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Graphic Communications Major

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Graphic Communications

2,942 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
359 Master's Degrees Annually
#109 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 2018-2019 for each degree level.

Education Level Number of Grads
Bachelor’s Degree 2,944
Associate’s Degree 1,874
Basic Certificate 1,127
Undergraduate Certificate 1,080
Master’s Degree 359
Graduate Certificate 50

What Graphic Communications Majors Need to Know

People with careers related to graphic communication were asked what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. They weighted these areas on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being the highest.

Knowledge Areas for Graphic Communication Majors

According to O*NET survey takers, a major in graphic communication should prepare you for careers in which you will need to be knowledgeable in the following areas:

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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

When studying graphic communication, you’ll learn many skills that will help you be successful in a wide range of jobs - even those that do not require a degree in the field. The following is a list of some of the most common skills needed for careers associated with this major:

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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

Some of the most crucial abilities to master while a graphic communication student include the following:

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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?

People with a graphic communication degree often go into the following careers:

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?

2,944 Bachelor's Degrees Annually
52% Percent Women
36% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This is a less frequently chosen undergraduate major. Only 2,942 students graduated with a bachelor’s degree in graphic communications in 2019, making it rank #109 in popularity. Roughly 52% of the graduates are women, and 48% 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 245
Black or African American 230
Hispanic or Latino 457
White 1,512
International Students 238
Other Races/Ethnicities 262

Geographic Diversity

Students from other countries are interested in Graphic Communication, too. About 8.1% 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 median early-career salary of graphic communications students with a bachelor’s degree is $27,800 a year according to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education. 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

Graphic Communication majors often go into careers where salaries can range from $34,550 to $46,750 (25th to 75th percentile). This range includes all degree levels, so the salary for a person with just a bachelor’s degree may be a little less and the one for a person with an advanced degree may be a little more.

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 careers associated with graphic communication require an advanced degree while some may not even require a bachelor’s. Whatever the case may be, pursuing more education usually means that more career options will be available to you.

Find out what the typical degree level is for graphic communication careers below.

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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 2018-2019 academic year, 458 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) 218 12
Certificate (1-2 years) 207 6
Certificate (2-4 Years) 17 1
Associate’s Degree 243 12
Bachelor’s Degree 4 0
Post-Baccalaureate 218 12
Master’s Degree 20 3
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 7,448
Communications Technology 715
Other Communication Technology 375

References

*The racial-ethnic minorities count is calculated by taking the total number of students and subtracting white students, international students, and students whose race/ethnicity was unknown. This number is then divided by the total number of students at the school to obtain the racial-ethnic minorities percentage.

More about our data sources and methodologies.

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