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Associate in Advertising Design: Degree Overview

Students in an associate's degree program in advertising design learn to plan, create and analyze visual resolutions to advertising challenges. Graduates can seek employment or transfer to a bachelor's degree program in art or design.

Essential Information

The associate's degree in advertising design is typically combined with studies in graphic design or illustration to award one of three possible degrees--the Associate of Art, Associate of Science, or Associate of Applied Science. However, the core curricula of these programs are similar. In these programs, students obtain the skills to design media for range of products, such as book covers, websites, logos, magazines, trade publications and more. They explore ways to express themselves using a variety of mediums, like illustration, photography, typography and animation. Coursework ranges from practical web development to traditional studies in art history. Applicants must have a high school diploma or the equivalent.


Associate's Degree in Advertising Design

Students in these programs take coursework on basic art techniques and the foundations of digital design. Classes aim to improve critical thinking and visual problem solving abilities. Required courses might include:

  • Drawing and painting
  • 2-D and 3-D design principles
  • Lettering and fonts
  • Layout formats
  • Computer graphics
  • Motion graphics

Popular Career Options and Job Outlook

Graduates may find entry-level jobs as graphic artists or advertising illustrators. They may have to work as freelancers in order to find clients. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) warns that graphic designers and other artists can expect stiff competition because there are more qualified designers than there are available positions. Some popular employers include:

  • Advertising companies
  • Printing agencies
  • Corporations
  • Print publications

According to BLS estimates, job opportunities for graphic designers will grow by 1% between 2014 and 2024, which represents little or no change in the number of available jobs. A May 2015 report from the BLS shows the median salary of these designers was $46,900 a year.

Continuing Education Information

Graduates may pursue a bachelor's degree in advertising design to develop their artistic skills and advertising techniques. These programs also include more liberal arts classes, helping students expand their understanding of societal values and hone their communication skills. Master's degree programs in a variety of subjects, like society-improvement-oriented design, design criticism and computer art, are also available.

Through associate's degree programs in advertising and design, students can improve their artistic and technological skills. That way, when they graduate, they have the background they need for design-related jobs at the entry level or to enroll in similar bachelor's degree programs.


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