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Associate of Arts (AA): Visual Communications Degree Overview

Associate of Arts (AA) programs in visual communications train students in commercial art and design. Graduates have the opportunity to land positions with a variety of advertising or marketing agencies or pursue advanced studies in related fields.

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Essential Information

In AA programs in visual communications, students learn to create marketable graphic design content for businesses, including logos, packaging, advertisements, brochures and websites. They are trained to create appealing and effective print media and to incorporate their artwork into websites using 3-D animation and interactive media. Specialization options include interactive media and graphic design. Over the course of these two-year programs, students may be required to create portfolios highlighting their abilities.

In order to apply, students must hold a high school diploma or the equivalent. Some programs also require students to have passed prerequisite art courses, such as art history, drawing and graphic design.


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  • Advertising and Commercial Design
  • Commercial Photography
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  • Industrial Design
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Associate of Arts in Visual Communications

These programs encourage experimentation with design methods that incorporate both traditional drawing methods and digital media. Students of visual communications can learn how to analyze clients' needs in order to create visual designs that can be used in their marketing campaigns and advertising. Core course topics may include:

  • Design and color
  • 3-D drawing
  • Imaging
  • Digital art
  • Vector illustration
  • Typography

Popular Career Options

Graduates may be qualified for entry-level design positions within advertising agencies, corporate art departments, magazine publishers and web development agencies. Possible job titles include:

  • Multimedia artist
  • Graphic design specialist
  • Animator
  • Illustrator

Employment Outlook and Salary Information

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, multimedia artists and animators will see a projected 6% increase in employment from 2014-2024, which is an average job growth. The median annual wages for multimedia artists and animators were $63,970 as of May 2015.

Continuing Education

Graduates interested in developing their talents throughout their careers can consider additional education. Some schools offer visual communications certificate programs that are designed to enhance specific skills. These might focus on commercial art technology or graphic design. Graduates can also apply to bachelor's degree programs in visual communications to refine their abilities and improve their chances of attaining more advanced careers.

By earning an AA in Visual Communications, students build the artistic and technological skills they need for multimedia-related careers, including graphic design and illustration, or higher-level studies in similar subjects.

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