Top Web Design and Multimedia Online Schools
The multimedia and Web design industries are broad, filled with diverse occupations such as graphic designers, animators, mobile applications developers, Web developers and desktop publishers. Training in these areas is available from universities, colleges and institutes. In 2012, U.S.News & World Reportnamed the following schools as among the best graduate programs for multimedia and visual communications:
1. Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA
2. California Institute of the Arts, Valencia, CA
3. School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL
4. Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
5. University of California – Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA
6. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY
For the undergraduate student pursuing an entry-level career or the professional looking to build skills or transition to a different career, a certificate or degree could be the first step.
Learn about training and careers in Multimedia and Web design
If you have a keen interest in Internet marketing, mobile communications and computer technology, an online course could offer the chance to learn how to design websites. With about two years of full-time study, you could pursue an associate degree and seek entry-level jobs in the field. With approximately two years of additional full-time study, you could aim toward a bachelor's degree in a related field.
If you hope to someday become qualified to teach others, you could enroll in a master's degree program in Web design and multimedia. Graduate degree programs typically allow you to specialize in an area that you find especially interesting -- computer animation, for instance.
Online courses ideally encourage interaction with professors and other classmates to discuss projects and related topics, offering opportunities to network with Web design aficionados via dedicated chat rooms and blogs. With online programs, the study pace is up to you -- open your laptop computer at home, in the library or practically anywhere, anytime to practice your skills or take exams. Find out more about the different types of Web design and multimedia courses below.
Training may include graphic arts, typography, working with digital images, computer programming, 2D and 3D models, color theory and illustration. Web developers go beyond designing to actually building websites; they typically study programming and scripting languages and may explore courses in information architecture. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) explains that Web developers need familiarity with HTML and multimedia publishing tools.
Career outlook for multimedia artists and animators
The BLS provides employment data on multimedia artists and animators who work in industries such as computer games, entertainment and advertising. These creative professionals need strong technical skills, and they usually hold a bachelor's degree in computer graphics, art or a related major (BLS.gov, 2012). The employment rate for multimedia artists and animators is projected to rise by up to 8 percent nationally from 2010 to 2020 (BLS.gov, 2012). In 2011, multimedia artists and animators earned a national annual wage of $68,060 median, with a salary range from $34,800 nationally for the lowest 10 percent to as much as $109,370 nationally for the highest 10 percent (BLS.gov, 2012).
Search for online Web Design and Multimedia schools and colleges
Potential students should check that schools have accreditation from organizations that are approved by the U.S. Department of Education or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Aspiring designers can also look into programs listed by groups like the National Association of Schools of Art and Design.
U.S.News & World Report (Best Multimedia/Visual Communications Programs, 2012)