Associate of Arts (AA): Media Arts Degree Overview

Associate's degree programs in media arts teach students how to utilize visual and sound design in the development of multimedia. Upon graduation, they can enter the workforce, pursue a certificate, or enroll in a bachelor's degree program.

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Essential Information

Associate of Arts (AA) programs in media arts teach students how to utilize animation, digital art, graphic design and other electronic and traditional art elements in the development of websites, films and games. In these two-year programs, students typically take courses in art, design and marketing. They may choose to specialize in cinema or multimedia arts, which delve into the creation of visual media for a variety of formats, including web and mobile devices. Internship or cooperative work experiences are often available, and students may be required to create a portfolio prior to graduation.

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Associate's Degree in Media Arts

In addition to general education requirements, these programs delve into multimedia, media design, digital imaging and animation. Students learn to apply the principles of editing, sound design and color engineering to the creation of marketable visual and audio representations for business clients. Course topics could include:

  • Animation
  • Special effects
  • Digital film
  • Video editing
  • Web development
  • Visual communication
  • Legalities in media

Popular Career Options

Upon completion of degree programs in this field, graduates are typically qualified for employment with graphic design firms, digital game companies or the filmmaking industry. Graduates can also seek opportunities in the art, web design or marketing departments of businesses. Possible job titles include:

  • Animator
  • Graphic artist
  • Website developer
  • Digital video technician
  • Visual designer

Continuing Education

For graduates interested in increasing their knowledge or keeping up with the latest advances in the field, certificate programs offer specializations in communication, graphic design, animation and digital media arts. Individuals who wish to expand their career opportunities can apply to bachelor's degree programs in technology, media arts, cinema studies, graphic design or computer imaging.

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

Multimedia artists and animators earned a median annual salary of $63,970 in 2015, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Overall, jobs in this field were predicted to increase by 6% from 2014-2024, which is about as fast as the average for all occupations, according to the BLS.

With an AA degree in media arts, students have the design skills and technical expertise they need to start working in the field. Still, some graduates choose to expand their career opportunities by pursuing more advanced educational opportunities.

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