Digital Media Degrees
Digital media programs are offered at multiple educational levels. Learn about courses commonly taught in these programs along with careers needing such knowledge and skills.
What Degree Programs Are Available in Digital Media?
As an undergraduate, you could pursue digital media in an associate's or bachelor's degree program. Some programs, particularly bachelor's degree-level programs or higher, have special focuses, such as production or management. You may also choose a specialization, including computer animation and visual effects, web production or time-based media production. For further studies, master's and doctoral programs are available.
|Degree Levels||Bachelor's, associate's, master's and doctoral degree programs|
|Common Courses||Graphic design, animation, web design, visual effects, web content management|
|Online Options||Online digital media degrees are available|
|Career Choices||Web designer, interactive media developer, animator, website manager, web content producer, video editor|
|Median Salary (2018)||$50,370 (for graphic designers)*|
|Job Outlook (2016-26)||4% (for all graphic designers)*|
Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics
What Topics Will I Study?
With an associate's degree in digital media, you could learn how to create digital and graphic designs for advertisements and web pages. You could study color theory, typography, the basics of graphic design, animation, page layout and digital imagery. These skills are essential in developing interactive web pages, CDs, DVDs and video games.
The bachelor's degree program covers many of those introductory topics; however, your concentration could be on production, development and management of audio and video content for the emerging media. You will learn cinematography, history of design, animation, web design, special effects techniques using various software programs, as well as web and print layout. Some digital media courses may include creating storyboards, incorporating photography into your designs, developing characters and using texture. Your course topics will depend on your chosen specializations.
Master's degree programs in digital media may focus on the arts through courses in world building, visual effects and game development methods. Doctoral degree programs include research-based coursework and projects intended to solve issues through the application of digital media in various aspects of life including health, lifestyle and education. Many graduate degree programs require thesis projects, which could be a media-based project or research. Other topics of study include:
- Using computer-generated imagery
- Sound in media
- 2D drawing and painting
- Project development
Are Online Programs Available?
Most digital media programs are entirely campus-based. However, you may find a bachelor's degree program through distance learning. Online, you can complete projects using digital media techniques acquired from pre-recorded videos. You may submit assignments online and build a digital portfolio that you can present to potential employers.
How Can I Use My Degree?
With an associate's degree in digital media, you could start your career as an entry-level graphic designer creating advertisements for online and print publications. With a bachelor's degree, you could be a Flash animator developing scenes or characters for websites. Other opportunities that are also available to those with graduate degrees in digital media include becoming a multimedia producer, video editor, web content producer, website manager, marketing specialist, illustrator or a web developer.