Digital Media Specialist: Career and Salary Information

A digital media specialist uses both traditional design skills and modern technology to produce a variety of applications including games, websites, audio content, special effects, and animation. Digital specialists may also work as interactive television producers, graphic designers, audio engineers, or social media experts.

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Career Information for Digital Media Specialists

Individuals may follow several different paths to acquire training as digital media specialists. Certificates and associate's degrees in the field can be earned in two years or less and may prepare graduates for entry-level positions. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) suggests at least a bachelor's degree in this field because of the amount of technical knowledge required (www.bls.gov). Those who obtain at least a bachelor's degree may be qualified for supervisory or leadership roles in the industry.

Entry Level Jobs

Graduates of associate degree or certificate programs in digital media often begin their careers as part of team and may work on the production of independent television programs, commercials, music videos, e-books, computer games, or documentaries. They usually work behind the scenes in these enterprises and may be responsible for lighting, editing, or animating a project. Job titles for associate's degree holders may include multimedia production technician, animation technician, or digital media developer.

Because of the teamwork required in these positions, digital media specialists must be able to follow directions exactly, communicate with their peers and meet the needs of clients. Entry-level workers are expected to have good computer troubleshooting skills and should be familiar with commonly used software programs such as Dreamweaver, Flash, InDesign, and others.

Supervisory Roles

Workers with experience in the field and a bachelor's degree may become team leaders in digital media. They may work for digital media firms that use video, animation, print, Internet, and multimedia technology to increase sales or spread a corporate message. They may hold job titles such as scheduler, planner, customer service representative, or designer.

Both non-profit organizations and for-profit businesses use digital media specialists to communicate with the public. Degree holders may be responsible for a company's social media presence and must be able to manage content on sites such as Twitter and Facebook. They may also produce Web content including blogs, video clips, and more. Experience with QuarkXPress, Photoshop, WordPress, HTML, and CSS is desirable.

Those who acquire master's degrees in digital media may use a variety of previously unrelated disciplines to solve complex problems in the business world. They often lead a team of workers with a broad range of skills and should have an understanding of design principles, computer science, mass communications, and more.

Salary Information and Job Outlook for Digital Media Specialists

The BLS classifies digital media specialists as multimedia artists and animators. In May 2012, the mean annual wage for workers in the field across all degree levels was $69,560. The top 10% of earners made $113,470 or more per year. The BLS projected that employment in the sector would grow by about eight percent from 2010-2020.

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
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  • School locations:
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    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Associate
        • Associate in Information Technology - Multimedia
        • Associate in Web Design Technology

    What year did you graduate from high school?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 21 years of age or older and have completed some college or 24 years of age or older and a high school graduate for a Bachelor's degree
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree
    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 live within close proximity to school locations
    • Must be graduated from high school by 2011
    School locations:
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    • Florida (1 campus)
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    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Bachelor
        • Bachelor - Animation Technology
        • Bachelor of Science - Animation Technology
        • Bachelor of Science - Web Design and Development
        • Bachelor of Science - Visual Communications - Graphic Design
        • Bachelor of Fine Arts - Audio Production
        • Bachelor - Digital Media Production
    • Associate
        • Associate - Radio Broadcasting
        • Associate - Web Design and Development
        • Associate - Graphic Design
    • Non-Degree
        • Certificate - Web Design and Development

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    School locations:
    • Online Learning
    • Arizona (1 campus)
    • California (2)
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    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    Do you prefer online or campus based learning?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • All degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree or higher
    • Post-Master's Certificate degree applicants must have a Masters degree or higher
    School locations:
    • Maryland (1 campus)

    Classroom-Based Programs

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

    Online and Classroom-Based Programs

    • Master
    • Bachelor
        • BFA in Communications Design & Interactive Media
        • BFA in Animation - 2D
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        • Certificate in 3D Animation - Character Animation
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        • Certificate in 3D Animation - Pre-Production

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Other Schools:

  • School locations:
    • Illinois (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at Northwestern University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • Digital, Radio, and Television Communication
        • Multimedia and Digital Communication
      • English Composition
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Journalism
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    • Columbia (D.C.) (1 campus)
    Areas of study you may find at George Washington University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Associate, Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Digital, Radio, and Television Communication
        • Multimedia and Digital Communication
      • English Composition
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Journalism
      • Public Relations and Advertising

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