Graphic Design Degree Online

Graphic design is a creative and innovative field revolving around digital content creation and multimedia art. Graphic designers land all over the board in terms of their creative pursuits, they’re artists as well as marketing moguls and can apply their skills in numerous other fields as well. An online graphic design degree prepares aspiring graphic designers with the technical knowledge and abilities to thrive within the field, from art classes to computer software training. These online graphic design programs will feature many of the same benefits of a traditional brick-and-mortar education, but also allow students the flexibility to pursue their own creative and professional goals outside of their studies at the same time. The advertisements and digital media that surround us daily are due to the dedicated work of graphic designers.

In this article, we’ll explore a few of these online graphic design programs to learn about their curriculums, requirements, and general expectations. We’ll also cover some of the ways graphic design graduates may choose to pursue their passions in the field by detailing lucrative career paths for aspiring graphic designers.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Graphic Design Degree Online

While there are numerous certifications out there that can expedite the process of becoming a competent graphic designer, for most employment opportunities its recommended to obtain at least an associate’s degree or bachelor’s in graphic design, which can take two to four years. Most graphic designers will earn a bachelor’s degree to access a fully developed and immersive curriculum, with most bachelor programs taking approximately four years to complete. For online students that may prefer to embrace an online schedule, they can complete an online bachelor’s in graphic design in five to six years depending on their class schedule.

The typical curriculum of an online graphic design program highlights a strong focus on art history as well as digital content creation. Students must first learn the foundations of artistry to assemble these concepts through a digital platform, and once they’ve gained a full grasp of those concepts they can truly excel in their graphic designs. Graphic design curriculums will also have courses related to color theory, digital imaging, and typography. Graduates of the online graphic design program will have earned the skills to properly edit photos, illustrate digitally, and layout designs for numerous multimedia applications.

Associate’s Degree in Graphic Design

If a student is looking to get a baseline education surrounding graphic design, online associate’s programs in graphic design are a good choice. Associate’s degree programs will typically take around two years to complete, potentially longer for part-time students that may need more time outside their studies to pursue professional goals. Associate’s degree programs will cover the basics of graphic design, as well as allow students to complete the general education requirements for a bachelor’s degree. For entry-level positions in the field, an associate’s degree is a sufficient choice.

At Gateway Technical College, art and technology are combined in a nationally recognized program designed to help aspiring digital artists use computer software as their creative canvas. With extensive graphic design software training with modern technical spaces, graduates of the program will develop an awe-inspiring portfolio to help them earn positions within marketing, artistic, and creative spaces after earning their online graphic design degree.

The most common degree type pursued by digital artists and graphic designers is a bachelor’s degree. Many employers tend to prefer a four-year education to verify that the proper skills and qualifications have been earned in a graduate’s education, and bachelor’s degrees will cover the full scope of what’s needed to enter a graphic designing position in the field. Online students may choose to take longer than the typical four-year trajectory to embrace a flexible schedule but will earn the same level of confidence in their abilities to excel outside of their studies professionally.

The bachelor of arts in Graphic Design & Visual Experience program at California Baptist University is built with the industry in mind. This award-winning program is created for individuals wanting a true design program at a premier Christian design school. Students will learn best practices, latest technologies, ideation, craft, and business acumen.

An online master’s degree in graphic design is a popular option amongst those that wish to pursue leadership positions within the field to advance their careers. Online master programs in graphic design are most popular amongst seasoned graphic designers and artists that are looking to broaden their creative skills while also optimizing their earning potential. Typically, an online graphic design master’s degree will take around two to three years to complete, potentially longer for part-time students.

The master of science in interactive media and communications degree at Quinnipiac University equips students to elevate their abilities in designing, managing, and producing a wide variety of digital content to better connect with numerous audiences. With a curriculum that highlights user-centered design and complex technical challenges, students will become more creative thinkers to lead within numerous industries to create impactful cross-media communications. Culminating in a project-based caption, a robust portfolio will be created to help these digital art leaders excel in any given industry of their choosing such as public relations, marketings, entertainment, and more.

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Potential Careers with Graphic Design Degree

The potential careers for those with an online graphic design degree can vary widely based on the graduate’s specific artistic interests. While many graphic designers may enter the communications field within a marketing role, there are numerous other ways this degree can be applied with lucrative results. Some of the most popular career options of graphic design graduates include:

Graphic Designer

The most popular career path for those with an online graphic design degree is naturally to become a graphic designer. Graphic designers create layouts and images for a variety of applications such as websites, company logos, and marketing, as well as product images. From creating artwork for marketing campaigns to helping develop full artistic projects, graphic designers utilize their excellent skills in web design and design layout to carry out their typical responsibilities.

Art Director

Art directing is a profitable career defined by utilizing the graphic designer’s artistic eye to properly stylize the visual style of various multimedia applications such as magazines, newspapers, and movie/television productions. They delegate responsibilities within a team of artists to assemble a cohesive and attractive piece and work closely with clients to meet artist vision and surpass their artistic expectations to deliver an outstanding product.

Creativ Director

When developing a concept and vision for an artist project, creative directors are the ones that provide the rough draft. Responsible for actualizing the creative visions of clients and employers, creative directors often pitch their ideas for artistic campaigns as well as track the overall progress of the project to keep the work consistent and in line with the creative goals of the project. Creative directors are typically tasks with overseeing an entire team of creators, from art directors to graphic designers, within numerous different industries.

Web Designer

Web designers are responsible for creating and developing the visual style and overall userbase of a website. From creating the proper affiliate links to physically drafting the logos and artistry that will be reflected on the site, web designers are given the very important task of making sure a website not only runs smoothly but also looks aesthetically pleasing within its userbase.

Multimedia Designer

For those looking to become a multimedia designer, they can expect to design complex animations or designs using a variety of editing and modeling software to create unique digital content. Usually working within a team of artists and graphic designers, they develop the visual impact of a piece to create media that is both invoking and engaging for their intended audience.

UX Design

UX designers (user experience designers) closely contemplate how a company’s product looks, feels, and operates for its users with a focus on visual and interactive design. Playing a huge role in both the user experience and visual aspects of a product’s design, UX designers research, and design products utilizing icon design, interactivity, color palettes, typography, and much more.

Average Salary with Graphic Design Degree

Due to the vast nature of the field, the average salary for those with an online graphic design degree can vary based on numerous factors such as the level of degree obtained, the industry chosen to pursue, as well as the level of experience gained by the graphic designer. To get a better idea of how the specific career path plays a substantial role in the compensation, let’s explore a few common careers and their respective annual salaries.
Graphic Designer $52,1000
Multimedia Designer $75,200
Media Coordinator $59,000
Creative Director: $120,000
UX Designer $113,000

Best College for Graphic Design Degree

An online graphic design degree can prepare aspiring artists and creative thinkers to enter an interactive field of creating engaging content within numerous multimedia spaces. From the images we consume through television advertisements to the logos we encounter at our favorite restaurant, the images, and artistry that’s become common to us is due to the hard work of graphic designers and artists looking to make a positive visual statement. An online graphic design degree equips students with the technical skills and networking abilities to thrive within numerous artistic industries to elevate their careers and advance their artistic abilities.

Interested in one of these reputable online graphic design programs? Sign up for one of these college’s email newsletters to stay in the loop regarding graphic design curricular updates and important program highlights.

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