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Jobs for Communication Design Majors: Career Facts

Find out about the types of jobs you could pursue in the communication design field. Read on to lean about career options, education requirements and salary information.

What Careers Can I Pursue with a Communication Design Degree?

Graduates of communication design bachelor's programs or similar programs can find employment as graphic designers, web developers or creative directors. Graphic designers create original artwork using design software for brochures, websites, advertising campaigns and more. Web developers may also create designs, though they focus more on developing the overall look and and feel of a website through site programming, integrated images and in-site applications. Art directors oversee numerous design projects and supervise staff, which may include graphic designers and web developers.

Graphic Designer Web Developer Art Director
Degree Required Bachelor's degree Associate's degree Bachelor's degree
Education Field of Study Graphic arts or graphic design Computer programming, graphic design Art, graphic design, fine arts
Key Responsibilities Creativity, problem-solving, originality Design and layout of web pages work with artists, visual communication
Job Growth (2014-24) 3%* 13%* 1%*
Median Salary (2015) $50,370*$69,430* $92,780*

Source: *U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

What Could I Do With a Communication Design Major?

In the field of communication design, you'd use new and time-tested graphic methods to communicate a message to a target audience. Your career options include various industries that make use of communication design, including private corporations, government agencies and nonprofit organizations. To work in communication design, you'll need to combine creativity, artistry, business strategy, market research and problem-solving skills. In some instances, communication design also can involve storytelling, the written word, typography, audio and even smell.

What Classes Would I Take?

If you have a high school diploma, you may enroll in a bachelor's degree program in communication design. A typical Bachelor of Fine Arts in Communication Design degree program is interdisciplinary, and combines the study of graphic design, video production, typography, photography, media, communication studies, broadcasting, technology and Web design. You might encounter classes, such as calligraphy, corporate design, marketing, advertising, animation and Web media.

Alternatively, a Bachelor of Arts degree program might allow you to study media law, business management and other relevant subjects. After you graduate, you might consider enrolling in a master's or doctoral degree program in communication design or a related discipline.

What Jobs Can I Choose From?

You might consider becoming a creative director, art director, product designer, graphic artist or graphic designer. If you're interested in working exclusively online, you could choose to become a Web designer or developer.

What Are My Job Prospects?

Many of the positions you can apply for with a bachelor's degree in communication design fall under the umbrella of graphic design. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the number of graphic design jobs was predicted to increase by 8,800 jobs or 3% from 2018-2028.

The BLS estimated that the median annual wage for graphic design professionals was $50,370 in 2018. In 2019, Payscale.com reported median salaries, including:

  • Creative directors - $88,517
  • Art directors - $66,177
  • Web designers and developers - $49,601
  • Product advertising designers - $43,000
  • Graphic artists - $44,476

What Are Some Related Alternative Careers?

One alternative career could be as a multimedia artist and animator. You'll be making a variety of special animation effects for such media as music videos, video games, feature films, or television shows. In most cases, a bachelor's degree is the entry-level requirement for this career. Fashion design is a short step from graphic design in the creation of original work for shoes, clothing, and accessories. Fashion designers need a bachelor's degree and experience with fabrics and patterns. If you have significant work experience and enjoy the more technical side of communication design, you might consider becoming a computer and information systems manager. These professionals also require a bachelor's degree. They help organizations determine their computer and information needs and the best way to meet them.