Many people think of design as a hobby. However, career paths in core design are gaining popularity in the last few years, especially in the digital space. Working as a designer might seem like a wonderfully idyllic and relaxed career choice, where you have pure freedom to let your creative juices flow. But, please be advised that these career paths actually involve a lot of hard work. Now, how about combining creativity with technology? In this post, we will look at the best career paths, top universities, and online courses in Digital Design – Graphic Design, Web (UX/UI) Design, and Animation.
Design usually revolves around a product. You can also say that design is basically art with functions and technology. As a designer, you need to create a product that is appealing to the eyes. You must possess a mix of practical skills and a talent for using colour, space, shape and form. Get to know the top 10 reasons to start a career in digital design.
Trending Career Paths, Top Universities and Online Courses in Digital Design
Careers in Graphic Design
Graphic Design is a form of visual communication that inspires, inform, and captivate consumers. The graphic design leverages images and other visual elements to convey ideas. It has become an umbrella term for various types of design work – logos, magazines, catalogues, flyers etc. Graphic designers use various software such as Photoshop, CorelDraw, InDesign, Illustrator etc.
A bachelor’s degree in graphic design or a related field is usually required. However, those with a bachelor’s degree in another field may pursue technical training in graphic design to meet most hiring qualifications.
The median annual wage for graphic designers was $45, 900 in May 2014. The median wage is the wage at which half the workers in an occupation earned more than that amount and half earned less. The lowest 10% earned less than $27, 100, and the highest 10% earned more than $80, 570. Know more about careers in graphic design.
Top Universities for Graphic Design
USA: Rhode Island School of Design, Parsons School of Design at the New School, Yale University, Maryland Institute College of Art, California Institute of Arts, Carnegie Mellon University, School of Visual Arts, New York, Cranbrook Academy of Art (Michigan), Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, Savannah College of Art and Design, Virginia Commonwealth University, School of the Art Institute Chicago, Rochester Institute of Technology, UCLA, Boston University, University of Illinois- Chicago, University of Cincinnati, MIT, NYU.
UK: Newcastle University, University of Oxford, University College London, Loughborough University, Goldsmiths University of London, University of Leeds, Royal College of Art, University of the Arts London, Brunel University London, Glasgow School of Art.
Others: University of British Columbia, University of Toronto, Universidad Complutense de Madrid (UCM), Universitat de Barcelona (UB), KU Leuven, University of Applied Arts Vienna, University of Lisbon, ENSCI Les Ateliers, Université Paris 1 Panthéon-Sorbonne, Oslo National Academy of the Arts, RMIT University, University of Melbourne, University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) and the University of New South Wales (UNSW), Auckland University of Technology, Massey University and the University of Auckland.
Careers in Web Design
Web designers use their creative skills and technical abilities to design and build user-friendly, aesthetically pleasing websites, landing pages, blog templates, mobile apps (design) etc.
Creating a beautiful design is only one component of the job. Web designers also need to have a good understanding of the technology for making web pages and turn their designs into an actual experience in the digital space. For a career in web design, you need to be artistic and innovative. Additionally, you also need to have a good grasp of digital technologies.
Due to the complexity of the web, there are many relatively new and in-demand skills designers may specialize in:
- User experience (UX): explores the experience people have using a site, app, or tool to ensure it’s easy to use and not confusing.
- User interface (UI): involves how people navigate through a site, app, or tool, using elements such as buttons, menus, colour, and images.
Know more about The Difference Between UX and UI Design.
As a web designer, you need to keep the audience in mind. For example, a site that is designed with bright colours, large fun illustrations or pictures, and an oversized typeface may appeal to a younger audience, while a site with bold fonts and muted colours, like greys and blacks, may have a more corporate feel and appeal to professional businesses.
You need a Bachelor’s degree in computer science communications or business. You could also go for a BA degree in Graphic Arts or Graphic Design with a specialization in Web Design. Alternatively, you could also go for online courses and certifications.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics, (BLS) does not have information specific to website design. However, information for graphic designers shows an average annual wage of about $47, 000. The average annual wage for website developers is about $65, 000. This represents the average annual salary for designers and developers ranging from entry-level to those with several years of experience. Know more about careers in web design.
Top US Universities: Full Sail University, DeVry University, Santa Clara University
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Careers in Animation
Animators create animation and visual effects for films, video games, television, mobile devices, and other forms of media using illustrations and software programs. Without animators, we wouldn’t have been enchanted by Elsa in Frozen, hooked on Halo, or transported to Middle-Earth in The Lord of the Rings. From animated films to special effects to video games, animators bring stories, characters, and entire other worlds to life through software such as 3ds Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, Adobe Premiere, Autodesk3ds Max, After Effects, and Blender. Animators also create graphics and develop storyboards, drawings and illustrations. They create, plan, and script animated narrative sequences, and assist with background design and production coordination.
You could go for Bachelor of Art (BA), Bachelor of Science (BS) and/or a Bachelor of Fine Art (BFA) in Animation, Animation & Digital Arts, Media Arts & Animation, Computer Animation, Computer Graphics, Media Arts & Science, Fine Art, and even Computer Science (with an Emphasis in Animation). Courses common to these degree paths and other related programs include Drawing, 2-D Animation Production, 3-D Animation Production, and Stop Motion. Animators also study anatomy to study how animals and humans move in order to make character movements more realistic.
The median annual wage for multimedia artists and animators was $61, 370 per year. The lowest paid multimedia artists and animators earned less than $34, 860. The highest paid earned $113, 470 per year. At $72, 680, multimedia artists and animators working in the motion picture and video industries earned the highest median annual wage of the top five industries for this profession. Read more about careers in animation.
USA: California Institute of the Arts, University of Southern California, Ringling College of Art and Design, UCLA, The School of Visual Arts (New York), Rhode Island School of Design, Savannah College of Art and Design, Pratt Institute, Carnegie Mellon University, NYU
UK: Bournemouth University, Royal College of Art, University of West England, Middlesex University, Nottingham Trent University, De Montfort University, Kingston University, Leeds College of Art
New Zealand: AUT, University of Canterbury, University of Waikato, Massey University, College of Creative Arts – Wellington, Media Design School – Auckland
Here is a comprehensive list of the Top 100 Schools for Animation in the World.
Top Online Courses for Careers in Digital Design