Are you a computer geek? Do you love all things technology? Are you only going to be happy and fulfilled if your career path is related to this knack that you have? If you said yes to each of these questions then you should consider pursuing a career in computer graphics. In your work environment you will likely be collaborating with a team; it will be important that you can effectively communicate with your team regarding what the client wants. Depending upon your place of employment, your team may consist of art directors, copywriters, production artists, set designers, and computer programmers. You may find yourself working to create visual designs for items such as vehicles, billboards, letterheads, posters, marketing materials related to television or the movies, or presentations. No matter which type of item you are working on for a client it will be important that you listen to what your client has in mind, incorporate their ideas into your designs, and work until your client is satisfied with what you have produced. Get that computer graphics degree you always wanted and get started now!
To be eligible to work in computer graphics you will be able to choose between pursuing your associate’s degree, your bachelor’s degree, or your master’s degree. No matter which of these degree programs you elect as an appropriate educational path for you, you will be learning about two dimensional and three dimensional designs, as well as about animation techniques. Of course, depending upon which degree program you pursue will greatly influence the extent to which you study these components. You can expect to begin by taking introductory courses in computer graphics. This will teach you about how to use specific computer software to portray your two dimensional and three dimensional drawings. You will also learn about texturing and shading within this course. While specific coursework will vary from one learning institution to another, you will probably also be required to take classes in interactive computer graphics, computer animation and additional computer graphics courses. You will also be expected to complete a practicum before you obtain your diploma. This is intended to give you the opportunity to apply your skills and knowledge in a real world setting. Feel free to look at any of the schools you see listed on our site and request that they send you a free information packet. This will likely help you be better informed as you make a decision regarding your education. Other popular career choices relative to computer graphics would be to work as an animator, a cartoonist, or as a desktop publisher. According to research, employment in this industry is expected to continue to grow through the year 2016. Research the computer graphics classes shown below from any of the colleges.
For many people who are entering the college world, finding a career is one of the main objectives. However, there are several things that go into finding the career that is going to work the best for them, and where their interest are. For those who are interested in computers, then having a career in computer graphics could be a great way to put this interest to good use. Remember, when you find a career that you are interested in, you are going to find that going to work every day becomes easier and you are not feeling as though you are really having to put in the typical 9 to 5 that many other people feel. With this being said, let’s take a closer look at the career of computer graphics.
What Does a Career in Computer Graphics Look Like?
There are numerous careers that are found within the computer graphics area. There are those who work in advertising, those who with software engineers and in the video game industry. Those who are work with the computers are going to be responsible for graphics designed that are used for whatever purpose that the job may require. For example, those who with video game industries are going to be using their degree to develop the graphics that people are seeing when they are playing this game. With this being said, you are going to find that you have to have a great love of graphics in order to perform this job flawlessly and maintain an interest for several years to come.
In most cases, a person will fall under a few different categories when they have a compute graphics degree. These are:
1. Graphic designer
2. Web developer
4. Production Artist
5. Computer Game Developer
Perhaps one of the most common career choices for those who go into computer graphics, a graphic designer is going to be planning, developing and creating the layouts and designs of the electronic media and print media. They often work for clients who are in need of this type of media. The person may utilize computer software to create something completely unique and up to the standards of what the client has set.
Web Design Training & Career Overview
Those who work as a web developer are responsible for tasks that result in a functioning website, that is also aesthetically pleasing. Many times, they take several courses in coding in order to provide the level of expertise that their client is going to need. For these people, they often work as a part of a company, or they may work as a freelancer, doing so when they choose.
Production Artist: An Overview
A production artist is the one person who reviews the graphic work before it is getting to its final stages of publication. They are often going to be those who finalize designs and layouts. They may be responsible for ensuring it met the client’s needs, and they will perform whatever alterations may be needed.
Animator: An Overview
The animator is responsible for the initial design of these animated images. They often draw these images, then use a computer to fine touch these. They can also create specific digital effects and create graphics for modeling purposes from clay or the lie. They can work in a variety of industries; however, they are often seen in the video or game industry.
Computer Game Developer: An Overview
These computer graphic specialists work within the video game industry. They are going to utilize whatever system they must I order to create graphics that the gaming population will enjoy playing. They often work with private companies. However, there are several that work with military training departments to design games that have real world application for military members.
What Degree Will You Need?
