Online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Media

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6 Exciting Digital Media Degree Jobs

Our world is increasingly digital. Evolving technology and modern aesthetics shape the way we create and consume, and that means growing opportunity in the job market. If you want to pursue a career that combines your artistic skills with state-of-the-art technology, digital media might be for you.

Two business professionals working together on a computer.

As a digital media expert, you’ll need to build a wide array of skills that can help you develop, create, and design our digital experience. Organizations across industries value skilled professionals who are able to create dynamic designs, website experiences, and motion graphics.

Those who seek a bachelor’s in digital media may find themselves learning skills that apply to a multitude of job opportunities in graphic design, website design, digital media, and more. Each of these areas, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), will continue to experience growth over the next several years.

Which industries are offering jobs in digital media?

Demand is high for professionals focused on design, creativity, and digital media. Design and digital media serves a diverse career market in industries such as:

  • Advertising and branding
  • Marketing
  • Software
  • Web and app development
  • Graphic design
  • Game design

There is also a growing market for in-house digital media designers in non-creative focused industries such as:

  • Healthcare
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Finance
  • Retail
  • Education

Digital Media Career Paths

With a multitude of industries seeking professionals with digital media skills, job requirements and duties can vary greatly and are often dependent on specific interests and skill sets.

For example, a graphic design job will require the creation of static images, whereas a user interface expert will design websites and programs that create the best possible experience for those who engage in the product.

Your online bachelor’s in digital media can help you build your base of skills, and then additional programming and design experience may be helpful when securing a digital media job. Here are several career paths you may choose to explore in digital media.

Graphic Designer

When establishing a compelling digital presence, visual aesthetics are important. It’s the job of a graphic designer to ensure that the visual assets of an organization are appealing and on-brand. This can include both text and images in company logos, publications, advertisements, mobile apps, websites, and more. The work of a graphic designer is critical to marketing and advertising efforts.

Growth and Salary

According to the BLS, the graphic design industry is projected to experience slightly slower-than-average growth between 2016 and 2026. However, pockets of the industry will grow much faster. For example, graphic designer jobs in computer and related fields are expected to grow 20% in the next few years. The median salary for graphic designers is around $48,000, with the highest earners reporting $83,140 in salary.

Skills recommended to succeed include:

  • Computer skills
  • Artistic talent
  • Communication
  • Time management
  • Creativity

Web Design Specialist

Web design specialists go beyond aesthetics and make sure their product is as technically sound as it is eye-pleasing.

Web developers have an intimate understanding of various computer languages and are able to work closely with others to create websites, applications, and more. As they complete their build-out, they make tweaks that ensure ease of user experience. They also make sure that the interface is intuitive and attractive. The web design specialist often continues to monitor website traffic once the design is complete and ensures that the site remains secure.

Growth and Salary

The BLS counts web design as a branch of graphic design, so the growth numbers are similar for the two career paths. From 2016 to 2026, the overall industry is projected to grow at 4%, but computer-related careers like web design are expected to see 20% growth over that time span.

According to data compiled by PayScale.com, the average salary for web designers is about $49,000, with experienced designers earning more than $60,000. Salaries may depend on factors like location, field, and experience.

Skills recommended to succeed include:

  • Computer skills
  • Creativity
  • Programming
  • Communication
  • Attention to detail

Digital Media Specialist

Those who work as digital media specialists will likely gravitate toward a specific arena for their work. As a digital media specialist, skills in storyboarding, research, CGI, and artistic rendering may be valuable.

Specialization can narrow even further, with some multimedia artists focusing on the design of animated landscapes, others on character design, and still others on visual effects. Regardless of the specific role or area of expertise, these digital media jobs are often completed as part of a larger team, making communication skills vital.

Growth and Salary

Data compiled by PayScale.com indicates an average annual income for digital media specialists and animators at just over $45,000, with room for growth. With job experience, the average salary increases to about $67,000.

Skills recommended to succeed include:

  • Artistic talent
  • Computer skills
  • Creativity
  • Research
  • Communication

User Interface Designer

When customers interact with a web-based program, their experience is largely guided by the decisions of a user interface (UI) designer.

UI design determines the way in which users are able to engage with and experience the front end of a digital product. This career path requires ample programming skills, as well as an understanding of software development and user interaction.

Growth and Salary

According to data compiled by PayScale, the median salary for UI design positions is just over $63,000 annually. On the lower end of the pay spectrum, which is very dependent on location and industry, UI designers can expect to earn about $42,000 annually, with more advanced positions offering as much as $89,000 per year. The BLS includes user interface design among web design, a field anticipating 15% growth between 2016 and 2026.

Skills recommended to succeed include:

  • Computer skills
  • Understanding of programming languages
  • Research
  • Time management
  • Communication

User Experience Designer

Similar to a UI designer, the user experience (UX) designer helps improve people’s interactions with a digital product.

The UX designer is responsible for the entirety of the consumer experience. Some of this relates directly to the interface on the front end, but additional topics, such as the desired consumer journey, are important as well.

Growth and Salary

The more experience you gain in this field, the greater your earning potential. PayScale.com reports a median salary of nearly $73,000 for UX designers, with the most experienced designers earning an average of $103,000. Results from a recent survey conducted by Adobe indicate that the job outlook will remain strong, with 87% of managers reporting user experience design as a top priority.

Skills recommended to succeed include:

  • Computer skills
  • Understanding of programming languages
  • Research skills
  • Collaboration and communication
  • Time management

Motion Graphics Designer

Professionals who are deeply interested in animation may choose to pursue a career as a motion graphics designer. Using graphic design principles to create fresh new media, people in this position are able to merge creativity with functionality.

They often apply their skills to the creation of video games, film, animated website graphics, video products, and web-based apps.

Growth and Salary

The BLS reports a median annual salary of $70,530 for multimedia artists and animators. In addition, this field is expected to experience about 8% growth from 2016 to 2026.

Skills recommended to succeed include:

  • Creativity
  • Animation skills
  • Computer skills
  • Artistic talent
  • Graphics software skills

How can a bachelor’s degree lead to a digital media career?

If you’re looking to prepare for a career in digital media, your online bachelor’s in digital media from Maryville can help you build the technical knowledge needed to reach your goals.

Our program helps you enter the workforce prepared to create meaningful digital experiences that are visually appealing and functionally sound. These skills are useful in digital media degree jobs in a wide array of sectors, including nonprofit, corporate, and government.

For more information on the educational path that could lead you toward a digital media career, learn more about our online Bachelor of Fine Arts in Digital Media.

Sources:

Adobe Blog, “Hiring Trends in UX Design: The 6 Things You Need to Know About Tech’s Fastest Growing Field”

PayScale, Average Digital Media Specialist Salary..

PayScale, Average User Experience Designer Salary..

PayScale, Average User Interface Designer Salary..

Society for Experiential Graphic Design, “What is Motion Design?”

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Graphic Designers

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Multimedia Artists and Animators

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Web Developers