Creatively Communicate Ideas Through Graphics: Graphic Communications Degree

Do you find yourself drawn more towards images than words when it comes to sharing ideas or information? Do you find yourself agreeing wholeheartedly with the expression “A picture is worth a thousand words.”? To put this fondness for communicating using graphic elements to good use, consider a graphic communications degree. It is a creative field where instructions, messages and ideas are all conveyed with the use of graphics. By mastering the art of graphic communications your images will be able to reach beyond language and convey emotions, lifestyles, experiences and concepts along with messages. If you want to leave a lasting impression on those who view your work, then it is the right field in which to study.

Graphic Communications Degree Information

While there are many diploma and certificate level programs in this field, if you want to earn a degree you can choose between an associate’s degree, bachelor’s degree or even a master’s degree.

Associate of Science in Graphic Communications Technology

Earning an associate’s degree in this field is a process that takes about two years to complete and can help to prepare you for entry level positions in the industry. This type of program typically includes topics such as product design, lithography, applied typography, image transfer techniques and specialty imaging techniques. During the course you might also be instructed in the use of industry standard software while acquiring a broad range of skills related to the field. In addition, by developing and assembling your portfolio you will be able to showcase the professional level of your graphic communications skills.

Bachelor of Arts in Graphic Communication

When taking part in a graphic communication bachelor’s degree program the emphasis tends to be on communication, computer graphics, business-oriented writing, graphic art and design as well as publication. This type of course usually also teaches you to be proficient in the software used by people in the industry, such as After Effects, Premiere, Photoshop and Illustrator. Students are taught how to apply the principles of color theory, context, composition and layout for effective graphic communication as well as how to plan, design and create solutions for designs. Completing a bachelor’s degree in this field usually takes about four years.

Master’s Degree in Graphic Communication

With a master’s degree you can further your understanding of the technical aspects and creative challenges in the graphic communication industry. Modules that are typically included in this type of course includes professional design practice, design research methods and graphic communication principles. Modules that deal with historic and contemporary design issues might also be included. This type of course can usually be completed in one year of done full time or two years if done part time.

Graphic Communications Degree FAQ

Can I Earn My Degree In This Field Online?

While there are plenty of universities that offer degrees in this field, it is also possible to complete your studies online and at your own pace. This allows for asynchronous learning, which means you get to choose what times fit your schedule best for studying. Just bear in mind that some courses might have due dates for assignments that are weekly or biweekly. Thanks to online discussions and interactions with professors and fellow classmates you don’t have to learn on your own when studying over the internet. Course materials might include everything from e-books and articles to videos and other interactive elements. Hybrid courses also exist for this degree and allows you to visit a campus in addition to making use of the online components.

Who Is An Ideal Candidate To Study Graphic Communications?

Because graphic communications is a very creative field, it is very important that you have an interest in as well as enthusiasm for art, craft and design. You should also have a desire for working with a broad range of media and be visually-oriented. It is also a career path that is ideally suited to people who love working with others and who have good interpersonal skills. Along with being creative, you also need to be relatively tech savvy as over the years the tools of the trade has shifted from pen and papers over to computers and software.

What Are My Potential Career Options After Studying In This Field?

After earning a degree in graphic communications there are a couple of industries where your knowledge and skills are applicable. Most graduates opt for careers in graphic design companies, while others find employment at printing and promotional plants. Electronic pre-media studios, advertising agencies and in-house design and publishing departments are some examples of other places where a graphic communications degree can come in handy. The skills learned while studying in this field are also applicable in corporate environments, publishing service bureaus or government departments and newspaper publishers. It is not unusual for students to work as freelancers in the industry, establish their own design companies or become photographers after earning a degree either.

How Much Can I Potentially Earn When Working In A Graphic Communications Related Job?

The two because factors determining your income potential when working in this field is your location and type of job. For example, graphic designers earned between $27,560 and $81,320 per year during 2015 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Salaries for those focusing on web development tend to be between $34,770 and $116,620 based on data from BLS. Then there are desktop publishers who earned a median pay of $39,840 during 2015.

What Are The Other Advantages To Earning A Degree In This Field?

The knowledge and skills acquired by studying graphic communications are not just applicable in the printing industry or when working for advertising, graphic design or marketing firms. Every type of business or organization has a need for graphic communications in order to convey information about their product or services to others. This means that you might also be able to branch out to other industries, such as education, film production, public relations, human resources and more after gaining skills in graphic communications.

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