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Insight into Visual Communications

For a unique fusion of graphic design and public relations, the visual communications field may be challenging.

By Kelly Richardson
kelly.richardson@trade-school.org
Trade-School Columnist

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then a visual communications professional is a virtual encyclopedia of information and influence. This field is becoming increasingly vital for commercial markets, non profit arenas, and government agendas. Here's the inside scoop on this creative career field.

Featured school:
-- Katharine Gibbs School
Featured school:
-- Digital Media Arts College
Featured school:
-- The Art Institutes
Degrees in:
-- Visual Communications
Degrees in:
-- Visual Effects
Degrees in:
-- Media - Advertising

Visual communications is the general term to describe the various professionals that present graphics and information in a salient, absorbable arrangement. Visual communications graduates can be found in all sectors of the marketplace. Job titles synonymous with this discipline include graphic designer and creative director.

Visual Communications: Potential Positions

But visual communications goes past the visual aspect. The real skill involves adding a written or verbal element to convey a message emphatically. Pursuing your degree in visual communications may lead to a variety of job roles.

  • Webmaster. Many visual communications students who have exceptional technical skills are getting jobs as webmasters. For most businesses and organizations, the Web is their most important customer contact tool.
  • Advertising Exec. Visual communications grads are also highly sought after for advertising positions. The creative aspect of advertising is just as vital as the copy portion. And writers are typically contracted.
  • Corporate Trainer. If you can create succinct PowerPoint presentations, the world of corporate training is your oyster. As most people are visual learners, sensible organization is a requirement for this position.

The Visual Communications Career Profile

As the Internet becomes more a part of our popular culture, visual communications skills may increase in value to employers. Here's what the Occupational Outlook Handbook (2006) has to say about earning your degree in visual communications.

  • Basic Training. The candidates in the industry have a graphic design major and then elect to minor in communications.
  • Employment Outlook. Employment of visual communications professionals is expected to grow about as fast as average for all occupations through the year 2014.
  • Salary Potential. Median annual earnings of professionals in the field were over $50,000 in May 2004, with the middle 50% earning between $35,000 and $71,000.

With a degree in visual communications, you'll be able to express more than the written word has the capacity for. It's a versatile program that leads to a variety of exciting professions.

Source

Occupational Outlook Handbook (2006)

About the Author

Kelly Richardson covers the local education and technology scenes in major cities across the country. His articles appear in educational journals, periodicals, and e-zines.