High-Tech Digital Design Degrees
Whether you know it or not, digital design may play a huge role in your daily life. The street signs you see every day, logos of small and large businesses, and even the food in your refrigerator is stamped, imprinted, and marked with the work of digital artists.
Design used to be a pen-and-paper field, with workers spending hours over logos and designs we may still recognize today. With increasingly sophisticated technology, however, digital designers may complete tasks more efficiently than ever before.
Necessary Training for a High-Tech Art
The benefits of digitized design are obvious: designers may work from home on projects. Freelance designers can move from project to project without giving up months of their time. Projects may be completed faster and modified more easily to meet the changing needs of clients.
With all that convenience, however, comes some necessary requirements. Education and training become more important as computer-aided design programs grow more sophisticated. With workers aspiring to enter the field, competition increases, and a strong portfolio may become essential for employment.
Popular Digital Design Specializations
Your focused digital design training depends highly on your individual educational and career goals. The Bureau of Labor Statistics recommends a bachelor's degree for those interested in entry-level design positions, and notes that those with Web design and animation experience are expected to see the best job opportunities.
Certificates and degrees in desktop publishing and graphic design are recommended for aspiring desktop publishers, who largely work with newspaper, periodical, book, and directory publishers.
Coursework in Digital Design
Though all educational programs are different, students of digital design should expect to receive a standard education including coursework relevant to the industry. Courses may include animated Web graphics, developing a corporate identity through design, optimizing website performance, effective uses of typography, and more.
Typical Digital Design Salaries
Desktop publishers earned an average of $37,470 in 2007, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Those working for advertising and related services earned slightly more, at $42,840. That same year, graphic designers earned $45,340. The portfolio-building experience you earn with a degree in digital design can have real rewards in the competitive design and publishing industries.
Improve Your Portfolio
Do you already have a basic knowledge of the programs and techniques you need to become a Flash animator, Web designer, art director, or computer illustrator? You may still need the fundamentals only offered by formal education. Career training in digital design can give you portfolio experience, a chance to build the body of work you'll eventually show to hiring managers and potential clients.
Even if you have some existing knowledge of the industry, an education offers proof of your talent, commitment, and experience to potential employers. A digital design degree offers much more than an art-school education--rather, it can create a foundation for the rest of your career.