An associate's degree program in graphic design and multimedia may be offered as an Associate of Arts or an Associate of Science degree, depending on the granting institution. Students enrolled in these programs learn about a range of graphic design principles. Associate of Science degrees may have more technical coursework requirements, while Associate of Arts degrees focus more on the humanities aspect of the discipline. However, both programs teach students about project development for multiple content delivery channels, including print media, television, motion pictures and the internet.
Associate's degrees generally take two years to complete, and at a minimum, students need to possess a high school diploma or equivalent for admission. In addition, students should have general computer knowledge and the ability to grasp new technological concepts.
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Associate of Graphic Design and Multimedia
Associate's degree programs in graphic design and multimedia generally combine classroom instruction with hands-on training, teaching students design fundamentals and standard software usage. Students also develop problem-solving abilities and project management skills. Courses may include:
- 2-D illustration
- Drawing and composition
- Multimedia production
- Video production
- Web design
Popular Career Options
Individuals who complete 2-year associate's degree programs in graphic design and multimedia can seek entry-level technical positions in the advertising, television or motion picture industries. Additional education or training is usually required for positions involving creative or artistic abilities. Career possibilities include:
- Graphic design assistant
- Production technician
- Graphic designer
- Multimedia artist
- Multimedia animator
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, multimedia artists and animators are projected to see a growth of 6% in employment from 2014 to 2024. The mean annual income for these workers was $70,300 as of May 2015.
Continuing Education Information
Completing an associate's degree program in graphic design and multimedia can be a stepping-stone towards obtaining a bachelor's degree in the arts. Depending on the educational institution attended, credits earned as part of an associate's degree program might be used towards obtaining a bachelor's degree. Students can pursue Bachelor of Fine Arts degree programs in multimedia, graphic design, web design or related areas. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, completion of a 4-year degree program is usually required to obtain a creative position as a graphic designer or artist (www.bls.gov).
After completion of a bachelor's degree program, some students may elect to pursue a master's degree in graphic design or a related area. These programs generally provide an educational environment in which students can hone existing artistic and technical skills while building a portfolio. After completion of one of these programs, students may pursue professional opportunities or seek post-secondary teaching positions.
Earning an associate's degree in graphic design and multimedia could lead to a career as a multimedia artist or animator, a field expected to grow by 6% over the next decade with average salaries of over $70,000. To advance their career even further, students may elect to pursue a bachelor's or master's degree and become graphic designers.