21 Online Degree Programs Available in Graphic Design & Multimedia

Careers With an Online Graphic Design Degree

In the early days of design and animation, artists, advertising professionals and other creators relied on putting pen, pencil and paint to paper. Those in animation recreated images thousands of times to produce the illusion of motion. Now, modern devices have streamlined this process, allowing creative professionals to generate more... material over less time, but with these innovations come harder deadlines and the need for more education in technology.

This trend isn't specific to animation. Graphic designers are expected to master a growing amount of software programs and continuously test the bounds of what they can accomplish under strict deadlines. Spanning from creating cartoons to designing advertisements to working on websites or for production houses, graphic designers, animators and multimedia specialists produce some of the most entertaining content you see on screens big and small.

A glimpse into the realm of graphic design, animation & multimedia
This creative field takes professionals to various realms in the professional world. Many work with advertising and marketing agencies to draft infographics, logos and brand labels for clients. Others may work for animation companies working on short-form cartoons or commercials. Some may even take up a very specialized role in filmmaking that involves editing and compositing the smallest details in some of the most popular blockbuster films. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, however, most multimedia professionals and animators were self-employed in 2012.[i] Following them, roughly one-quarter of graphic design professionals were self-employed in the same time period.[ii]

For many, this means the work field is largely what you make it. Many work in offices. Others work from their home computers. The commonality between all professionals, however, is a proficiency with technology and an ability to think creatively. If you'd like to begin learning about these cutting-edge tools and design concepts, an online degree in graphic design, animation and multimedia may be the perfect starting point.

Possible salaries for a career in graphic design, animation & multimedia
Your salary as a graphic design, animation and multimedia professional is largely decided by your specific job title, your related experience and your skill level. Consider the following careers, with statistics compiled by the BLS in 2012.BLS in 2012.

  • Multimedia artists and animators: 2012 Median annual salary of $61,370 (6 percent projected growth through 2022)[i]
  • Graphic designers: 2012 Median annual salary of $44,150 (7 percent projected growth through 2022)[ii]
  • Art directors: 2012 Median annual salary of $80,880 (3 percent projected growth through 2022)[iii]

Additional skills important for a career in graphic design, animation & multimedia
Graphic design and animation can be very detail-oriented work, so a keen and critical eye is very important. Professionals may work for hours touching up the same photo for a magazine or even the same frame of footage in a motion picture. Patience and endurance is a key element in design because, although the work can be very stimulating and creative, details are critically important and clients and co-workers often push for perfection.

[i] bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/multimedia-artists-and-animators.htm
[ii] bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/graphic-designers.htm
[iii] bls.gov/ooh/arts-and-design/art-directors.htm

Read More About Degrees in Graphic Design