According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, those working in the field of interactive media and graphic design are often required to have at least a bachelor's degree. However, many employers put a stronger preference on skills, technical knowledge and a professional portfolio than on a baccalaureate degree. Individuals who are looking to build their skills might consider a diploma program in interactive media or graphic design; these programs take 1-2 years to complete. Prior to admission, a high school diploma or equivalent is required.
Diploma Programs in Interactive Media and Graphic Design
Diploma programs in interactive media and/or graphic design teach students to manipulate photographs, master design applications, build web sites and develop skills in graphic animation. Most diploma programs in graphic design and interactive media focus on Web development and interactive media used in conjunction with websites. However, some programs could offer training in video production as well. Students typically receive hands-on training in studio and lab courses and might have the opportunity to gain real-world experience through internships.
Program curricula usually feature core courses focused on graphic design, multimedia applications, web development and computer-aided drawing, coding and animating. Students might learn how to create Flash animations or use other software, such as Captivate or After Effects. Possible course topics include:
- Web design languages
- Digital publishing
- Commercial and vector imaging
- Desktop publishing
- Layout, lighting and 3D design
- Sound integration
Popular Career Options
Talented graduates of a diploma program could qualify for graphic animation, website design and interactive media positions. Those without a sufficient portfolio or experience could still work as a graphics assistant. Some possible career options include:
- Graphic design assistant
- Production specialist
- Web designer
- Multimedia artist
- Flash developer
Salary and Career Information
According to bls.gov, graphic designers has a job outlook of 3% in 2018-2028, which is higher than the average. Also according to bls.gov, in May 2018, graphic designers have a median salary of $50,370.
Continuing Education Info
Students with a diploma might be able to complete requirements for an associate's degree with a few general education classes. Additionally, many schools offer bachelor's and master's degree programs in several fields related to graphic design and interactive media. In some cases, coursework might be available online. Completing one of these programs could enhance career opportunities to include academia, management and project management.
Interactive media and graphic design diploma programs teach students the fundamentals and technologies through courses such as web design languages, sound integration and digital publishing. Graduates may already pursue a career in the field or may opt to pursue further studies to boost career opportunities.