Design Degrees

The Advantages To Earning A Design Degree

Earning a design degree provides creative individuals the skills and knowledge necessary to express, visualize, and implement their ideas through print or fashion. As most businesses utilize the Internet and web branding, the field of technology and design is quickly expanding. As many students manage work or family responsibilities while obtaining a degree, online degree programs are often the best paths to advance personal, professional, and educational goals. Many colleges and universities have developed online design programs which provide students with virtually the same educational experience as traditional, on campus courses.

Online design courses generally consist of groups of 25 students with 24 hour access to course materials, instruction, and information. Online design courses provide students with one on one interactions with instructors and other students via Internet chats and also provide the added benefit of more flexible course scheduling. Online design degree programs are one of the very best means of propelling goals and provide the building blocks for long term career success.

Most Popular Majors Within The Design Field

The most popular majors within the field of design are graphic design and web design. Nearly five percent of bachelor degree’s awarded the visual and performing arts discipline during 2007 were within the field of graphic design. Students enrolled within graphic design fields learn how to create compositions, plan and execute digital layouts, edit images, and expand graphic skills necessary for future careers in computer illustration Graphic design and web design are the two most popular majors in the design field. Other majors within the field of design include computer illustration, coding and Internet functionality, Internet business technology, and web branding.

What Students Learn Within An Online Design Degree Program

Online design degree programs prepare students to communicate ideas using graphics, illustrations, text, and other technical skills for use on the web, in print, or in fashion. Students enrolled with online design programs learn how to use computers and software like Illustrator, Adobe, InDesign, and Photoshop, to create innovative presentations. Most students may specialize their design degree in fields to expand skills and increase experience.

Courses at an associate’s degree level generally include core courses in English, mathematics, computer information, and social sciences. Specialized courses at an associate’s digital degree level in the field of design include: introduction to web design, fundamentals of programming with algorithms and logic, image editing and implementation, web systems, management of information systems, graphic design techniques, art and drawing concepts, photoshop and digital design, digital media and animation, and digital illustration using Adobe Illustrator. Many graduates from an associate level design degree program advance to entry level employment or higher degree programs.

Bachelor level graphic design degree courses include: fundamentals of design, drawing, color theory, perspective, photography, introduction to web design, life drawing, concept drawing, typography, history and analysis of design, digital image manipulation, graphic symbolism, introduction to design applications, mixed media, advanced typography, electronic design, design principles, digital illustration, corporate identity, dimensional design, art direction, design and technology, intermediate illustration, graphic illustration, contemporary typography, packaging design, web scripting, editorial illustration, advertising design, communication design, basic web animation, experimental typography, contemporary design issues, and interactive portfolio design. Graduates from a bachelor level design program often gain employment dependent upon fields of specialization including graphic design, marketing, advertising or advance to master degree programs.

Master degree courses within a master’s of education design degree with a specialty in instructional design include: introduction to instructional design, communication theory for organizations, assessment in the instructional design process, assessment in the instructional design process, selection and evaluation of instructional materials, writing for the business professional, interpersonal skills and group dynamics, curriculum development for organizations, managing the training function, organizational development, production of media materials, information design and visual literacy, video principles for instructional design, production of computer based training, advanced computer based training, design and instruction of online courses, planning and design of educational multimedia programs, assessment of educational technologies, digital production, graphic design methodologies, art and criticism, 3D effects, sociology and graphic design, design systems, graphic design history, motion graphics, trends in contemporary art, and project in multimedia. Graduates from a master degree program in design are generally considered experts within the field and may work as independently as consultants, as instructors within colleges and universities, or as executives and supervisors within advertising, marketing, or design related fields. Graduates who wish to attain a doctoral degree in design to become lead researchers and experts within the field though doctoral degrees in the field of design are rare.

Courses at a doctoral level include specializations in architecture, landscape architecture, urban design, or technology with specialized courses like: design proseminar, design research methods, preparation of doctoral thesis proposal, studio art and web design, and drawing.

Prospective Jobs For Graduates With Design Degrees

Today’s design degree graduates work within a variety of fields, including the best creative career industries, advertising agencies, and art galleries, using information attained through associate, bachelor or advanced degree programs. Many design graduates work as independent consultants or freelance designers. Other design graduates work for advertising or marketing businesses as in-house creative designers or creating layouts for websites or print media. Still other design graduates work in the dynamic and expanding field of web design branding a company’s image and creating a positive web presence.

Graduates with an associate’s degree in design may find employment as illustrators, junior graphic designers, 3-D game artists, junior web developers, junior web designers, junior web programmers, or production associates. Graduates with a bachelor degree in design often work as content project managers, creative directors, editorial art directors, interactive art directors, news graphic designers, web production managers, news graphics technologists, or studio managers. Graduates who obtain a master’s degree in design often work as upper level design executives within businesses or corporations, independent consultants, researchers, or perhaps even instructors. Graduates who complete doctoral degree programs in the field of design are qualified as experts within the field and work as lead instructors, researchers, and executives.

Salaries For Graduates With Design Degrees

Earnings for graduates with design degrees have the potential to establish long term and lucrative careers in the expanding field of technology, communications, and graphics. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that the median salaries for most graduates with design degrees rang between $32,600 to $56,620 annually. Factors like level of education, area of specialty, organization of employment, related work experience, and geographic location often affect a design degree graduate’s earnings. As with most careers, graduates who attain higher degrees, continue education, and refine skills through specialized studies qualify for competitive jobs within expanding fields like advertising, marketing, e-commerce, graphic design, public relations, web developing, and print media. Graduates who work independently as freelance designers or consultants often earn $57,000 annually. Graduates who attain advanced degrees and work as executives, senior level designers, or instructors often earn $95,000 annually.

Career Outlook And Advancement Opportunities For Graduates With Design Degrees

Graduates with design degrees gain the skills, knowledge, and training necessary for career success. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statics (BLS) reports that job growth in the field of design to increase by 13 percent through 2018. The BLS expects design jobs to grow an average rate in comparison to other occupations. The BLS also predicts competition for jobs within the field of design is expected to be high due to the volume of applicants qualified as graphic designers. The BLS reports that graduates who complete specializations within the field of web site design, Internet advertising, web coding, and animation may find increased employability. Many employers seek graduates who can work as web site developers in addition to web design. Graduates often find the best opportunities to build lasting careers within computer systems design, advertizing, marketing, public relations, and newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers. The field of design provides qualified individuals with design degrees the ability to advance their careers by gaining experience, advancing or continuing education, and specializing their skills.

Beginning designers are generally required to gain one to three years of work experiences before advancing to higher positions within firms or businesses. More experienced designers often advance to chief designer, art or creative director, or supervisory/management positions within larger firms. Many design graduates who complete advanced degree programs combined with work experiences often work as instructors or researchers within the field. Additionally, many graduates with advanced degrees operate self owned firms upon gaining adequate funding.

List of Design Degrees

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