in visual communications are available in fully online formats; however, students can also complete programs combining online and on-campus coursework, as well as accelerated tracks. Admission to this program requires a high school diploma, and students may also be required to pass entry exams in math or technology. Once enrolled, students will need to have access to specific software like the Adobe Creative Suite.
In addition to the completion of core and general education coursework, students must complete and submit a final portfolio. These programs may also allow students to gain hands-on training through internship opportunities.
Bachelor's in Visual Communication
A bachelor's degree in visual communication can prepare students for a wide range of careers in information management, marketing and graphic design. Often situated in information technology departments, visual communication programs utilize state-of-the-art applications to give students a dynamic education. Various schools across the country offer visual communication programs in online formats.
Program Format and Delivery
Many online bachelor's degree programs in visual communication offer flexible plans of study, including accelerated tracks that allow students to complete a program in three years or less. In addition to a high school diploma, some schools may require assessment courses in math or technology for admission to a bachelor's degree program in visual communication.
Online courses in visual communication programs often use message board-style interfaces to enable class discussions. Course materials and assignments are posted online, and active participation in discussions and debates is required of all students. Some programs may include hybrid courses in a visual communication curriculum. These courses combine classroom meetings with a Web-based system for posting assignments and grades.
Common Course Topics
Core coursework in an online bachelor's degree program in visual communication often focuses on design principles, color theory and computer design. Specialized courses may involve Web design, image editing and project planning.
Students learn the basics of Web design through lessons in hypertext markup language, scripting, server hosting and site publication.
The role of image editing in Web design, electronic publishing and multimedia development is the focus of this course. Examined topics include file formats, color text design and manipulation of graphic images.
Multimedia project organization and implementation are examined in this course. Students learn about project scoping, budgeting, scheduling and controlling.
Graduates of an online bachelor's degree program in visual communication may work in a wide range of professional settings, from advertising companies to publishing houses. Some visual communication graduates may work for design consulting firms, and others may perform freelance design work.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projected average job growth for graphic designers, with overall employment expected to increase by 1% from 2014-2024 (www.bls.gov). As of May 2015, graphic designers earned an average annual salary of $51,640, according to the BLS.
Continuing Education Information
Master's degree and graduate certificate programs are available in a range of concentrations, from media communications to graphic design. Some schools offer these programs in online formats, although some hands-on experience in a lab or studio setting is often required.
Online bachelor's degree programs in visual communications are highly interdisciplinary; they provide training in both the artistic and technological aspects of website and graphic design. Graduates can seek careers in a wide range of industries, either within businesses and organizations or as freelancers.