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Strayer University

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Southern New Hampshire University

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Full Sail University

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Columbia Southern University

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Colorado Christian University

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Grand Canyon University

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Degrees in Computer Design

Degree programs in Computer Aided Design (CAD), web design and graphic design can equip you with advanced designing skills that let you work in a technical or artistic capacity. Learn more about available programs, online study options, the typical coursework and your career prospects.

What Degrees Can I Earn in Computer Design?

Several schools offer undergraduate degree programs in computer design. If you're interested in learning how to convert ideas into technical drawings and models, many schools offer CAD associate's degree programs. Web design associate's degree programs are also available. You can learn how to conceive, design and implement the visual content of professional and personal websites. More comprehensive Web design bachelor's degree programs are also available, but less common. You may also find graphic design bachelor's degree programs that can teach you how to produce designs for digital, print and other media. These 4-year degree programs are the most common, although some associate's degree programs are available.

Degrees Available Associate's, bachelor's
Online Options Yes, both hybrid and fully online programs are available
CAD Courses Building materials, mechanical drafting, residential drafting
Web Design Courses Flash, imaging, electronic illustration
Graphic Design Courses Typography, digital animation, digital imaging
Career Opportunities Drafter, web designer, graphic designer

Are Any of These Programs Online?

You'll find that a handful of schools offer hybrid CAD programs; some Web and graphic design programs can be completed entirely online. In addition to an Internet connection, most schools require you to have access to design software like Adobe Acrobat, Adobe Flash, Final Cut Studio and Apple iLife.

What Courses Are Typical For These Programs?

A 2-year CAD program is designed for aspiring drafters. You can study industry-standard software applications such as AutoCAD and MicroStation. You'll also take courses on building materials, civil application software, mechanical drafting and residential drafting.

Most associate's degree programs in Web design will offer core courses in digital imaging, electronic illustration and digital photography. You'll also learn how to use Flash, Dreamweaver and Photoshop applications.

Graphic design bachelor's degree programs usually include classes such as design theory, typography, digital animation and digital imaging. In addition to Web applications, a 4-year program also includes instruction in print and video mediums. Additionally, most programs offer elective courses in communications, business and project management.

What Can These Degrees Do For My Career?

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), a CAD associate's degree program can prepare you for a job as a drafter. Civil and architectural drafters earned a median annual salary of $55,550 as of May 2018. Graduates of web design associate's degrees can pursue entry-level jobs as web designers, according to some schools.

Graphic designers earned a median annual salary of $50,370 in 2018. You will need a bachelor's degree to enter this field. The BLS also projected that job opportunities for graphic designers would grow 4% (slower than average) in the 2016-2026 decade, with the highest demand coming from advertising and computer design firms.