Graphic and multimedia design is a broad area of study that involves graphic design, web design, advertising, photography, and other forms of art. Those who specialize in multimedia design often work as graphic designers, web designers, and animators who develop web pages, ads, videos, and other promotional products. Most graphic design and multimedia professionals earn some formal training prior to entering the field. The master’s degree is the highest degree level in this discipline, and it is designed for students who want to increase their expertise in graphic and multimedia design. It is an extension of the undergraduate degree, with advanced courses, student-tailored specializations, and dissertations.
Why a Master’s Degree?
The multimedia design master’s degree provides advanced instruction and training to students with a design or technology background. During this degree level, students build upon the knowledge and skills taught in the bachelor’s degree in graphic and multimedia design and other lower-level programs. Through advanced courses and project-based learning, grad students will develop higher-order skills and learn how to apply them in the professional world. It’s this advanced knowledge and impressive skillset that give graduate students an advantage over other job seekers with less education or training.
Getting Into a Master’s Degree Program
Earning a graduate degree in graphic and multimedia design can give you a competitive edge in the job market. To qualify for this exciting degree, all applicants must meet the educational requirements listed below:
- Bachelor’s degree from an accredited institution
- Desired score on the GMAT or GRE
- Minimum required GPA
- Completion of prerequisite coursework
Inside a Graphic and Multimedia Design Master’s Degree Program
The online master’s degree in multimedia typically lasts two to three years, depending on your course load and pace. Students will take courses in a wide variety of topics, including media and culture, multimedia design and tools, web programming, interactive design, advertising, and 3D animation. In addition to the major courses, students may also be required to complete general education courses and electives while in school. Like most master’s degrees, the graduate graphic and multimedia design program includes a thesis project or capstone course to showcase their technical skills and professional-level work.
Online students will access their courses, lectures, assignments, and grades through a learning management system, such as Blackboard or Moodle. This system is also a great communication tool for students to talk to their instructors or classmates. It’s important to keep in mind that some online graduate programs require students to meet in person a few times every year.
What’s Next for Graphic and Multimedia Design Master’s Degree Holders?
Graduates of this program will be qualified to do several different multimedia jobs. A popular track for master’s degree holders is to become graphic designers and multimedia artists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, graphic designers and multimedia artists both occupations have excellent employment projects for the future. Graphic designers are expected to see a 13% increase in employment by 2020, while multimedia artists are expected to grow 8% by 2020. This faster-than-average job growth is driven by an increasing demand for marketable designs and images on portable devices, websites, and other media outlets, as well as more realistic special effects in television, video games, and movies. Not only is this a high-demand industry with many diverse job opportunities, but it’s also a lucrative field. According the BLS, graphic designers made an average annual salary of $48,730 in 2012, whereas multimedia artists made $69,560 annually. Both professionals can make more than the average earnings with additional education and experience.