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Associate Degree in Visual Communication

Many people find it difficult to choose a degree because they're concerned about limiting their future opportunities. A degree in visual communications is a great option for individuals that want to acquire job specific skills while expanding their career opportunities in the fields of design, marketing and advertising. Students enrolled in a visual communications program will find that upon graduation they'll have a myriad of career opportunities.

An Associate of Arts (AA) in visual communication prepares students for careers in various careers within the fields of commercial art and design. Student will learn how to develop marketing collateral for businesses (logos, advertisments, brochures, etc.), digital artwork and designed used in websites, 3-D animations, illustrations and interactive media.

An associate degree in visual communication is also a great stepping stone to a bachelor's degree in visual communication, web development, or advertising. (When earning an associate degree with the intention of pursuing a bachelor's degree, student should make sure they earn their degree from a regionally accredited institution.)

Most schools that offers associate degrees in visual communications require applicants to have a high school diploma or the equivalent (GED). Other prerequisite courses in art, graphic design or drawing may be required depending on the program.

Visual commuication associate degree courses teach students how to use visual items, imagery and artwork to communicate concepts, ideas and words in an effective manner. Students will learn how to develop visual designs, illustrations and media to communicate specific messages used in marketing and advertising campaigns. General education courses typically cover the following topics:

  • Visual concepts
  • Art history
  • Design and color
  • Vector illustration
  • Digital illustration
  • Concepts of drawing
  • 3-D animation
  • Imaging
  • Typography

Career Options
Visual communication is one of the few fields where an associate degree will prepare students for a variety of entry-level career positions. Graduates of visual design programs can be qualified to find entry-level positions at magazines, publishing companies, web design firms and advertising agencies. Job positions include:

  • Graphic designer
  • Animator
  • Artist
  • Multimedia specialist
  • Illustrator

Job Outlook and Pay
Between 2012 and 2022, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) projects an annual increase in employment opportunities of 6% for multimedia artists and animators. Currently, the mean annual wage for animators and multimedia artists is roughly $69,000 a year. However, these figures are representative of all industry professionals, not only those whose have an associate degree.

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