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Digital design generally refers to the use of computer aided technology for design purposes.  Digital design most commonly refers to graphic design; within that category it generally refers to web site design or management, advertising design, video game production or publishing layouts produced on a computer.

There is also the industrial world, however, where computer aided design (CAD) has allowed digital designers to develop three dimensional versions of architectural or product designs.  CAD is also employed in industrial design functions of all sorts, from modernizing a refinery to working up a blueprint for an office layout.

Developing a career in digital design first requires a decision on what sort of work you want to perform on your computer.  If you have a background in engineering and want to move into the more sophisticated aspects of it, certificates for courses on some of the Autodesk products will help.  Any engineering degree these days will include extensive study of digital design techniques, if that is where your interests lie.

If graphic arts are your orientation, opportunities could come from the advertising world, the video game industry or in Internet site development.  There are excellent online and campus degree programs that will help you get a foot in the door.  An associates’ degree in graphic arts will provide you with technical expertise for advertising layouts, some animation or multimedia skills and other technical requirements. 

Many design firms who use digital formats are looking for people with a bachelors’ degree, simply because of the wider exposure that a liberal arts degree provides.  The core courses help in digital design simply because they provide a more worldly perspective.  There are associates and bachelors’ programs in multimedia, in animation, in web development and in overall graphic design.

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Salaries with Digital Design Degrees

Average annual earnings with Digital Design Degrees in May 2004.

  • Lowest 10 % earned $35,500
  • Median $63,840
  • Highest 10% earned $123,320

Related occupations with Digital Design Degrees:

  • Multi-media artists and animators $94,000
  • Art directors 71,000