There are several degree options that you are going to choose from with the computer graphics career in mind. In most cases, each type of job listed above is going to require an associates or a bachelor’s degree. However, with the way in which the requirements are changing in the world, many people find that an associate’s degree is not going to give them enough to do what they want to do. Thus, most people go onto receive their Bachelor’s degree so they can get the career that they want. There are others who go and get their Master’s degree, which is an option for those who are wanting to run their own company in the future.
Types of Computer Graphic Design Courses
The types of courses that you have to take when you decide to get a degree in computer graphics is really going to depend upon where you go to school. It is also going to depend on the type of concentration you want to have. For example, many focus on game design, while others may focus on 3D animation. However, there are some basics of computer graphics that almost everyone takes. These courses include:
1. 3-D Design
2. Computer animation
3. Computer design
4. Web design
5. Computer programming
6. Media production
7. Vector imaging
8. Raster imaging
There will also be the general education requirements that all bachelor degrees have to take. These courses will be in English, Composition, Speech, Behavioral Sciences, Philosophy, Economics, History, Social Sciences and Mathematics. It is important that each course that is taken be taken with consideration and care. You will need to pass each course in order to get awarded your degree and to go into this career field.
Getting a Degree in Computer Graphics
One question that many people ask when they are looking into a computer graphics degree is if they can get this completely online or if they have to get this in a brick and mortar institution. While the online world has become a huge way for people to get their degree. Many universities are not offering this fully online. Instead, they often offer a mix of the two. There are several classes that the person may be able to take online, while other more complex courses such as the computer programming or the 3-D design will have to be taken in person. However, this will be sure to change as the technology for this degree becomes more readily available for most everyone. Be sure that you are looking at colleges that are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, which does include around 320 postsecondary colleges and universities. Through ensuring this, you know that you are getting a quality education that is going to prepare you for a career in computer graphics.
How much a person earns is going to depend upon the field in which they go into. However, the annual average salary for this field is $51,640 per year. Interestingly, those who work with the federal government are some of the highest paid in this career field as they earn around $78,200.
Some detailed income figures:
- Those who were in specialized design services on average earn $49,070
- Those who worked in advertising, public relations and related fields earned $48,370
- Those who worked in Wholesale trades as designers earned $47,670
- Those who worked directly with traditional publishers earned $41,020
- Working in print supporting fields earned around $38,360
It should be noted that the projected job growth for this field is around 1%. Those who get into this field have a tendency to stick around, thus new openings may be hard to come by for many new graduates. This makes competition for these jobs even harder. In 2014, those who had a degree in computer graphics held about 261,600 jobs. This is not a huge part of the career market, but it should increase in the upcoming years. Another aspect to keep in mind about the earnings of someone who works in computer graphics is that these earnings may fluctuate as they gain more experience. The more experienced you are, the more that people are willing to pay for your designs.
Are you Cut Out for a Career in Computer Graphics
For those who are considering going into a career in Computer Graphics and getting their degree in this field, they are going to find that there will be several things asked of you as you progress in this field. A few questions that every person should ask themselves:
1. Am I up for the challenge of constantly changing my work and challenging myself to be better? Realize that a computer graphics professional are often never truly satisfied with their work. They always think that there is something that they could do to make this better. You must have the desire to out do everything that you have ever done.
2. Can you take criticism? There are going to be critics of you work, even if you believe that this is the best that you have ever done. Remember, pleasing everyone one hundred percent of the time is impossible. But, you have to learn how to take this criticism and turn it into something positive.
3. Are you a people’s person? While a lot of the work that you do is going to be on your own, remember you are doing this work for someone else. This means that you have to talk with the client and then determine what they are wanting before you deliver on the product. An open line of communication is essential in order to ensure that the product you deliver is great!
4. Can you be competitive? This is a hugely popular field for many tech loving people to go into. However, the growth in this field is less than in others. Are you ready to compete for the position that you want? This is something that is going to be required in order to get the position that you truly want!
5. Are you comfortable with moving to a new area? Not every school in the United States and not every area is going to have opening for this type of career. Thus, for many students it requires that they move to a larger city in order to gain access to the gainful employment that they want.
6. Are you flexible with how you work? Can you work alone just as well as you can work with a partner? There are going to be projects throughout a computer graphics career span that is going to utilize individual and team skills.
7. Can you manage your time without having someone over top of you telling what to do and when? Due to the creativity of this field, many computer graphic professionals find that they make their own schedule, but still have the responsibility of meeting deadlines to remember.
8. Can you look at a design from an outside appearance? You cannot get connected to the work that you do when this is for clients who may want this to dramatically change before being published.
