Yahoo Education posted an article about “Five Associate’s Degrees with Payoff Potential” http://education.yahoo.net/articles/associates_degrees_to_earn.htm Number 4 on the list is Graphic Design with a median annual wage of $36,800 . Not bad for a 2-year degree. And that makes us at Globe University/Minnesota School of Business happy that we are offering a quality two-year graphic and web design program.
So what’s available for designers with an associate’s degree, who would hire them? Some exceptional students get hired by advertising agencies but these are very talented individuals with a lot of motivation and drive. Graphic design studios are creative groups that cater to small businesses as well as deal with overloads from agencies. This is another very attractive setting for graphic and web grads.
For many there are small businesses and manufacturing companies who prefer having one or more staff people dedicated to maintaining their print and web presence. Having someone on site simplifies communication between the company and the designer and it improves how quickly information and inventory can be updated on websites. Some of these companies will still use advertising agencies for high end advertising or campaign development. However, agencies tend to place the needs of smaller companies behind those of higher paying clients. Thus it is to the advantage of these companies to have a graphic design staff available all the time.
What is the advantage for the graphic designer to work for a smaller company? Many! First of all smaller companies tend to be family-owned businesses that care personally for their employees. They tend to have a professional but relaxed atmosphere where everyone knows everyone. Also, designers get to be more involved in the whole promotion process, having input on everything from the purpose or need for a new promotion to photography, headline and copy creation. Designers in this situation tend to have a free reign and are more influential in the development of web and print material.
Another prime market for AAS grads is printing and sign companies. Especially large printers want to keep designers on staff, sometimes to simply review artwork sent in for printing to make sure it is press ready and sometimes to work with a client to produce or improve their design. With a sign or print company designers get to interact with customers and have influence when customers aren’t sure of what they want their designs to look like.
There are other ancillary jobs for AAS grads as well. I know of one who spent a few years as a graphic designer and then switched over to paper sales. She is very knowledgeable of her clients’ needs and can make creative suggestions as to paper stock and appropriate printing processes to compliment their designs. Another two-year grad worked several years at an art studio before branching out and starting his own design studio. Both of these people are successful and happy in jobs they couldn’t have gotten without an AAS degree.