Online Associate Degree in Multimedia
Find out what kinds of programs offer multimedia training as well as coursework and specializations available. Learn about careers that might need this training and the median salary for those jobs.
What Does an Online Degree in Multimedia Cover?
The field of multimedia can include studies in a number of areas, including web design, graphic design, and animation. This could involve creating messages or advertisements, designs, or even full-length productions. In an associate's degree program, you'll learn primarily about digital media production techniques, including those involving audio and video production. You'll also learn how to create digital designs, manipulate images, and edit productions in your online degree program.
|Program Types||Associate of Arts, Associate of Applied Science|
|Continuing Education||After earning an associate's degree, students will be more knowledgeable about what 4 year degree program they are interested in or will be immediately prepared to work.|
|Median Salary||$50,370 for graphic designers, $34,000 for photographers, $65,390 for artists, and $70,520 for multimedia artists*|
|Job Outlook (2016-2026)*||4% for graphic designers, 6% decline for photographers, 6% for artists, 8% for multimedia artists|
|Program Accreditation||The National Center for Education Statistics is an invaluable resource to check if the program you are interested in is accredited|
|Common Courses||Image manipulation, desktop publishing, website development|
Source: Bureau of Labor and Statistics
What Types of Degrees Are Available Online?
Online degree programs in this field aren't widely available, and for-profit institutions typically offer those that are available. Furthermore, the term 'multimedia' can refer to numerous different degree fields that may be offered more on campus or online, including web design, animation, digital design, graphic design, graphic arts, multimedia technologies, and more. Depending on the school, these degrees may be offered as Associate of Arts (AA) or Associate of Applied Science (AAS) degrees.
How Can an Associate's Degree Help Me?
Earning an associate's degree in multimedia can benefit you in several ways. First, an associate's degree program can provide you with an introduction to the field of multimedia design, before you commit to a 4-year program or to a career in the field. Associate's degree programs also require you to complete many, if not all, of your general education requirements. Because of this structure, much of your associate's degree coursework can be transferred to a 4-year school, allowing you to complete your bachelor's degree with only two years of further education. While an associate's degree program will prepare you to major in multimedia design in a bachelor's degree program, you'll also have the option to choose a different major if you move on to a bachelor's degree program.
In addition to preparing you for further education, an associate's degree can also prepare you to enter the workforce immediately. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), individuals with associate's degrees earn more and are more likely to be employed than those without degrees (www.bls.gov). The following list highlights some jobs that can be obtained with just an associate's degree, along with the corresponding May 2014 median salaries, as reported by the BLS:
- Multimedia artist or animator: $72,520
- Artist: $65,390
- Photographer: $34,000
- Graphic designer: $50,370
Why Should I Earn My Degree Online?
Online associate's degree programs may offer you several advantages. One advantage is that online programs typically allow you to complete the program at your own pace. Online courses are similar to on-campus courses, requiring you to listen to lectures, complete coursework, and take tests, but they frequently include a class website where you can access course material any time that fits your daily schedule the best. Before applying to an online program, you should make sure your school is accredited because unaccredited schools offer some programs. You can check accreditation with the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES), a website administered by the U.S. Department of Education (www.nces.ed.gov).
What Courses Will I Take?
Courses may vary depending on whether the program is geared toward web design, animation, or another multimedia area. However, since multimedia fields often work together, commonalities do exist among the available types of programs. Some of the topics you might expect to cover include the following:
- Website development
- Digital photography
- Desktop publishing
- Image manipulation
- Audio-video production