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Design and Applied Arts is a degree category that consists of the following common degrees:

  • Graphic Design

    Satisfaction:

    High

    Avg Grad Salary:

    $55k

    Graphic Design

    Design is everywhere around us, from the shoes we wear, the computers we use, to the advertisements we walk by each day. Because of that, our brain is trained to make decisions (specifically in terms of the items we buy) based more on looks, than on efficiency or practicality.

    If you enjoy expressing your creativity and have an artistic eye (and the people close to you label you as a creative person), pursuing a degree in graphic design might be something you'd like to consider. This field produces visual content to communicate messages and to create visual designs that inspire, inform, and captivate us. This can come in the form of advertisements, brochures, magazines, and even corporate literature. There is continued demand for graphic designers from design firms, advertisers, and publishers. In fact, the number of design jobs is expected to grow by 10 percent in the next decade!

    A graphic design degree will guide you through important conceptual and practical design fundamentals such as design theory and practice, prototyping, and usability testing. Design courses will help you develop visual storytelling and communication skills, ensuring that you are equipped with top-notch graphic and user design skills upon graduation.

    During the course of your degree, you'll develop an understanding of effective graphic communication and build a good mix of subject-specific and technical skills. These include design skills and methods such as:

    • drawing and sketching
    • printmaking
    • photography
    • typography
    • moving image
    • digital media
    • studio art
    • principles of design
    • computerized design
    • commercial graphics production
    • printing techniques
    • website design
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  • Interior Design

    Satisfaction:

    N/A

    Avg Grad Salary:

    $55k

    Interior Design

    Education in interior design is available at the certificate level and various degree levels. Students who intend to study the discipline should, first and foremost, understand the difference between interior decorating and interior design.

    Interior decorating is the furnishing and appointing of an interior space. It is just one facet of interior design. So, while interior designers may decorate, decorators do not design. Design degree programs teach students how to apply both technical/scientific and creative/artistic solutions to produce functional and attractive spaces within a building.

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  • Fashion Design

    Satisfaction:

    High

    Avg Grad Salary:

    $44k

    Fashion Design

    A degree in fashion design teaches up and coming fashion designers how to develop artistic ideas and concepts and transform them into wearable clothing and accessories. The typical curriculum is built around the four basic elements of fashion design:

    • Color – the color lifecycle in fashion
    • Silhouette – the shape and form of a garment
    • Line – vertical, horizontal, and asymmetrical seam lines
    • Texture – how the weave and texture of a fabric affect how it hangs or ‘drapes’ and how it looks when worn

    Students learn that each of these elements can create identity and meaning; they can convey certain emotions; they can be flattering or unflattering; and they can trick the eye.

    Classes in fashion design programs cover the history of design, fashion sketching, pattern drafting, and computer-aided fashion design.

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  • Illustration

    Satisfaction:

    N/A

    Avg Grad Salary:

    $59k

    Illustration

    Illustration degree programs teach students how to tell stories and communicate ideas visually. They cover traditional manual drawing, digital art technologies, and art and illustration history. Some programs may include painting classes or offer concentrations in a specific kind of illustration, such as book illustration, fashion illustration, exhibit drawing, or animation and cartoon drawing.

    The goal of every curriculum, from those that award an illustration degree online to graduate programs that award a Master’s Degree in Illustration, is to develop both technical skills and a visual philosophy that graduates can apply in a variety of illustration careers.

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  • Industrial Design

    Satisfaction:

    High

    Avg Grad Salary:

    $54k

    Industrial Design

    In essence, industrial designers design the way that we live our lives, by creating, innovating, and styling the common mass-produced items that we buy, use, and consume.

    They are the professionals who research, build, and test prototypes to maximize the functionality and desirability of products, from cars to food packaging to consumer electronics. In their work, they consider characteristics like materials, size, shape, weight, color, functionality, and safety.

    Students of industrial design learn in the classroom, in the computer lab, and in the design studio. They study the history of industrial design, design conceptualization, drawing, dimensional and computer-aided design, materials and processes, and model making.

    In the simplest of terms, this is a degree for the person who loves art and loves to make things. It is a degree found at the intersection of science and art.

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  • Visual Communication

    Satisfaction:

    High

    Avg Grad Salary:

    $50k

    Visual Communication

    Visual communication is about visual storytelling. Degree programs in the field teach students how to tell stories using words, symbols, and images, how to communicate ideas and information to targeted audiences in all kinds of media, from electronic and printed magazines and books to branding packages and logos, signage and billboards, apps, websites, maps, and museum displays.

    The visual communication curriculum prepares students to work in a rapidly evolving, technologically advanced profession. It explores typography, image generation, visual structure, color and composition, and motion design. Simply stated, it fosters an understanding of medium and message, of form and function.

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  • Commercial Art

    Satisfaction:

    N/A

    Avg Grad Salary:

    $54k

    Commercial Art

    Commercial art brings art to commerce. This is the distinction between it and fine art. Fine art – a painting or a sculpture, for example – exists for its own sake and appeals to the wide spectrum of human emotions. The primary purpose of commercial art – or advertising art, as it is sometimes called – is more practical than aesthetic.

    Its focus is the promotion and sale of products and services. Its objective is to appeal to consumer emotions that drive customers to buy. The best commercial art is an engaging combination of message and medium, of information and inspiration.

    Degree programs in the field prepare students to work as commercial artists – artists who appreciate business as much as art, who use their talents to create art for branding, marketing, advertising, and selling. Components of the curriculum include drawing, photography, color theory, design composition and layout, and typography.

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  • Game Design

    Satisfaction:

    N/A

    Avg Grad Salary:

    N/A

    Game Design

    Degree programs in game design teach students how to create, develop, and produce video and computer games. Foundations of a game design curriculum typically include the following:

    Game Theory and History - In this course, students look at the components of long popular non-digital games like checkers, chess, and cards. From their investigation, they begin to develop new game prototypes.

    Pre-Production Techniques - This course takes students through the parts of the preproduction cycle: assembling a team, scheduling, documenting, prototyping, and creating concepts.

    Game Production - This class presents an overview of the game industry. Students learn about the various phases of developing a game, the various roles that make up a development team, and how to manage a project.

    Storytelling - Storytelling courses in game design degree programs show students how different media, including digital music and sound, can be used to effectively say what the storyteller wants to say.

    Level Design - When game design students learn about level design, they learn about ‘the gameplay’ – how to develop levels for player interaction in any type of game. In developing a puzzle game, for example, the level designer is responsible for creating a game board. In the case of a world conquest game, the level designer designs a map.

    Programming -This facet of game design focuses on [programming language and the basics of coding.

    Game Art - In this class students study 2-D and 3-D graphics and 3-D modeling and animation.

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  • Interactive Media

    Satisfaction:

    N/A

    Avg Grad Salary:

    N/A

    Interactive Media

    Interactive media is digital media that interacts with the customer or user. It is communication in which the user’s inputs drive the computer program’s outputs. In less technical terms, it is another way to process and share information and to communicate with one another. It allows us to be active participants in the media we consume. Putting on a virtual reality headset; opening an application or ‘app’ on your smartphone; visiting a website that uses video, animation, or sound to captivate your senses; playing a video game; participating in situational demonstrations in a training video – each of these media experiences is interactive.

    User experience (UX) is the overall experience a user has with a company’s products or services. User interface (UI) design is focused on the look and layout – how each element of the product will look, including buttons, texts, images, and any interface elements with which people interact. Degree programs in interactive media provide students with the knowledge and skills to work in UX and UI design, project management, and communications roles in a diverse range of industries.

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