Online Graphic Design Bachelor’s Degree

What You’ll Learn & What You Can Do After Graduation

Brian Reed, an American graphic designer once said, "Everything is designed, but few things are designed well." If you possess the skills to excel as a graphic designer, this quote might resonate with you. Do you catch yourself critiquing the letter spacing on a restaurant menu or brainstorming ways to improve a billboard design? Do you obsess about fonts and color schemes? If so, consider pursuing an online graphic design degree so you can reach your goals from the comfort of home. Learn what the field entails, what you can learn and achieve, and what your earning potential can be.

What is Graphic Design?

Graphic design stands out as the art of visually communicating ideas, usually through print or digital mediums. Magazine layout, advertisement design, album art, logos, programs, book covers, and posters remain examples of graphic design products. You can even view this webpage as an example of graphic design. Graphic designers typically work with Adobe products such as Photoshop, Illustrator, Lightroom, and InDesign.

Occasionally, design professionals scan images of their hand-drawn or handpainted work and digitally manipulate them. Other designers work strictly on a computer or tablet. Professionals can earn a passive income with a graphic design online degree. Designers can sell their templates, digital tutorials, and fonts. Custom commissions can also generate significant income.

This versatile degree allows you to exercise your creative skills while earning money. Graduates with an online graphic design degree can use this broad discipline in many different industries and positions. Agencies, corporations, nonprofits, and retailers hire in-house graphic designers. Choosing a broad degree such as graphic design leaves many doors open and makes it easy to switch careers later in life.

In fact, studying graphic design prepares students with a foundation for a variety of entry-level careers. This degree doesn't just focus on the elements of design. Classes also cover subdisciplines such as web design, communication, marketing, photography, and copywriting. Entrepreneurs can also benefit from studying graphic design since this service remains a common business expense. This degree teaches students how to effectively market themselves through the powerful medium of art.

What Can I Do With an Online Graphic Design Bachelor's Degree?

Graphic design remains a degree with endless opportunity. The curriculum covers a range of topics, from how to create the perfect packaging to how to lay out a web page. This allows students to cast a wide net, try different projects, and hone their skills after graduation. The best online graphic design programs equip graduates with flexible skills to apply to different careers with high earning potential.

Skills and Knowledge Gained

Accredited online graphic design programs include coursework and lectures that hone both hard and soft skills such as the following:

  • Communication: Collaborating with clients or supervisors remains an important part of graphic design. The design is rarely perfect on the first draft, so professionals often engage in back-and-forth communication. Graphic design courses cover ways to establish clear boundaries and expectations, and how to streamline the collaboration process.
  • Copywriting: Smaller business and organizations typically require graphic designers to also construct the copy on the graphic design material. Top graphic design online degrees cover grammar basics and how to write short, succinct, and impactful copy.
  • Technology: Graphic design involves the use of technological tools and advanced software. Understanding how to use the technology allows you to jump right into a graphic design position with little training.

Studying a broad topic such as graphic design offers many benefits, but you should also hone your skills. Being a jack of all trades and master of none prohibits you from advancing quickly in this field. While earning an online graphic design degree from an accredited university, students should focus on one subdiscipline, such as typography (font design) or advertising design.

Better yet, students can pinpoint their ideal future job and customize their portfolio and electives to that job. For example, a student who wants to become a freelance graphic designer should fill their portfolio with versatile freelance projects and take business and accounting electives. A student who wishes to work for a nonprofit should complete an internship and take humanity or political electives.

Careers and Salary Potential

Graphic design careers experience a wide pay range. Individuals should view this as motivation to work hard and earn promotions. Pursuing a graphic design degree online sets you up to succeed in high-paying positions, different careers, and even different fields. Students who study graphic design don't have to worry about easily switching careers later in life because they can apply their acquired skills to other careers.

Professionals can work in a variety of fields, including

  • Specialized Design Services: Graduates can become graphic designers who specialize in niche fields such as food advertising or children's book illustrations. Value online graphic design programs teach the base skills necessary to build upon.
  • Advertising, Public Relations, and Related Services: This industry explores consumer messaging and brand image. A degree in graphic design teaches students how to visually represent an organization, which remains a helpful skill for public relations, advertising, and communication jobs.
  • Printing and Related Support Services: A design is only as good as its print job. With a degree in graphic design, students learn how to work in cyan, magenta, yellow, and key (CMYK) printing colors. Many print shops hire in-house graphic designers.
  • Newspaper, Periodical, Book, and Directory Publishers: Designing print material remains much different than designing online material. An accredited online graphic design degree prepares students to work in both digital and print mediums.
Graphic Designers

Annual Median Salary: $48,700

Graphic designers arrange colors, shapes, copy, photographs, and icons on digital and print material. Some graphic designers specialize in creating logos or designing advertisements.

Art Directors

Annual Median Salary: $92,500

Art directors execute ideas and manage teams of photographers and graphic designers. These professionals approve photography and layout choices and use their own skills to edit material.

Creative Director

Annual Median Salary: $86,921

Creative directors make big-picture decisions and develop design concepts. They typically give the final approval before a project goes to the printer or to a client.