Bachelor of Science (BS): Visual Communications Degree Overview

Oct 16, 2019

Bachelor of Science in Visual Communications programs explore the technical skills and creative processes necessary to communicate a message using a variety of media. Learn about the program, career information, salary, and ways to continue your education.

Essential Information

Individuals who want a career in visual communications may pursue careers as photojournalists, media editors or film producers. Students who complete an undergraduate degree can move on to graduate or master's degree programs. Students may specialize in interactive media, publication design, photography, or video. They must also submit a professional portfolio. To enroll, students must have a high school diploma or GED.

Bachelor of Science Visual Communications

Throughout the program, students individually and collaboratively complete projects in various media and maintain a portfolio of their work for final submission. They will attend common courses such as:

  • Visual communications skills
  • Art history
  • Web design
  • Digital imaging
  • 3-D design
  • Photojournalism

Popular Career Options

Graduates have a broad understanding of communication techniques and trends, along with specialized skills in their specialized area of interest. Job titles will vary depending on a student's concentration, but may include:

  • Photojournalist
  • Media editor
  • Film producer

Employment Outlook and Salary Info

Based on information provided by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), while employment for all photographers is expected to decline 6% between 2018 and 2028, employment number for those working in newspaper publishing photographers was estimated at 2,470. Although the demand for print images in the news industry continues to decrease, the decreased cost of digital cameras has lowered the barrier to entry into this field. ( Film producers and directors, however, should see 5% employment growth as public demand for movies increases.

In May 2018, the BLS reported that photographers working for newspaper or periodical publishers earned an average annual salary of $49,680. Editors earned an average annual salary of $69,480, while those in radio and television broadcasting earning $68,500 in 2018. Producers in the motion picture and video industries were paid an average yearly salary of $104,600 in 2018, according to the BLS.

Continuing Education

Graduates of the bachelor's program can continue to increase their level of expertise within visual communications at the graduate level, most commonly through a Master of Fine Arts program. In the master's program, students can develop their conceptual skills and experiment with media through studio courses, seminars and independent studies.

Students in a Bachelor of Science in Visual Communications program will complete projects, a portfolio, and courses including art history, web design, and digital imaging. This prepares students for a career in photography, film, editing, and producing.

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