Your art skills can land you in a profitable career. An online graphic design degree will get you there.
The possibilities are endless with this degree. You could work for a team in a design firm, or you could be self-employed. Graphic designers essentially bring the clients’ vision to life with visual images for advertisements, print publications, and websites.
You may even choose to specialize in an area like product packaging or logo design. In this degree, you’ll be working with the latest design software. If you’ve always been good at art and design, this degree will be perfect for you.
What is a Graphic Design degree?
This degree teaches you how to communicate visually and to produce an end product. This product could be something as small as an icon or as big as an entire website. By the end of the program, you’ll have created an entire design portfolio.
In this program, you’ll learn practical and technical skills in order to bring your designs to life. You will learn the basics of design concepts before transitioning into the advanced concepts. With the rapid development of technology, the need for Graphic Designers grows.
How much can you earn with a Graphic Design degree?
Now down to the important stuff. What does the salary look like? Graphic Designers earned a median yearly salary of $52,110 as of 2019, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
The growth rate for this career is projected, unfortunately, to decline by 4 percent from 2019 to 2029. This means that if you are determined to enter the graphic design field, you need to everything you can to set yourself apart. Build a strong portfolio of work, network in the industry through internships and industry meet-ups, and get a top-quality education in the field.
Luckily, the need for graphic designers is growing in certain industries. The top industries for graphic designers are public relations, advertising, and other related services with a median salary of $51,380. Graphic design overlaps with animation degrees, and multimedia animators make an average of $72,520 per year.
If you’re looking for a broader degree, check out our ranking of the Best Online Humanities Degrees.
What is required for a Graphic Design degree?
You will need to have your high school diploma or GED in order to enroll in the program. You will also need to have some experience in the visual arts field. You may need to purchase graphic arts software programs like Photoshop or InDesign.
As mentioned previously, you will be building up a design portfolio that you can help you land your first job out of school. You may also participate in an internship. Some common classes you may take include:
- Principles of Design and Color
- Two-dimensional and Three-dimensional design
- Multimedia and Animation
What are the best Graphic Design degrees?
OSR uses six data points: three school-wide and three program specific. For school-wide, OSR uses Student Satisfaction, Admission Rates, and the number of programs the school offers online. For program-specific, OSR checks the Median Debt of graduates from that program, how many degrees are offered within that program’s umbrella department, and what percentage of students at that school graduated from that department.
The six statistics are displayed by each school. The sliding bar under each statistic represents how that school compares to other US institutions. “Not reported” means a school did not release that information to the US Department of Education. A more detailed description of the OSR process can be found on the methodology page.
Los Angeles Film School
- 120 credits
- Will received gear and software
- Military friendly
School WideStudent Satisfaction78%Programs offered online3
Program LevelMedian DebtNot ReportedPrograms in Department3Popularity at School66.67%100%OSR Score
The Los Angeles Film School aims to teach you how to become a visual innovator and develop technical and creative skills in order to get there. Alumni of this program have gone to work for prominent companies like Disney, ABC, and Marvel. You will receive training in multiple fields such as Digital Image Making, Experiential Design, and Brand Development.
Full Sail University20-Year ROI$773,128
- Tuition: $19,929(in state) / $19,929(out of state)
- 120 credits
- Offers a variety of scholarships
- Hosted Adobe Creative Jam
School WideStudent Satisfaction78%Programs offered online24
Program LevelMedian Debt$37,254Programs in Department10Popularity at School41.62%99%OSR Score
The Graphic Design program at Full Sail University aims to give you a thorough understanding of all aspects of design and be able to translate this into real-world skills. In this program, you’ll take courses like Design & Art Theory, Typography & Page Layout, and Digital Publishing. This school also provides you with Project LaunchBox, which gives you all the access you need for projects.
Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design20-Year ROI$648,048
- Tuition: $16,268(in state) / $16,268(out of state)
- 123 credits
- Taught by faculty in the field
- Require written and verbal presentations
School WideStudent Satisfaction75%Programs offered online9
Program LevelMedian Debt$34,736Programs in Department6Popularity at School54.47%95%OSR Score
RMCAD aims to provide you with a well-rounded education, with classes on design methodologies as well as technical classes. You will get to work with real-world clients in this program. You will learn with the latest technology and software with the programs Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, and Adobe InDesign.
Bellevue University20-Year ROI$1,077,529
- Tuition: $7,152(in state) / $7,152(out of state)
- 127 credits
- Must complete Kirkpatrick Signature Series
- Military friendly
School WideStudent Satisfaction72%Programs offered online51
Program LevelMedian Debt$20,985Programs in Department3Popularity at School1.84%86%OSR Score
The Graphic Design program at Bellevue University is designed to prepare you to work in multiple industries, including communications, product packaging design, and marketing. You will learn to combine problem-solving and critical thinking with the elements of design in order to communicate your ideas.
Southern New Hampshire University20-Year ROI$882,666
- Tuition: $30,756(in state) / $30,756(out of state)
- 120 credits
- Military friendly
- Require certain hardware and software
School WideStudent Satisfaction75%Admission Rate78%Programs offered online43
Program LevelMedian Debt$20,836Programs in Department1Popularity at School2.09%75%OSR Score
The online BA in Graphic Design and Media Arts program prepares you for careers in a design shop, an agency, or for starting your own business. You can choose between two concentrations, Web Design and 3D Modeling & Animation. Some classes you’ll take in this program include Typography, Desktop Publishing, and Language and Practice of Media Arts.