Earning your degree in Visual Communications will help prepare you for a variety of career choices in multimedia, graphic design, digital imaging (medical), computer animation, and the commercial arts.
There was a time when people earned degrees in graphic design, digital media, photography and numerous other forms of visual media. While such degrees are still available, our highly developed technological age allows business, industry, and education to deliver their messages in forms that combine numerous forms of visual media into a single high impact unit. Those who really know how to make money in visual communication have learned enough of everything from photography to animation and graphics to be able to make use of multiple forms of media simultaneously. The finest universities recognize that no single visual media is sufficient and have developed degree programs designed to teach you how to "do it all."
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Those seeking careers in visual communications will find that a typical salary ranges from $35,000 a year to over $100,000. The higher paying jobs are usually held by successful managers or by individuals whose work has become well known and is sought out by companies that want an experienced designer.
Visual communication jobs are most commonly associated with advertising firms and are often highly competitive. Every company in existence needs to compete with competitors for business; advertising strategies include magazines, the internet, newspaper, billboards, television, store window and shelf displays, and packaging. Even the glossy book jacket of a novel you might have purchased has been developed by a visual communications expert for maximum impact. Everyone wants to be seen; big bucks are paid for visual communication projects that will attract customers the quickest—and persuade them to buy.
You may already have an associate or bachelor’s degree in a visual media field that would give you a head start toward a degree in visual communications. Some degrees related to visual communications include advertising design, photography, graphic design, and print design. Many colleges require that you already have a bachelor’s degree for admission to a visual communications program, but a wide range of educational backgrounds is suitable including English, marketing, and journalism. It is also a good idea to take advantage of opportunities to gain experience through marketing or advertising internships.
There is plenty of demand for visual communications professionals, but the field is very competitive. Every company wants to believe that their team of designers is the best in the industry, so begin building your portfolio early even if it means you do some work on spec or for a charity organization. In fact, charity organizations often have limited funds, but still crave the cleverest ways of attracting donors. Thus, a bit of inquiry on your part should provide you with plenty of places to try out your new skills as you learn them.