Most cultures, including ours, thrive on visual communication; without it, life would be completely different from the way it is now. The average person can drive or walk down a street and notice billboards or posters in shop windows. The Internet is built on graphics, animation and other interactive media that support websites and capture a visitor’s attention.
Whether the intention is to sell a product or draw attention to a cause, visual communication is an integral part of the world we live in. Do you have what it takes to work in visual communications?
Although field experience is an important part of a career in visual communications, more and more employers are requiring two- or four-year college degrees. The visual communications major applies to many occupations, such as graphic designer, Web designer and multimedia specialist.
Many people who have completed a visual communications program pursue careers in graphic design. Employment opportunities for graphic designers are expected to increase with the rising demand for design projects, websites, video games, cell phones and other types of technology. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), advertising firms will continue to need promotional materials and Web marketing for various products and services.
For students considering a visual communications degree with a specialization in Web design, many courses can be conveniently earned online. Occupations in Web design require the ability to design visually appealing, interactive and user-friendly websites. Although a great deal of creativity is involved, Web designers must also be familiar with a variety of software programs to create and maintain their websites. As with graphic designers, employment projects for websites are expected to increase in the near future.
Salaries for visual communications majors vary depending on career, level of education and experience. As of 2006, the BLS reports the median income for those working in visual communications to be between $30,600 and $53,310 per year.
According to Salary.com, the approximate median salary for a Web designer is between $54,300 and $71,500 per year, and the approximate median salary for multimedia services managers ranges from $68,767 to $87,926 per year.