A Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) program in visual communication can help students develop their artistic talents and prepare them for the business world. Visual communication students learn to incorporate graphic design and digital art to create product art, company logos, interactive media, and graphic animation. They might explore current computer technology, art development, and digital design concepts.
Applicants to these programs must submit a portfolio of previous artwork. Projects created throughout these programs often become part of students' portfolios. Some schools offer specializations in areas like graphic design or Web development. Online programs can offer students flexible scheduling and the opportunity to complete requirements at home.
A high school diploma or the equivalent is required by most schools before admittance into a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree program. Some schools also require students to submit an art portfolio highlighting their abilities along with their application.
Curriculum typically emphasizes hands-on computer applications, innovative graphic techniques, design concept development, and the production of marketable images. Students will usually need to complete general education requirements in subjects such as math, history, English, sociology, and psychology. Courses within the visual communication program could include:
- Design production
- Motion imagery
- Elements of digital art
- Website design
- Editorial development
- Digital illustration
- Portfolio design
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Career Information for Graduates
Graduates are typically qualified for employment with graphic design firms. Graduates can also seek opportunities in the advertising, marketing, or art departments of companies across a multitude of industries. Some possible job titles could include:
- Design consultant
- Advertising artist
- Graphic designer
- Art director
- Website developer
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported positive employment growth for visual communication-related careers, including graphic designers and web developers. From 2014 to 2024, employment opportunities for graphic designers were expected to increase 1%, while jobs for web developers were projected to see a 27% uptick. In 2015, the median salary of graphic designers was $46,900, while web developers had a median annual salary of $64,970.
Graduates interested in advanced studies, creating new methodologies and refining their talents can pursue Master of Fine Arts degrees in visual communication. Individuals can also expand their knowledge and expertise by seeking admittance to degree programs in related fields of interest such as graphic animation or digital design development.
In addition to completing general education coursework, students in an online BFA in Visual Communication develop their artistic skills and learn to use technology to apply them in business contexts. Graduates may find work in a wide range of industries or advance to MFA programs.