Careers in Multimedia Technology: Options and Requirements

Multimedia technology is a field that continues to grow with new educational options every year. Continue reading for an overview of the programs, as well as career and salary info for some career options for graduates.

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There are several career options to choose from in the multimedia technology industry. To work in this field, you'll need a college degree as well as hands-on training. Salaries, job overviews, and job growth also vary depending on your career choice.

Essential Information

Students looking to get a degree in multimedia technology get to work with some advanced software and computer equipment. Those looking to become a video and motion picture professional get to edit and create movies, which can end up on the big-screen. An animator is another job title for multimedia technology graduates. This career focuses on creating images and other illustrations to produce movement. Animators usually have a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. Students can also become a web developer, a career that focuses on creating websites for clients. There are a lot of web certificates for this career option.

Career Producer/Director Animator Web Developer
Education Requirements Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree Associate's degree
Job Growth (2014-24)* 9% 6% 27%
Mean Salary (2015)* $89,670 annually $70,300 annually $70,660 annually

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

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Career Options

Most of the job options for multimedia technology graduates require a bachelor's, and students in these programs need to have an aptitude for technology and creativity. Below are overviews and descriptions of three possible career options for multimedia technology students.

Video and Motion Picture Professionals

Screenplay writers, directors, producers and videographers are all part of the video and motion picture industry. Using multimedia theories and concepts, video and motion picture professionals create movies for the big-screen, videos for the Web and documentaries. Candidates interested in careers specific to video and motion pictures should develop skills in digital video formatting, audio production and sound mixing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that as of May 2015, producers and directors earned a mean annual salary of $89,670 (www.bls.gov). The bureau also noted that jobs for these professionals are projected to grow 9% from 2014-2024.

Certain specialties in the fields of video and motion pictures may require different education requirements. For example, the job of motion picture producer does not have a standard education requirement, but actors or writers may wish to take drama and composition courses accordingly. A bachelor's degree in communications with an emphasis on digital film or digital motion picture production is one example of a broad program in the area of video and motion pictures. Internships or entry-level positions behind the scenes of commercial shoots, videos and other productions are other examples of ways to gain real-world experience.

Animators

Animators use drawings and other illustrations to create movement. These multimedia professionals can be found in the film, television, Web and gaming industries. Depending on the college, animation degree programs may be found in media arts, technology or communications departments. The BLS expects jobs to grow 6% from 2014-2024, and the bureau reported a mean annual salary of $70,300 for these workers as of May 2015.

Animators typically earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree. An animator's training and education may focus on art history, design, drawing and studio art. Animators should also learn the various computer programs used to create digital animation and art. Digital communication or digital design courses and programs may be found at 2-year and 4-year colleges. These courses may also be beneficial to take during a fine arts degree program.

Web Developers

Web designers create websites using fonts, colors, graphics, HTML code or Adobe Flash components. Web designers who are knowledgeable about search engine optimization (SEO) may have an advantage, since a website's success is often determined by the amount of search engine hits and pages visits it receives. These designers may choose to specialize in the backend of Web development, typically focused on coding and Web databases. or a more client-side specialization, focusing on images, graphics and interactive design. As of 2015, the BLS reports that these professionals made a mean annual salary of $70,660. The employment opportunities in this field are expected to grow 27% between 2014-2024.

The education requirements for Web designers range from standard Web certificates, Associate of Applied Science in Web Technology degrees, or bachelor's degrees in interactive media. Professional certificates in digital media marketing are also available, where students learn techniques in e-news, e-mail and SMS technology. Experience in the field and hands-on knowledge is important in this area as those who keep up with ever-changing Web technologies will be sought after by employers.

For the most part, you'll need an associate's or bachelor's degree to work as a producer, animator, or web developer. Fortunately, most jobs are expected to grow just as fast or even faster than all occupations in the industry. Comparing salary rates and work requirements will help most multimedia technology students decide on which job option is the best fit for their future.

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