Graphic Design

Graphic Design Degrees

Graphic designers specialize in communicating important messages through visual images. They use color, type, illustration, photography, animation, and other print and layout techniques to effectively communicate ideas and messages in print, electronic and film media. Graphic designers may be responsible for anything from developing the design layout of a magazine, to producing packaging and promotional displays for new products. Currently, many graphic designers find work developing material for Internet web pages and multimedia projects.

Types of Graphic Design Degree Programs

Graphic design bachelor’s degree programs are designed to prepare students for job positions within this field. Students will focus their studies on the principles of design, communication, and problem solving skills. Graphic design students will study studio art, computerized design, commercial graphics production, printing techniques, and web site design.  Graphic design bachelor’s degree programs will also provide students with a general education in art history, writing, psychology, sociology, cultural studies, marketing, and business.

Associate’s degrees in graphic design are available from many different schools across the country. These programs usually focus on the technical side of graphic design. Graduates of these types of programs can find work as assistants to graphic designers or in positions that mainly require technical skills.

Graphic design certificate programs are another option for those looking to pursue an entry level position in this field. Certificate programs are also a way for graphic designers to refresh their skills and keep up with the constant updates in computer programs and software applications.

Job Outlook for Graphic Designers

Most employers look for graphic designers who have obtained at least a bachelor’s degree in graphic design or another related field of study. Job opportunities will be best for graphic designers who have earned a bachelor’s degree and also have some experience in web site design and animation.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, graphic designers held about 261,000 jobs in 2006. Employment of graphic designers is expected to grow 10 percent from 2006 to 2016.This could be a result of an increase in the interest from advertisers, publishers and computer design firms, and the expansion of the video entertainment market. In 2006, it was reported that graphic designers earned a median salary of $39,900.

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook, 2008-2009 Edition