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Overview of Bachelor Degree Programs in Digital Arts

Majors Overview February 17, 2015

Digital arts programs feature a combination of digital tools and technologies with traditional art. Students in bachelor’s degree programs in digital arts can look forward to careers in film, video game development, computers, and animation.

Bachelor’s Degree Programs in Digital Arts

Few schools offer a Bachelor of Digital Arts; interested students can enroll into a Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Digital Arts or Bachelor of Fine Arts (B.F.A.). Students enrolled in many bachelor’s degree programs in digital arts are provided with interdisciplinary coursework through a combination of design principles, computer technology, and traditional studio art instruction.

In many programs, enrolled students can choose from numerous tracks or areas of emphasis, including art direction, animation, visual effects, computer science, or music. Over the whole duration of the program, students are taught about special effects, digital video, software development, three-dimensional animation, and image manipulation; the program develops their skills in conceptualization, creativity, visualization, and storytelling.

Students enrolled in most programs enjoy the opportunity to work with current software technology, including Adobe Creative Suite, Final Cut Studio, or ProTools. They may be required to plan and produce short film reels, programs, or a portfolio.

Apart from a high school diploma, admission criteria may include the submission of a portfolio of work highlighting their artistic style and talent.

Coursework

Coursework is devised to address design principles, including color theory, sound design, story structure, composition, and motion. Core coursework may also include topic areas such as:

•Digital illustration
•Visual design
•Drawing
•Modeling
•Audio production
•Computer graphics
•Interactivity

Job and Wage Outlook

Bachelor’s degree holders can expect to possess the foundational art knowledge and technological skills required to seek occupations in various industries, such as game development, film, and advertising. They may seek job positions such as:

•Character animators
•Motion capture artists
•Storyboard artists
•Special effects developers
•Production designers

A job growth rate of six percent has been predicted for multimedia artists and animators over the 2012 – 2022 decade (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). In May 2012, these creative professionals took home an average annual wage of $61,370.

Continuing Education Choices

Graduates of the bachelor’s program may opt for continuing education in digital arts or a related area by earning a master’s degree. Coursework in a Master of Fine Arts (M.F.A.) in Digital Arts program covers advanced studies in areas of multimedia, digital imaging, and animation, which is required in order to seek entry-level careers in the professional art industry or postsecondary education.

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