Career Information for a Degree in Design and Applied Arts

Design and applied art programs prepare people to design applications for art and convert ideas into visual images including drawing, layout and manipulating images for commercial and non-profit purposes. People who have obtained a degree in design and applied arts find employment as designers, graphic designers and multimedia artists.

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Careers for People Who Have a Degree in Design and Applied Arts

People interested in design and applied arts combine artistic vision with commercial need. Art designers produce images to sell, educate, entertain and use their vision to create works of art found in publications and on signs, billboards, company logos, company letterhead and websites. Those who have completed a degree program in design and applied arts may have several career options available for them.

Designers

Designers combine practical knowledge and applied skills to create manual and computer-generated images to be used for commercial purposes to sell products and promote services. Many designers choose to focus on one or two particular areas, such as clothing, textiles, floral arrangements, websites, logos, home and office interiors or sets. Designers begin by preparing sketches or models to illustrate the vision for their design, and then will often supervise those who carry out their creations.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), employment for designers was expected to grow as fast as average for the years 2010-2020 (www.bls.gov). A large number of designers are self-employed and do freelance work, often in addition to other design contracts. Designers' earnings can vary depending on their specialization and type of organization.

Graphic Design

Graphic designers plan, analyze and create visual images to communicate a message. They may use digital photography and photo printing to create graphic art. Graphic artists produce the majority of all modern print media ranging from brochures, posters, advertisements, magazines and commercials. Most graphic artists use computer programs that allow them to edit digital images efficiently.

Graphic designers work in the design industry including areas such as multimedia development, multimedia design, Web page design, advertising and computer graphic design. The BLS stated in 2012 that the median annual wage of graphic designers was $44,150.

Multimedia Art and Animation

Multimedia artists and animators draw series of illustrations that form animated moving images as seen in movies, television programs and video games. They may use various digital programs in order to easily manipulate animations or 3-D models.

Well-trained animators will continue to enjoy demand for their services and above average salaries, particularly in film special effects, video gaming and computer systems design. The BLS stated that the median annual wage for animators and multimedia artists was $61,370 in May 2012.

Degree Programs in Design and Applied Arts

In design and applied art programs, students learn the theories of color and design as well as techniques of drawing, animation and photo editing. Many design and applied art students take courses in marketing, business management and computer science. Schools offer 2-year associate's degree programs and 4-year bachelor's degree programs related to design and applied arts, such as graphic design programs.

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Popular Schools

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (3 campuses)
    • California (16)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (6)
    • Georgia (5)
    • Illinois (7)
    • Indiana (2)
    • Maryland (1)
    • Michigan (1)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Missouri (2)
    • North Carolina (2)
    • New Jersey (3)
    • Nevada (1)
    • New York (2)
    • Ohio (4)
    • Oklahoma (1)
    • Oregon (1)
    • Pennsylvania (4)
    • Tennessee (2)
    • Texas (7)
    • Utah (1)
    • Virginia (3)
    • Washington (3)
    • Wisconsin (1)

    What is your classroom preference?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Colorado (1 campus)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Master
    • Bachelor
        • BFA in Undeclared
        • BFA - Fine Art
        • BFA in Art Education
        • BFA in Art Education - Sculpture
        • BFA in Fine Art - Sculpture
        • BFA in Graphic Design
    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate in 3D Animation - Character Animation
        • Certificate in Design Strategy & Innovation
        • Certificate in 3D Animation - Pre-Production

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Florida (1 campus)

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Florida (1 campus)
    • Minnesota (1)
    • Texas (1)
    • Washington (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 18 years of age or older
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • California (8 campuses)
    • Colorado (3)
    • Florida (3)
    • Georgia (2)
    • Hawaii (2)
    • Massachusetts (1)
    • Maryland (1)
    • New Mexico (2)
    • Texas (1)
    • Utah (3)
    • Virginia (1)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    Do you prefer online or campus based learning?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Which subject are you interested in?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Pennsylvania (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Pennsylvania include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: First Professional Certificate, Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • Graphic Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
      • Photography, Film, and Video
  • School locations:
    • North Carolina (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Duke University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • General Visual Communications Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts
  • School locations:
    • Indiana (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Notre Dame include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Visual and Performing Arts
      • Design and Applied Arts
        • General Visual Communications Design
      • Drama and Theatre Arts
      • Fine Arts and Studio Art
      • Musical Arts

Popular Schools

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

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