Graphic Design Degree—You don't have to be “born” an artist

Today's Technology + Your Creativity = an Exciting Career
Few careers have realized the impact of technology more than that of Graphic Design. The artist is no longer sitting in a back room, laboring over a drafting table with large sheets of paper and bottles of paints and ink. Whether your field is advertising, web site creation, photography retouching, presentation development, computer or video animation, package development or a host of other possibilities, the range of unbelievable effects and the opportunity to learn how to use them is available from the comfort of your own home.

Prestigious computer design schools with online programs are waiting for you to sign up and begin learning the 21st century eye-popping techniques that will make you an asset to any business. read more »

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To understand how drastically technology has changed graphic design, you hardly need to look any further than your favorite video cartoon. Before the computer age, artists would spend hours creating just one cartoon figure, and then redrawing the same figure hundreds of times just to make the figure “walk” across the screen. Today, that same effect can be created with computer software—in just minutes, making it possible for the designer to dream up more episodes and situations than could ever have been done 50 years ago.

Not into cartoons? Take a glance around your home. Every single object you purchase comes in some sort of attractive package—from cereal boxes to the multi-color design on the box of that new set of speakers you just purchased. Visual appeal sells products—from toilet tissue to food, and everything between. Companies know this and quite happily pay for a designer who can create packages that catch the eye of the hurried shopper. As a matter of fact, the package, which is considered “advertising,” is often actually more costly than the material inside, at least from the company perspective. Of course, the cost is spread out over thousands of duplicates of the same package, but nevertheless, advertising is one of the primary expenses of any major company.

Are you hoping to build your own business, set your own prices and your own hours? Due to the high cost of fringe benefits, more companies every year are outsourcing as many processes as possible, including their graphic design needs. You could work for a studio for a while to build a name and reputation for yourself and then freelance in a profitable career that you could take with you even on vacation—if you wish. Also, since graphic design does not actually require a finished degree, you can using the skills you acquire in an online school to begin building your portfolio and your business.

The Compensation You Can Expect

It’s difficult to predict what kind of salary you would have as a graphic designer. That's because things like the specific job, geographic area, education and experience, and the size of the company all contribute to your salary. However, the American Institute of Graphic Arts reports the following job titles with associated average salaries:

A formal degree is not required for a graphic designer. However, the field is highly competitive, and many entry level positions do require at least a bachelor’s degree. If you want to attract the attention of one of the higher paying companies, your chances will be much better with a focused degree and an accompanying portfolio.
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