Associate of Applied Science degree programs for digital media educate students on the basics of producing content for the Internet, cinema, radio, television and games. Students gain hands-on experience in many aspects of this field. Many graduates go on to complete bachelor's degrees, which is the standard for entry-level employment. In order to apply to one of these two-year programs, students must have a high school diploma or GED, and they may be required to submit standardized test scores.
Associate of Applied Science in Digital Media
In these programs, students develop the technical and creative skills required in digital media work, such as digital design, video production, imaging editing, multimedia, web scripting and the creation of digital graphics and web page layouts. Students may also study the hardware and software used in digital media. Over the course of these programs, students may build a professional portfolio that displays their work. Possible courses include:
- Digital design
- Web development
- 3-D animation
Graduates are qualified for work in a number of industries, including education, healthcare (e.g., developing surgical training media), advertising and marketing. Possible career options include:
- Web and graphic design
- Digital animation
- Social media
- Desktop publishing
- Game development
- Multimedia production specialist
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts that from 2018-2028, employment for multimedia artists and animators will increase 4%, which is about as fast as average (www.bls.gov). Desktop publisher employment is projected to decline 16% during the same period, and graphic designer employment is projected to show a 3% growth. Median earnings in May 2018 were $72,520 for multimedia artists and animators, $42,910 for desktop publishers and $50,370 for graphic designers.
Continuing Education Information
According to the BLS, multimedia animators and artists typically need at least a bachelor's degree to meet the technical demands of the field. Some schools help graduates transfer to bachelor's degree programs so that they can continue their education in digital media. Such programs may have areas of focus such as administrative management, audio engineering, motion picture production, project management and web technologies.
If you earn an AAS in digital media, you'll get a general introduction the field. With this background, you can pursue an entry-level position in the industry or transfer to a bachelor's degree program so you can get an upper-level job in the future.