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Online Associate Degree in Multimedia: Program Overview

Research online multimedia courses and programs. Find out what you can learn in these courses and what you'll need in order to participate in online learning to determine if it's right for you.

Essential Information

Online associate degree programs in multimedia development, interactive design, and related fields of study are available. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employers of multimedia artists and animators often do not require a degree; however, many multimedia artists choose to earn a bachelor's degree to develop their technical skills. Students in online programs in multimedia may need special computer equipment and design software to engage in the coursework, such as a headset microphone or design software like Microsoft Office, Photoshop, Dreamweaver or Flash. An in-person internship may be necessary.

Associate of Science in Multimedia

Online multimedia programs may be known as programs in Web design, multimedia development or interactive graphic design. Most include instruction in designing layouts for the Web, recording audio and video, producing computer animation and communicating information visually. Depending on the school and particular program, coursework may be more technically or artistically oriented; a multimedia program in an information science department may have more classes on databases and programming, while an art department's program may concentrate on drawing and visual design. In either case, online multimedia associate's degree programs usually offer both technical and design electives to allow students to focus on their chosen area of interest.

Program Information and Requirements

An online associate's degree in multimedia is designed to be completed in two years of full-time study. Many programs can be completed entirely online, though students may want to attend some classes in person to make use of school computers and software. Curriculum can also include a design internship that will require attendance.

Some online courses require a headset microphone for students to interact with the virtual class. Students training in multimedia from home may also need to purchase certain visual design and animation software, such as Photoshop, Dreamweaver or Flash. Microsoft Office or equivalent software may be needed to view course documents.

Common Courses

In addition to the core multimedia courses, an associate's degree program will include general education classes in fundamental subjects such as math, science and history. These courses are often available online as well. Students in multimedia classes can watch video demonstrations and lectures, read online texts and participate in student discussion forums.

Basics of Graphic Design

This class introduces and explores the theory and practice of strong graphic design. In studying color theory and typography, students learn how choices in color, layout and font style affect both written and non-verbal communication.

Web Design

Students in a Web design course apply their knowledge of graphic design to the specific issues of communication over the Internet. This can include considerations for ease-of-use, legibility and compatibility across multiple browsers and hardware configurations.

Multimedia Authoring

This course provides instruction in the use of various types of computer software to produce sound and video for multimedia productions. Students learn to record and edit sound, edit digital images and create animations using professional programs commonly used in the industry.

Interactive Media Creation

Multimedia and interactive content is often used to create dynamic and engaging business presentations. This course covers the process of planning, designing and implementing a full multimedia production integrating sound, video, animation and a user interface. These classes often result in a student project that can later be included in the student's multimedia design portfolio.


Career Information

According to survey data reported by the BLS (www.bls.gov), multimedia artists and animators earned an average yearly salary of $70,300 as of May 2015. Job growth in the field is expected to be six percent from 2014-2024, fast as the average across all jobs. The BLS reports that opportunities for multimedia artists will particularly grow in the expanding field of mobile technology. Demand is also expected to increase for graphic designers with web design experience.

Continuing Education Information

Because much of multimedia involves the use of technology and software, designers and artists may find it beneficial to seek continuing education courses in the newest design and animation programs. Those who can demonstrate familiarity with state-of-the-art software may have a competitive advantage on the job market.

An online associate's degree program in multimedia teaches students how to build websites and create digital presentations. Students will develop skills in programming, graphic design and software application.

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