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Graphic Communications Major

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Graphic Communications

2,870 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
377 Master's Degrees Annually
#111 in Popularity
$38,470 Median Salary

Types of Degrees Graphic Communications Majors Are Getting

The following table lists how many graphic communications graduations there were in 2017-2018 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 2,916
Associate’s Degree 1,808
Basic Certificate 1,089
Undergraduate Certificate 875
Master’s Degree 377
Graduate Certificate 50

What Graphic Communications Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to graphic communication and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Graphic Communication Majors

This major prepares you for careers in which these knowledge areas are important:

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  • English Language - Knowledge of the structure and content of the English language including the meaning and spelling of words, rules of composition, and grammar.
  • Computers and Electronics - Knowledge of circuit boards, processors, chips, electronic equipment, and computer hardware and software, including applications and programming.
  • Customer and Personal Service - Knowledge of principles and processes for providing customer and personal services. This includes customer needs assessment, meeting quality standards for services, and evaluation of customer satisfaction.
  • Design - Knowledge of design techniques, tools, and principles involved in production of precision technical plans, blueprints, drawings, and models.
  • Production and Processing - Knowledge of raw materials, production processes, quality control, costs, and other techniques for maximizing the effective manufacture and distribution of goods.

Skills for Graphic Communication Majors

The following list of skills has been highlighted as some of the most essential for careers related to graphic communication:

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  • Reading Comprehension - Understanding written sentences and paragraphs in work related documents.
  • Active Listening - Giving full attention to what other people are saying, taking time to understand the points being made, asking questions as appropriate, and not interrupting at inappropriate times.
  • Critical Thinking - Using logic and reasoning to identify the strengths and weaknesses of alternative solutions, conclusions or approaches to problems.
  • Monitoring - Monitoring/Assessing performance of yourself, other individuals, or organizations to make improvements or take corrective action.
  • Speaking - Talking to others to convey information effectively.

Abilities for Graphic Communication Majors

As you progress with your graphic communication degree, there are several abilities you should pick up that will help you in whatever related career you choose. These abilities include:

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  • Near Vision - The ability to see details at close range (within a few feet of the observer).
  • Written Comprehension - The ability to read and understand information and ideas presented in writing.
  • Oral Comprehension - The ability to listen to and understand information and ideas presented through spoken words and sentences.
  • Information Ordering - The ability to arrange things or actions in a certain order or pattern according to a specific rule or set of rules (e.g., patterns of numbers, letters, words, pictures, mathematical operations).
  • Visualization - The ability to imagine how something will look after it is moved around or when its parts are moved or rearranged.

What Can You Do With a Graphic Communications Major?

Below is a list of occupations associated with graphic communication:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Multimedia Artists and Animators 8.4% $72,520

Who Is Getting a Bachelor’s Degree in Graphic Communications?

2,916 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
51% Percent Women
34% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 2,870 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in graphic communications in 2018, making it rank #111 in popularity. Roughly 51% of the graduates are women, and 49% are men.

Racial-Ethnic Diversity

At the countrywide level, the racial-ethnic distribution of graphic communication majors is as follows:

Racial-Ethnic Diversity of Graphic Communication Students with Bachelor's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 228
Black or African American 211
Hispanic or Latino 427
White 1,523
International Students 217
Other Races/Ethnicities 310

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Graphic Communication, too. About 7.4% of those with this major are international students. The most popular countries for students from outside the country are:

  • China
  • South Korea
  • Taiwan
  • India
  • Singapore

How Much Do Graphic Communications Majors Make?

Bachelor’s Degree Starting Salary

The U.S. Department of Education found that students who graduated in 2015-2017 with a bachelor’s degree in graphic communications made a median starting salary of $27,800 per year. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $21,600 (25th percentile) and $33,200 (75th percentile).

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It is possible that some of these people may have taken positions that were not related to graphic communication.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $34,550 to $46,750 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to graphic communication. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

To put that into context, according to BLS data from the first quarter of 2020, the typical high school graduate makes between $30,000 and $57,900 a year (25th through 75th percentile). The average person with a bachelor’s degree (any field) makes between $45,600 and $99,000. Advanced degree holders make the most with salaries between $55,600 and $125,400.

Median Salary for a Graphic Communications Major  ( 34550 to 46750 )
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250K
Median Salary for a High School Graduate  ( 30000 to 57900 )
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250K
Median Salary for a Bachelor's Degree Holder  ( 45600 to 99000 )
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250K
Median Salary for an Advanced Degree Holder  ( 55600 to 125400 )
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250K

Some degrees associated with graphic communication may require an advanced degree, while others may not even require a bachelor’s in the field. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to graphic communication have obtained the following education levels.

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Education Level Percentage of Workers
Less than a High School Diploma 6.7%
High School Diploma - or the equivalent (for example, GED) 38.6%
Post-Secondary Certificate - awarded for training completed after high school (for example, in agriculture or natural resources, computer services, personal or culinary services, engineering technologies, healthcare, construction trades, mechanic and repair technologies, or precision production) 9.2%
Some College Courses 17.3%
Associate’s Degree (or other 2-year degree) 14.0%
Bachelor’s Degree 13.0%
Master’s Degree 0.0%
First Professional Degree - awarded for completion of a program that: requires at least 2 years of college work before entrance into the program, includes a total of at least 6 academic years of work to complete, and provides all remaining academic requirements to begin practice in a profession. 1.4%

Online Graphic Communications Programs

In the 2017-2018 academic year, 477 schools offered some type of graphic communications program. The following table lists the number of programs by degree level, along with how many schools offered online courses in the field.

Degree Level Colleges Offering Programs Colleges Offering Online Classes
Certificate (Less Than 1 Year) 204 12
Certificate (1-2 years) 214 13
Certificate (2-4 Years) 15 1
Associate’s Degree 248 17
Bachelor’s Degree 4 0
Post-Baccalaureate 204 12
Master’s Degree 19 2
Post-Master’s 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Research) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Professional Practice) 0 0
Doctor’s Degree (Other) 0 0

Is a Degree in Graphic Communications Worth It?

The median salary for a graphic communication grad is $38,470 per year. This is based on the weighted average of the most common careers associated with the major.

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You may also be interested in one of the following majors related to graphic communication.

Major Number of Grads
Audiovisual Communications 7,329
Communications Technology 844
Other Communication Technology 381

References

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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