Professionals working in the field of graphic communication design create visual messages for print and electronic media. Some employers might prefer job candidates who possess a master's degree for entry into this field, though a bachelor's degree is the typical requirement. A graduate degree could be necessary for career advancement purposes. Those planning on applying to a master's degree program in graphic communication design may be required to have completed previous coursework in graphic design or graphic communication and work experience. Some programs offer additional coursework to make up for a lack of experience or previous coursework in the field, and take up to 3 years to complete.
Master of Arts in Graphic Communication Design
Coursework for a master's degree in graphic communication design is intended to teach students about emerging technologies in the field, along with the principles of design and how they relate to effective communication. The following are some of the typical courses found in this type of degree program.
- Design principles
- Communication science
- Printing and packaging techniques
- Color theory
- Graphic communications management
- Process control
Employment Outlook and Salary Info
Graduates of graphic communication design master's programs may find career opportunities in product packaging, web design or advertising. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), job availability in the field of graphic design is expected to grow by 1% from 2014 through 2024 and is also expected to be competitive (www.bls.gov). Salaries in this field vary depending on the specific job and level. The median salary for a graphic designer in 2015 was $46,900. The top ten percent earned annual salaries of $81,320 and higher. Those who worked in specialized design services earned an average salary of $55,290.
Continuing Education Information
Students who are interested in pursuing additional education in this field may want to consider doctoral programs, or continuing education programs designed for professional development in the field, such as those offered by the Professional Association for Design (AIGA). Professional certifications are offered by several industry-leading software vendors and other organizations.
A Master of Arts in Graphic Communication Design program is designed for students wanting to pursue a career in graphic design. The program combines communication skills and design courses to prepare students in their future careers.