What Can I Do With a Master’s Degree in Graphic Design?

Although a bachelor’s degree is what’s typically required to work as a designer, many who are choosing programs may wonder what they can do with a master’s degree in graphic design. Many aspiring designers are concerned that the extra time spent in college could be spent already doing design work, earning a salary, and gaining work experience. A master’s degree in graphic design is required if the candidate wishes to teach and it can also open doors unavailable to applicants with only a bachelor’s degree. There are several career options with a master’s degree in graphic design.

Systems Designer

Systems designers are graphic designers with the knowledge and skill to re-do or re-develop content already on the web. They often work with corporations to revise instructional multimedia and content. Systems designers collaborate with departmental managers and compare strategies so that they may learn and become familiar with their expectations and standards. Systems designers often work with product managers in order to become familiar with safety rules and desired design procedures required to create not only stunning online content but accurate content as well. Using both graphics and interactive text, systems designers communicate a sequence of actions and help develop effective solutions to meet the organization’s goals.

Graphic Design Teacher

Graphic design teachers may work in various academic settings using the established curriculum to develop engaging content, technology-based assignments, and new teaching tools. Although they use contemporary techniques and trends, the graphic design teacher’s main goal is to teach the students about the latest industry graphic design practices. They may teach one-on-one or in small group lectures depending on which delivery method best promotes student growth and development. Graphic design teachers help students understand all the production steps of a product’s lifespan and how to implement each step.

Community College Instructor

Community college instructor is one of several career choices available to those with a master’s degree in graphic design. Aspiring community college instructors generally complete a Master of Fine Arts degree in design. This terminal degree not only qualifies the individual to teach at a community college but also to work as a senior designer if he or she chooses not to teach and prefers to work in a graphic design company. Although the job growth for graphic designers is not real high at the present time, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does expect jobs for postsecondary teachers of art, drama, and music to grow 12 percent by 2026. Those with a master’s in graphic design should see the best prospects.

Publication Specialist

Publication specialists produce exciting graphics for various print and digital publications. They collaborate with graphic designers and managers on different projects while also assisting the publication staff in editing and finalizing the graphic deliverables. Publication specialists also coordinate with cross-function publication staff to design, edit, finalize and present graphic illustrations and concepts. To maintain the perfect quality work required in this business, a publication specialist must be very detail-oriented and have excellent organizational skills. They also work with graphic libraries and archives to work on past projects and create basic templates for the staff to use. Publication specialists work with management and vendors to standardize formats and develop graphic technical requirements.

Salary.com reports that wages for graphic designers ranged from $63,965 to $85,408 as of July 2018 and the average base wage is $74,728. There are various degree options for those pursuing a master’s graphic design degree, according to the American Institute of Graphic Arts. Designers who go the extra mile academically and achieve a master’s degree have a definite advantage as there are more job opportunities and typically higher wages.