Earning an online degree in graphic design entails a great deal of work and dedication, but the rewards are worth it. A fascinating variety of career paths are open to graduates who hold a graphic design degree. In fact, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that this field should remain a fairly fast growing one for the next several years, which makes earning a graphic design degree a particularly attractive option.
Graphic Design Careers
Most people who are interested in graphic design online degree programs are multifaceted individuals who possess plenty of creativity and sufficient drive to work independently. This particular combination of traits makes these people suited to work in a number of different capacities after graduation. Many people who earn an online degree in graphic design go on to design websites. Others will become animators for film or television companies or help develop video games. Graphic design artists also work for advertising firms and publishing companies that produce books and magazines. Some designers who have a flair for entrepreneurship become freelance designers who may create a myriad of different projects for various clients. With an online graphic design degree, the possibilities are practically endless.
A Variety of Degrees
People familiar with online learning already know about the advantages and convenience that are an inherent part of the process. Graphic design online programs are no different. Depending upon the institution chosen, it’s possible to find an associate degree that can be earned in two years or less or a bachelor degree that will require about four years of full time attendance. A more limited number of schools offer online graduate level degrees that cover this subject matter. Earning a more advanced degree can be a great way to achieve a supervisory position within a larger organization or to become a teacher.
Common Courses Offered in an Online Graphic Design Degree Program
The first courses the student takes typically introduce the software and hardware that will be used throughout the educational process. This provides a useful knowledge base for coursework, but it also prepares the student for their career since this hardware and software will be among the primary tools they will use on the job. Students receive an introduction to vector software and learn layout and production techniques. They may take a course that explores Adobe Photoshop in which they discover how to create, edit and manipulate images. Usually, one of the early courses also explores the concepts of typography while another uncovers color theory.
As the student becomes more advanced, their classes become more challenging. Coursework highlights how to create visual interest with technical information and looks at the complex process of developing logos and identities for clients. It’s at this stage that students begin to learn how to design effective websites, create advertisements with impact and how to use Flash for drawing and animation.
In the latter stages of the online degree process, the student may encounter business classes that are designed to help them start an independent business venture. They continue to explore software and hardware, learning more advanced techniques. Many online degree programs also require students to complete a project before graduation. This project may be a portfolio of the student’s best work or may require that the student design a complete advertising campaign for a fictitious client.
Internships and First Jobs
Many degree programs offer students the chance for some on-the-job-training as an intern. These are valuable opportunities that can easily lead to first jobs and can also provide the student with professional contacts that may help ensure future success.