Associate of Arts (AA): Graphic Design Degree Overview
Associate of Arts in Graphic Design programs train students in art production for use in business. Students learn to create logos, brochures, interactive media and artwork for both print and online applications. Graduates can work with advertising agencies, design firms or in the art departments of a variety of industries.
Associate of Arts in Graphic Design
Students learn the drawing techniques used in print media and computer imagery. They explore art theories and work toward developing appealing promotional materials, such as websites, product packaging and brochures. Students become adept at working with computer applications, such as Adobe Flash, Photoshop and Dreamweaver. Associate programs in this field can be completed in two years, and they may require a high school diploma or the equivalent for admission.
Classes are often hands-on, with some programs offering simulated workspaces and production labs. Students often work toward building a portfolio that can be used when seeking employment to display their abilities. In addition to general education courses, students typically complete a foundational education in design, drawing and digital applications, as well as courses in:
- Computer illustration
- 3-D design
- Desktop publishing
- Art history
- Digital imaging
- Interactive media
- Visual design
Popular Career Options
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, graduates of an associate degree program can gain entry-level positions as assistant graphic designers; however, graphic design positions typically require a bachelor's degree. Graduates qualify for entry-level opportunities with graphic design firms, advertising agencies or print media publishers. They can also apply to positions in the design departments or Internet development departments of a variety of industries. Possible job titles include:
- Graphic artist
- Design assistant
- Desktop publisher
- Web designer
- Junior art director
Graduates can keep up with the latest advances in the field by participating in graphic design certificate programs. They can also broaden their knowledge base by enrolling in certificate programs in related areas, such as graphic art, digital press, Web design or desktop publishing. Individuals interested in advanced career opportunities can apply to bachelor's degree programs in graphic design.
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