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Career Information for a Degree in Graphic Communications

A degree program for graphic communications prepares students to find work as graphic designers, production managers or even publishing specialists. Careers in graphic communications cover all aspects of visual design, including marketing and art.

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What Is a Degree in Graphic Communications?

Degree programs in graphic communications generally lead to an associate's or bachelor's degree. Students learn the artistic and technological skills they need to work as page designers or related roles. Some bachelor's degree programs and most graduate-level courses in graphic communications prepare students for higher-level work, usually in the field of management.

Specific subjects include production techniques, color theory and computer-generated imagery. Among many other potential job titles, graduates might become graphic designers, print supervisors or desktop publishers. Entry-level positions in graphic communications require little prior education, so a degree in graphic communications may help job candidates stand out from the competition.

Graphic Designers

Graphic designers work for advertising firms, publishing companies, consulting firms and design companies. Many are also self-employed. They use visual media to create designs and layouts that communicate a message or inform an audience about an idea, product or concept. Many graphic designers are employed on the Web, but many others work to create printed products such as magazine layouts, brochures and posters.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), graphic designers with computer and multimedia animation skills are likely to see slower than average employment growth between 2012 and 2022, at a rate of 7%. The median annual salary in this field was $44,150 as of 2012 (www.bls.gov).

Print Supervisors

Printed media includes items like books and magazines, but also advertisements, posters and clothing. The technological skills that a graphic communications program covers can prepare graduates for a job as a bindery worker or print technician, though this level of education may qualify individuals to obtain management positions. Coordinating complex print operations requires organizing not only projects, but also the people who complete those tasks. According to the job-search website, (www.payscale.com), the median annual wage for printing supervisors is $51,189 as of February 2014.

Desktop Publishers

Desktop publishers use specialized programs like Adobe InDesign and Microsoft Publisher to format and design pages for publication, printing or other uses. Although many desktop publishers work for publications, other types of organizations - from advertising firms to nonprofit companies - also hire desktop publishers to create newsletters, brochures, reports, advertisements and other print or electronic media products.

The BLS expects career opportunities in this field to decline 5% between 2012 and 2022 because of the ease with which a non-professional can accomplish desktop publishing tasks. The median annual salary for desktop publishers as of 2012 was $37,040.

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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)

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Master
    • Bachelor
        • BFA in Communications Design (Online)
        • BFA in Graphic Design
        • BFA in Communications Design & Interactive Media
    • 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
    • Currently not accepting applications from Texas residents
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    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 be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning

    Online Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate in Game Design and Animation

    What is your highest level of education?

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

    Distance Learning Programs

    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate - Undergraduate in Graphic Design

    What is your highest level of education?

Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • North Dakota (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of North Dakota include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Graphic Communications
  • School locations:
    • Illinois (2 campuses)
    Areas of study you may find at Northwestern College include:
      • Non-Degree: Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Graphic Communications
        • Prepress, Publishing, and Image Design
  • School locations:
    • Iowa (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at University of Northern Iowa include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Digital, Radio, and Television Communication
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Graphic Communications
      • Public Relations and Advertising

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