Digital media and design graduates are in high demand at companies and organizations that create special effects, illustrations, animation and CGI for movies, video games and websites. Professionals in this innovative field have the potential to have long, successful, rewarding careers at computer software companies, advertising agencies, news outlets, graphic design studios or, interactive media design firms or in government or education.
When trying to jumpstart a career in this field, a bachelor’s degree in digital media and design is a must. Internships provide invaluable, real-world experience. They help a candidate develop a solid portfolio of projects that allow a potential employer to envision a candidate’s capabilities. Earning certifications in software programs commonly used in the industry (Adobe products such as Flash, InDesign and Photoshop, for example) give applicants a leg up over the competition when seeking entry-level jobs.
The career landscape is promising for those pursuing careers in digital media and design, particularly those who are interested in the film and video industries. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates a 14 percent rise in jobs in this industry by 2018, which is above average. Individuals skilled in multimedia art, digital film, animation and CGI may find themselves with increased opportunities, as the demand for multimedia artwork will drive job growth in this area. Changes in technology will require continuing education to stay relevant.
There are many options available to digital media and design graduates trying to choose a career path. Here are just a few possible job titles, plus salary information from the BLS.
Graphic designers use computer software or their own drawings to create artwork that communicates information and ideas, most often for marketing purposes in ads, media and reports. Graphic designers earn a median annual salary of $46,900.
Art directors typically oversee graphic designers and other multimedia artists. They are responsible for overall visual style and messaging in the final product (magazines, product packaging, movies, ads, etc.). This is a good position for new digital media and design grads to work toward because it requires a bachelor’s degree and about five years of experience. Art directors earn a median annual salary of $89,760.
Multimedia artists or animators earn a median annual salary of $63,970. They are responsible for creating illustrations, animation and special effects for TV, movies, video games and other types of multimedia projects.