Online Master’s in Graphic Design

Graphic and multimedia design is a broad area of study that involves graphic design, web design, advertising, photography, and other forms of art. Those who specialize in multimedia design often work as graphic designers, web designers, and animators who develop web pages, ads, videos, and other promotional products. Most graphic design and multimedia professionals earn some formal training prior to entering the field. The master's is the highest degree level in this discipline, and it is designed for students who want to increase their expertise in graphic and multimedia design. It is an extension of the undergraduate degree, with advanced courses, student-tailored specializations, and dissertations.

Why a Master’s Degree?

The multimedia design master’s provides advanced instruction and training to students with a design or technology background. During this degree, students build upon the knowledge and skills taught in the bachelor’s in graphic and multimedia design and other lower-level programs. Through advanced courses and project-based learning, grad students develop higher-order skills and learn how to apply them in the professional world. It is this advanced knowledge and impressive skillset that give graduate students an advantage over other job seekers with less education or training.

Inside a Graphic and Multimedia Design Master’s Degree Program

The online master’s in multimedia typically lasts two to three years, depending on your course load and pace. Students will take courses in a wide variety of topics, including media and culture, multimedia design and tools, web programming, interactive design, advertising, and 3D animation. In addition to the major courses, students may also be required to complete general education courses and electives while in school. Like most master’s, the graduate degree in graphic and multimedia design includes a thesis project or capstone course to showcase their technical skills and professional-level work.

Online students will access their courses, lectures, assignments, and grades through a learning management system, such as Blackboard or Moodle. This system is also a great communication tool for students to talk to their instructors or classmates. It’s important to keep in mind that some online graduate programs require students to meet in person a few times every year.

What’s Next for Graphic and Multimedia Design Master’s Degree Holders?

Graduates of this program will be qualified to do several different multimedia jobs. A popular track for master’s degree holders is to become graphic designers and multimedia artists. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, graphic designers and multimedia artists alike enjoy healthy employment projects. Graphic designers are expected to see a 1% increase in total employment by 2024, while multimedia artists are expected to grow 6% by 2024. Such job growth is driven by an increasing demand for marketable designs and images on portable devices, websites, and other media outlets, as well as more realistic special effects in television, video games, and movies.

According the BLS, in May 2014, graphic designers were reported to make an average annual salary of $50,670, whereas multimedia artists made $69,410 annually. Both professionals can make more than the average earnings with additional education and experience.