With this degree, you’ll learn the basics of design as it is done in digital format. This may include creating 3D worlds for virtual reality or working with manufacturing to create a new product, depending on your interests and the program you choose.
Graphic designers create visual concepts, using computer software or by hand, to communicate ideas that inspire, inform, and captivate consumers. Digital designers develop, create, and test website or interface layout, functions, and navigation for usability. They are responsible for the look and functionality of the website or interface.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average median salary for Graphic Designers in 2020 was $53,380 per year. (visited March 24, 2022).
Web Developers and Designers average median salary for 2020 was $77,200 per year according to BLS. (visited March 24, 2022).
An online degree in Digital Design usually includes the same number of credit hours as its on-campus counterpart. That means it should take you about 4 years to finish an online degree. However, if you are taking the degree online because of time constraints or work and family obligations, you may not be able to attend full-time and, therefore, it could take up to 6-8 years to attain your degree.
Before choosing a major there are some important facts you should know about.
When you know that you want to major in Digital Design, you should find out if the colleges and universities you're most interested in carry this major. You should check the academic catalogs of each university to verify which ones do carry an Digital Design major and verify with your state's department of education that the colleges you're considering offer the appropriate Digital Design education program you need for your field.
If a university you're considering doesn't carry a Digital Design major, then it's time to cross that school off your list. Keep checking the other schools. For those that do have a Digital Design major, begin looking over their programs so you get a better idea which university interests you the most.
Before you declare a major in Digital Design, you should have an idea of what kind of timeframe you're looking at. If you are trying to achieve an associate degree, you will only need to finish about 60 credit hours over 2 years. However, if you are going for you bachelor's (B.S. or B.A.) degree in Digital Design, you will need to complete 120 credit hours over four years. And, if you want to attain a master's degree as well, you will have to finish your bachelors first and then spend around 2 years completing 60 more credit hours. Some of the coursework you will find in typical Digital Design degrees are:
Only 41% of students actually manage to finish their Digital Design degree on time. There are a variety of factors that could potentially play a part in unexpectedly extending your college career, such as:
Work. Working over 25 hours per week can get in the way of academics.
Credit Hours. Most colleges will define a full course load as 12 credit hours per semester. If you do the math, you will see that you actually need to take 15 credit hours per semester in order to graduate on time.
Transferring. Many students end up transferring during their college career. Many times, there are hiccups with transferring credits. This can put you behind, or even cause you to end up losing your credits altogether.
Be aware of these common mistakes, so that you don't make them yourself.
The college or university itself should be accredited. Look for a regionally accredited school based on that school's location.
The six regional accreditation agencies are:
Online-only schools should have accreditation from the Distance Education Accrediting Commission, the Distance Education and Training Council, or the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges but they should also hold regional accreditation.
Accreditation is an important part of the selection process. It adds value to a Bachelor of Arts in Animation degree by offering wider acceptance than degrees from non-accredited schools receive. Accreditation ensures employers and other reviewers of your educational background that you have a quality education in Animation. It informs potential employers that the graduate has the expected level of education and knowledge to perform work in today's high-paced, technology-driven environments.
The Department of Education designates regional and national accreditation agencies. It is also through this department that educational loans and grants are provided to college students. The federal policy is to limit student loans to schools and colleges with acceptable accreditation. Which means that, if your school isn't accredited, you will likely not be eligible to receive any financial aid. For many students, accreditation is key to getting funds to pay for the substantial costs of a degree in Digital Design.
Depending on your school and if you are paying in-state or out-of-state tuition, a Digital Design bachelor's degree can cost as little as $30,000 or as much as $300,000. The key difference in the price will depend on whether you attend a public, in-state school or a private school. Note that if you attend a public school in another state that you will probably pay twice (or more) of the base tuition. Private schools can be more or less expensive depending on the prestige of the school for Digital Design or if they are charging additional fees for out-of-state students to attend the college.
If you are going to spend a lot of time and energy to attain an Digital Design degree, you will certainly want some job placement assistance as you near graduation. Discuss this with your admissions counselor when you are considering the right program. In fact, you might want to broaden that discussion by asking about how your school handles internships and if co-op programs are available. Experiential learning can help you not only gain the skills needed to land a job, but you can also cultivate a professional network that will help you build the career you deserve.