Communication Design Majors

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue with a major in communication design. Read on to learn more about career options along with education and salary information. Schools offering Communication Design & Interactive Media degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What Does a Communications Design Professional Do?

Communications design professionals use their knowledge of design principles and technology to produce graphics for advertisements, websites and product packaging along with other items clients may request. Two examples include public relations specialists and graphic designers.

Public relations specialists monitor the public's opinion of their organization and work to maintain a positive image. They control communications with the media, including press releases, speeches and interviews. Through these means, public relations specialists aim to facilitate positive communication between an organization and its clientele.

Graphic designers use computer software to create magazines, brochures, advertisements and other forms of visual communications. Their goal is to create appealing designs for organizations. While they may not write the text, they often make decisions about the size, font and position of text within a medium to create the most aesthetically pleasing message.

Public Relations Specialist Graphic Designer
Degree Required Bachelor's degree Bachelor's degree
Certification N/A Professional certifications optional
Job Growth (2014-2024) 6%* 1%*
Median Salary (2015) $56,770* $46,900*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What is Communications Design?

Communications design is a program that prepares you to work in a visually creative field that produces problem-solving projects using the latest tools in technology. Through this program, you will learn how to analyze products and send messages through creative communication outlets. You are taught to persuade people to buy products and create visually appealing packaging and brands. This is an opportunity for you to become an innovator while being the link between society, commerce and computers. Through computer graphics and drawing, you will learn how to become a strong problem solver utilizing graphic design and advertising to convey an array of messages.

What Programs are Available?

The two most common degree levels for a communications design major are at the bachelor's and master's level. Associate and Ph.D. programs are very rare. The degree is also called visual communications design and can usually be found as a Bachelor or Master of Fine Arts.

In the bachelor's and master's programs, you learn skills in problem solving, print design, web design, 3-D graphics, corporate identity, and information graphics. You also study various art principles, such as color theory and topography. You learn to apply various visual argumentative strategies to best fit the product or message at hand.

Some of the courses you may come across in this program are hypermedia production, information culture, simulations, interactive media, drawing, persuasion, product analysis and computer design.

Along with your degree, professional certifications are available for programs through certain software companies. These certifications may give you an advantage in your job search.

What Jobs Can I Apply For?

Advertising and graphic design are two of the most common career areas that graduates pursue. Many of the jobs available are in the areas of advertisement, graphic design, publishing, junior illustrator, print magazine advertisement, advertisement sales agent, specialized design services, public relations assistant and sales manager.

How Much Can I Make?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, in May of 2015, graphic designers made median yearly salary of $46,900, while public relations specialists made a median yearly salary of $56,770 (www.bls.gov). The BLS also reports that the yearly median salary for advertising managers was $95,890, and $89,760 for art directors in 2015.

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

Similar to graphic designers, multimedia artists and animators use digital tools to create effects or models that might be incorporated into advertisements, television shows, movies, video games and other forms of media. The main difference is that multimedia artists create animation, whereas graphic designers typically create static images. Public relations specialists may have an opportunity to be promoted to a public relations manager. These managers lead a team which works to mold the public image of their employer, including the creation of speeches, press releases and the like. Both of these careers require a bachelor's degree.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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