Multimedia designers are the workhorses of the design world. Their jobs require them to possess a multitude of skill sets: Although they will sometimes do the job of a graphic designer, they are so much more than the traditional graphic designer.
Most would-be multimedia designers look for bachelor’s degree programs in multimedia design to get the training they need to do this job. However, this isn’t their only option. Here’s a look at the job requirements for the multimedia designer and the educational options the aspiring designer has to train for the job.
Skills of the Multimedia Designer
To understand the type of training a multimedia designer needs, it’s helpful to look at the designer’s job requirements. Knowing this allows would-be multimedia designers to find degree programs, even if those programs don’t carry the label of Bachelor of Fine Arts in Multimedia Design or Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Design.
The word “multimedia” implies that the product that the designer creates includes more than one media format. Therefore, the multimedia designer must know how to create audio and video files and edit them. He or she must also understand photography, illustration, graphic design and animation.
Additionally, because many multimedia designers design websites or apps, having a solid understanding of computer science, programming and other skills may also be helpful in some job settings.
From a software standpoint, many jobs require the multimedia designers working for them to know some key design and animation programs in the Adobe Suite. These programs may include Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, AfterEffects, Fireworks, Dreamweaver and Lightroom. Because some multimedia jobs also require animation, many designers will learn animation programs, like Blender, Maya and Nuke, according to Rocket Stock.
Finally, multimedia designers should know how to create products, like DVDs, CDs and other items. However, given the popularity of digital downloads, it may be that a designer will be asked to create files for download more often than he or she will be asked to create a DVD or CD.
Possible Degree Titles
Many bachelor’s degree programs that teach multimedia design skills don’t come with the label “multimedia design” in the degree title. Instead, the title of the degree alludes to what the degree seeker will learn. It is often up to the student to decide if the degree will teach him or her the necessary multimedia design skills.
Students looking for a bachelor’s degree in the topic can look for degrees like:
- Digital arts and design
- Graphic design
- Motion graphics
- Video and audio production or film
- Immersive reality
- Game design
- Computer science
Because these degrees aren’t always labeled as multimedia design degrees, students must investigate the makeup of the degree. They should read the school’s catalog to find out what the required classes are. This allows students to compare the degree in question with the job criteria above.
It’s additionally important to say that many times, students must take classes outside their degree programs to learn all of the skills they need.
Comparable Degrees and Training
As has been briefly noted, some degrees teach aspiring multimedia designers the skills they need to know. Below is a sampling of the different degrees that schools offer. These degrees teach students multimedia skills. Some of the programs mentioned are not bachelor’s degrees at all. However, they are worth mentioning because they do provide training in multimedia design. The programs included in this section are meant only to provide a glimpse of the possible multimedia programs out there. Many excellent programs are not included in this list.
California University of Pennsylvania’s Bachelor of Science in Digital Media Technology teaches it’s students many, if not all of the skills that the multimedia designer needs to know.
Rasmussen College offers a bachelor’s degree in graphic design. Students in this program can specialize in two additional tracks: web and interactive design or animation and motion graphics.
Students who want to become multimedia journalists or who have career aspirations in public relations might consider programs similar to the media arts degree offered by Boise State University. In addition to teaching students various multimedia skills, students in this program can get additional skills in writing.
Finally, it’s important to note that many students who are looking for programs need the training more than they do the degree. Therefore, these students may be more interested in an associate’s degree or a certificate program.
Their reasons vary. First, many who get associate’s degree go on to get bachelor’s degrees in multimedia or related fields. It’s often less expensive to first take coursework at the local community college than it is the local four-year university. Second, many students who pursue these training programs already have bachelor’s degrees. They typically don’t need a second degree: They need new skills training. Certificate programs provide a shortcut for those who do not need another four-year degree.
Students who are interested in pursuing a bachelor’s degree in multimedia design should be aware that many of these programs aren’t labeled as such. Instead, the students in the programs receive degrees in graphic design or motion graphics or something similar.
What’s most important is that the aspiring multimedia designer looks carefully at potential degree programs. While they may not have the title of Bachelor of Fine Arts or Bachelor of Arts in Multimedia Design, they still offer students the training they need to get the job.