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Animation. Graphic Design. Game Art.

Digital Technology and Culture Schools in Washington

Written by Michelle BurtonJanuary 18, 2016
Did You Know.....Full Sail University offers online degree programs in computer animation, game art, and game design? Learn more about Full Sail University's online programs.
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Digital Technology and Culture (DTC) is a unique interdisciplinary degree program that “combines the creative production and critical exploration of digital media,” according to the College of Liberal Arts, Department of English at Washington State University (WSU). The program, which “emphasizes a historical, rhetorical, and cultural understanding of digital media,” prepares students for “problem solving and communicating both locally and globally,” says WSU. Because DTC combines multiple disciplines and subjects, graduates will be prepared to work in a wide variety of creative and technology-centered careers. Possible careers for DTC graduates include art director, game designer, graphic designer, social media consultant, internet marketer, editing and publishing, multimedia developer, marketing coordinator, teacher, media producer, information architect, and public affairs.

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Digital Technology and Culture degree programs are available at a number of schools across the U.S., but titles vary. “Digital Culture and Technology,” “Science, Technology and Culture,” “Digital Culture and Society,” and “Digital Cultures,” are just a few. In the State of Washington, the Washington State University system offers several top-tier Digital Technology and Culture programs. Formerly titled “Electronic Media and Culture option within General Studies,” the DTC program has been a part of the Washington State University system since 2003. According to the Washington State University website, the DTC degree program is one of the fastest growing majors in the Tri-Cities area.

Washington Digital Technology and Culture Schools

Washington is home to 85 Title IV degree-granting schools. More than 318,000 students are enrolled, with more than 2,700 enrolled in the state’s top art and design schools alone. In addition to WSU, just a few of the state’s top schools for art and design are Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle Pacific University, and DigiPen Institute of Technology. Let’s take a look at what the WSU system has to offer.

Washington State University - Degrees Offered: BA Digital Technology and Culture with Multimedia Authoring, Culture & Technology, E-Commerce, or Electronic Art concentrations; BA, BFA Fine Arts with Concentration in Digital Media

Washington State University Tri Cities - Degrees Offered: BA Digital Technology and Culture with Multimedia Authoring, Culture & Technology, E-Commerce, or Electronic Art concentrations

Washington State University - Degrees Offered: BA Digital Technology and Culture with Multimedia Authoring, Culture & Technology, E-Commerce, or Electronic Art concentrations

Employment and Salary Trends for Washington State Digital Technology and Culture Careers

Washington State is artsy, high-tech, visually stunning, and progressive. It is home to major art museums such as the Seattle Art Museum and Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, and major technology companies such as Microsoft. The state is also home to Boeing’s final assembly plant, Starbucks, and Amazon. These companies and hundreds of others employ thousands of talented workers, from animators and digital artists to IT professionals. DTC graduates have the skills needed to succeed in just about any capacity. As mentioned, they have the skills needed to land positions in art and design, information technology, public affairs, education, and more.

Because DTC professionals work in so many different fields, employment and salary trends vary. For example, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report (December 17, 2015), art directors average $85,610 per year (nationwide), while professionals working in the graphic design industry average $45,900 per year (nationwide). Nationwide, professionals working in the computer and information technology sector average anywhere from $63,500 up to $108,500. Let's take a look at Washington:

In 2015, Washington was home to 43,500 professionals working in Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media (ADESM) occupations. They averaged $52,930 that year. Washington was home to 136,530 professionals in computer and mathematical occupations in 2015, and they averaged $99,780 per year.

Animation & Multimedia Art: Washington is home to 1,970 animators & multimedia artists averaging $75,740 per year. 

Art Director: Washington is home to 680 art directors averaging $102,590 per year—one of the highest average annual salaries in the industry.

Fine Art (Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators): Washington is home to 380 salaried fine artists and designers averaging $71,200 per year.

Graphic Design: Washington is home to 4,250 graphic designers averaging $55,030 per year. Keep in mind that salaries vary by industry, location, and other factors. For example, graphic designers who work for the federal government or in aerospace average $77,420 and $71,340 per year, respectively, and the top paying states for these professionals are DC, New York, Connecticut, California, and Maryland.  

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