Friday, December 10, 2010

College Major of the Week: Graphic Design

This week: Recreation Therapy at Alexandria Technical College.
- Length of the program: 2 years
- Typical Career Name: Graphic Designer, Animators and Multi-media Artists, Art Directors,
Industrial Designers, Web Developers
- What do I do with this? Graphic design programs prepare people to convey ideas and feelings using images and words. Students learn to design and lay out images and text using computers. They study advertising and commercial art. They also learn prepress and printing techniques.
- Things to know: An internship is an important way for you get professional references, add depth to your design portfolio, and get experience working with design teams. In an internship, you may find you are working with people who might hire you when you graduate or who will provide references and professional contacts to you. Graphic designers should begin to develop their professional portfolios during college. You can include examples of work you've done independently or as part of a team. Projects you complete during an internship become an important part of the portfolio. Students of graphic design may need to buy their own computers and graphic arts software. Often, graphic design programs encourage you to use Apple computers. These have become standard in the field. About one-third of all graphic designers are self-employed. In many cases, graphic designers work "in-house" for large companies and nonprofit groups. They help design newsletters, web pages, and new product logos, to name a few.
- Approximate starting wage: $21 per hour. This career path has an "average" employment outlook, which essentially means about 70% of those graduating get a job in their exact field right out of college.

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