New Media Technology Career Information and Education Requirements

Explore the career possibilities in the field of digitally-based technologies and the educational and training requirements for workers in these jobs.

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New media technology, or digitally-based technology, encompasses a variety of professions from animators to troubleshooting specialist. Each job has its own specific prerequisites, and formal education requirements can range from completion certificates to master's degrees.

Essential Information

New media technology can be broadly defined as the development, execution and maintenance of digitally-based technology. Individuals interested in entering this field may work as designers, animators, programmers or troubleshooting specialists for new media technology, like websites, multimedia and video games. Students may pursue certificates, associate's, bachelor's or master's degrees in game development, animation, new media management and other related areas.

Required Education Certificates, associate's, bachelor's or master's degrees
Projected Job Growth (2014-2024) Multimedia artists and animators 6%*
Average Salary (2015) Multimedia artists and animators $70,300*, game designers $87,000**

Source *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics **www.indeed.com

Multimedia Designer

Multimedia designers are responsible for conceptualizing, creating and maintaining websites, games or movies that utilize multiple media forms, such as audio, video and Flash animation. They're responsible for comprehensive multimedia project management, from brainstorming design features to troubleshooting technical problems with games or websites.

Career Information

A multimedia designer's job responsibilities may include storyboard development and presentation, animation drawing, 3D computer modeling and site programming. Multimedia designers may be employed by graphic design departments in advertising, marketing or publishing businesses as well as by companies specializing in new media technology, often for gaming or web development. Many multimedia designers find work in the motion picture industries while others are self-employed or do freelance design.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), multimedia artists and animators earned a mean annual wage of $70,300 as of May of 2015 (www.bls.gov). The bureau also reported that workers in the motion picture and and video industry had the highest salaries in the multimedia design industry, with a mean annual wage of $73,270. Those employed by computer systems design firms made a mean annual wage of $70,410.

Education Requirements

According to the BLS (www.bls.gov), most multimedia artists and animators possess a bachelor's degree or higher. Bachelor's degree programs in multimedia or digital media technology teach students about digital typesetting, imaging and special effects. Coursework emphasizes creative and technical elements of digital design, covering topics, such as digital and manual animation, print production, multimedia design and digital content creation.

Aspiring multimedia designers also receive training through a digital media certificate or master's degree programs. Both types of programs may be ideal for individuals with a bachelor's degree, wishing to enter the multimedia industry. Certificate programs provide focused education in basic digital multimedia, including instruction in such popular editing and design programs as Photoshop, Flash and FinalCut Pro. Master's degree programs include similar creative and technical design training as well as multimedia business, such as entrepreneurship, project management, and the social and cultural elements of digital media.

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Game Developer

Video gaming is a growing industry within new media technology. Individuals interested in entering this field may find work as video game animators, designers, game-play developers or game testers. Game developers are involved in both the creative and digital development of media used to develop game plots, characters and environments.

Career Information

Video game developers and designers compile manual or digital illustrations for storyboard presentations and work with programmers or other technical staff to ensure the seamless transfer of all design concepts to digital video. Some game developers do their own programming and coding, which requires a great degree of technical skill. According to the salary information website www.indeed.com, video game designers earned a mean annual wage of $87,000 as of September 2016. The BLS (www.bls.gov) indicates that employment opportunities for individuals with software development and programming skills, which includes computer and video game developers, were projected to increase significantly between 2012 and 2024.

Education Requirements

While there is no industry standard for the educational training level of game developers, many game designers hold college degrees in art, computer science or other relevant multimedia fields. Students interested in gaming careers may pursue certificates, bachelor's or master's degrees in game development or design.

Certificates in game design teach students basic elements of simulation, animation and scripting, with heavy emphasis on programming these components into video games. Students in bachelor's degree programs receive education in digital media interface, programming and networking. They also learn how to conceptualize and execute video and computer games via courses in game programming, multiplayer networking systems, software testing and artificial game intelligence. Master's degree programs feature in-depth coursework in game design, development and production. They also provide instruction in interactive user interfaces. In order to complete all educational programs, students are generally required to complete an in-depth game design project.

There are a wide variety of professions available to someone looking to work in new media technology. If you love working with technology, have an eye for aesthetics and/or enjoy solving problems related to computers, then there could a career in the industry that's right for you.

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