Associate's degree programs in graphic design technology train students to produce art that's relevant to the business world. Students gain hands-on experience in the use of electronic technology to create visual media, and they learn to analyze client needs and develop marketable digital representations for logos, promotional packaging, displays and brochures. While in these two-year programs, students gain real-world experiences through co-ops or internships, and they develop a portfolio of their work. Applicants need a high school diploma or the equivalent.
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Associate Degree in Graphic Design Technology
Students in these programs learn to exhibit their skills in type, color, layout, illustration and animation. In addition to general education requirements, they take design-specific courses and gain experience, often working on design projects for nonprofit community organizations. Course topics include illustration, web publishing, and digital painting. Other courses found in the curriculum are:
- Desktop publishing
- Management principles
- Drawing figures
- Multimedia technologies
- Graphic design topics
- Advertising graphics
Popular Career Options
Graduates have the practical experience, design skills and technical savvy to find entry-level opportunities in advertising, print media, graphic design or internet development. Possible job titles include:
- Graphic artist
- Website designer
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that the employment of graphic designers will increase by 1% during the 2014-2024 decade (www.bls.gov). In May of 2015, the BLS estimated the median annual salary of these professionals to be $46,900.
Continuing Education Information
As graduates move forward through their careers, advances in software, theories and techniques make it beneficial to keep up with the latest developments in the field. Graduates can participate in graphic design certificate programs to stay informed of the changing trends. Students could also widen their area of expertise by enrolling in certificate programs in related fields, such as 3-D animation or multimedia design. Those interested in furthering their career prospects can pursue bachelor's degrees in graphic design.
If you want to develop your skills in art, technology, and the intersection between the two, an AS in graphic design technology is a great place to start. When you finish, you can start working in one of these fields or enroll in a higher level degree program.