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Computer Graphics Artist: Online Diploma

Research online computer graphics diploma programs. Find out about the learning tools used during an online diploma program in computer graphics. Get information about online courses, technical requirements, career prospects and salary statistics to make an informed decision about your education.

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Essential Information

While many computer graphics diploma programs are available entirely online, most are offered by for-profit schools. Courses include studies in computer technology, digital art, color theory and design fundamentals. Although the program can be self-paced and conducted from home, some schools may require students to complete and submit projects for a grade. Individuals also may need to purchase computer programs like Adobe Design Standard.

Related Program Options

There are a number of very closely related online diploma programs that interested individuals may find. These fields offer the preparation needed to find similar jobs as computer graphics artists and designers. Subjects include:

  • Graphic design
  • Digital design
  • Web page design
  • AutoCAD
  • Desktop publishing and design

Overview of Online Computer Graphics Artist Diplomas

An online computer graphics artist diploma program provides an introduction of graphic arts methods. Students learn basic design skills, including text and image layout, and are instructed on the fundamentals of using industry-standard design software. Admittance requirements vary by school, from no education prerequisites to a minimum of a high school diploma or GED. Students may also have to demonstrate computer literacy.

Program Information and Requirements

Computer graphics artist diplomas can usually be earned online in as little as a few months, but can sometimes take more than a year to complete, depending on the method of instruction. Formats include instructor-taught and self-paced courses. Students in the self-paced programs work through online lesson plans and take an exam after finishing the lesson. If a passing score is obtained, the student moves on to the next lesson. Instructor-led courses are delivered through methods such as chat rooms and video presentations.

Students will need an Internet connection to review coursework and take exams. Additionally, Adobe Creative Suite software, including Illustrator, InDesign and Photoshop, is utilized for many of the classes and will need to be installed.

Common Coursework

Classes prepare students to create design layouts by using available design tools and techniques. Completing additional non-design courses is usually not necessary to earn the online diploma.

Design Basics

Communication through the use of design elements - such as text, color and images - is taught. A definition of good design is established to allow for critical analysis of design work. Students study the importance of element placement for successful communication of the message or idea.

Graphic Design Technology

Students are trained in the use of computer design software and create Web and print layouts. Courses in photo manipulation, illustration and document creation are offered. Some diploma programs also include Web design instruction.

Careers in Graphic Design

Job options for graphic artists are explored. Students learn what an effective portfolio needs to include and how they can land interviews for employment. Topics in self-employment and freelancing are also discussed.

Career Information for Graduates

Graduates earning a computer graphics diploma might find work entry-level work as assistant graphic designers. After gaining additional education and work experience, they could become a graphic designer. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the employment of graphic artists is projected to increase by 13% during the 2008-2018 decade ( In May 2010, the BLS estimated that there were 192,240 graphic designers working in the U.S., and these professionals earned an average salary of $48,140 that same year.

Continuing Education Information

Students who want to pursue an undergraduate degree can find graphic design associate and bachelor's degree programs online. Graphic designers will also need to keep up with current trends and new software releases by taking additional computer and art courses, as the industry demands.

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