9. Are you able to manage your time wisely? You are going to find that many of those who are in this field are going to be working on numerous projects at once. Thus, you have to determine which project is going to get your time and for how long you will spend on this project.
What Computer Design Skills Should You Have?
Do you feel that computer graphics could be the career for you? There are several skills that these people share that make them great for this type of career. These skills include:
1. The person is tech savvy
2. They are interested in computers
3. They love the changing technology and keeping up with these trends
4. They are creative
5. They are computer savvy
6. They have a detail-orientated nature
7. They do have some artistic talent
8. They are patient, as changes take place constantly
9. They have communication skills as these are jobs that are often going to be used with groups of people
10. Willingness to work as there are going to be times of strict deadlines that will require the person stay with the project, despite having other things that they may need to do.
Interviewing Tips to Land a Job
As stated before, the new job growth for this field is only at 1%. Thus, you can expect to find competition for those interviews that you are having once you graduate. Many graduates must work at the bottom of a company and work their way up to the position that they really want. However, there are a few tips that you can keep in mind to ensure that you are doing the best at interviewing and landing a position. These tips include:
- Have a portfolio of work that you have done. This is often a requirement of many of the classes that you take at the college level. So be sure to include only your best work to demonstrate what you can do. Many companies prefer to see designs that would be relevant in the commercial world versus those designs that you may love because they have sentimental value.
- Be current on the new software that is being utilized. However, if you are interviewing right after graduation, you will find that you are often as current as you can be.
- Be prepared to talk about the programs that you used to create pieces that you are showcasing in your portfolio.
- In several situations, the company may ask for you to come up with your own design based on characteristics that they give you. This does depend upon what type of position you are trying to get with your degree. So, be sure to bring your creativity to the interview!
- Dress to impress. While this is a rule that most people think of when they go into an interview, always keep this in mind.
- Be sure to go over the questions that may be asked of you so you can properly prepare for the interview. We have included several that may computer graphic students have been asked in the past.
- Be sure to state a few sentences about each piece you have in the portfolio. You don’t want to go into too much detail unless asked.
- Be sure to do some research on the company that you are interviewing with. You want to be able to tell them something that you admired about their latest design or the like. Not knowing anything about the company will not look well on you!
- Have a few questions to ask them. Most people recommend that you do not start with a salary question, but you can ask when will they be hiring? Do they offer continuing education for their workers to stay on top of the latest technology? Or similar questions of that nature. It shows that you are interested in the position.
- You may want to bring sketches or models that you have done as well to show the design process of your work.
- Always have a copy of your resume with you, even if you have already submitted one to the company. It never hurts to have an extra!
- It would be great if you have experience via an internship while still in college. Thus, this is something to consider doing your senior year of classes.
Questions that May be Asked
There are numerous questions that may be asked of you when you are interviewing for a position. Here are some more common ones to get you thinking on the right path:
1. How do you cope with criticism?
2. What do you look for while designing an item? This may be specific to a game character, logo, website or the like.
3. What is more important to you: planning, designing or implementing this design?
4. What made you decide to get into the career of computer graphics?
5. How do you ensure that you are current in the technology that is being used?
6. What is your process for going about a new design?
7. What software are most familiar with or comfortable working with?
8. What are your flaws as a computer graphics designer?
9. What are your goals with your degree in computer graphics?
10. Do you consider yourself a team player?
11. What is something that our company has produced that really spoke to you?
12. What types of design projects interest you?
13. What was one of the most challenging projects you have worked on and how did you overcome these challenges?
14. How soon can you deliver finished products?
15. What certifications in what programs do you have?
A computer graphics career is one that is full of creativity! It is one that allows a more flexible approach to working. Many of these designers are going to work on their own, while others may work with companies. For those who are interested in this career, they are going to find that they must put in the work to graduate and then land a job. You will find that this career can be one that is widely interesting, but it may be somewhat hard to find your dream job. The key is to put in the time and then interview continuously to find the position that you desire. Computer graphic jobs are going to make decent throughout the United States. The amount that you earn will greatly depend upon your position in the company, how many years that you have put into this field and what type of designing that you are doing.
Due to the popularity of video games, the Internet, and so on, the needs for computer graphics is not going to decrease any time soon. The employment projects that there will be 3,600 new positions within this career field by 2024. However, the number of graduates in this field are more than double in most states. Be ready for competition and having to work another job until that dream job comes around!