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Earn an Associate’s Degree in Graphic Design

Majors Overview March 31, 2014

Students will be trained in art production for business use in an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree program in Graphic Design. They will learn how to make interactive media, logos, artwork, and brochures for both online and print applications. Graduates will be able to work with design firms, advertising agencies, or the art departments of several industries.

A.A. Programs in Graphic Design

Students enrolled in an Associate of Arts (A.A.) degree program in Graphic Design are taught the drawing techniques employed in computer imagery and print media. The program helps them explore art theories and learn to develop appealing promotional materials, including brochures, product packaging and websites. Students develop expertise in working with various computer applications, including Dreamweaver, Photoshop and Adobe Flash.

It takes about two years to complete associate programs in this field whose admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a GED certificate or high school diploma.


Coursework is often hands-on, with production labs and simulated workspace offered in some programs. Students are often involved in creating a portfolio that they can use to showcase their skills to potential recruiters. Apart from general education classes, coursework typically includes completion of a foundational education in digital applications, drawing, and design, in addition to topic areas such as:

•Art history
•Desktop publishing
•Visual design
•Interactive media
•3-D design
•Computer illustration
•Digital imaging

Career Choices

Those who successfully complete an associate degree program can seek entry-level careers as assistant graphic designers; however, recruiters for graphic design positions typically prefer candidates who hold a bachelor’s degree (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Print media publishers, advertising agencies, and graphic design firms most commonly hire graduates for entry-level positions in the field. Internet development departments and design departments of various industries are other possible job options. Graduates may seek job titles such as:

•Desktop publisher
•Junior art director
•Design assistant
•Graphic artist
•Web designer

Continuing Education Choices

Graphic Design certificate programs are devised to help graduates stay abreast of advancements in the field. Enrollment in certificate programs in related areas can help increase their knowledge of the field; these include areas such as desktop publishing, web design, digital press and graphic art. Earning a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design can help a graduate advance their career prospects.

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