The digital media major is a multidisciplinary degree program that covers areas such as 2D design, fine arts, imaging, technical communication, visual thinking, and more. Most programs allow students to concentrate in a specific area as well such as digital film and video, integrated digital media, digital radio and audio, game design, and many others. As such, digital media graduates are well equipped to work in a variety of industries such as multimedia and animation, graphic design, motion graphics, interactive media, and broadcasting.
In Pennsylvania, and across the U.S., artists that have advanced skills in these areas are in high demand. To keep up with the demand, some of the state’s top colleges and universities have developed digital media programs at all degree levels. Just a few include Pennsylvania College of Art & Design in Lancaster, Messiah College in Grantham, and Duquesne University in Pittsburgh.
Continue reading to find out which Pennsylvania schools offer top-tier digital media programs and where to find them.
Pennsylvania Digital Media Schools
Pennsylvania is home to 262 Title IV degree-granting colleges and universities. Many offer excellent programs for aspiring digital media professionals. They include:
East Stroudsburg University – Degrees Offered: BS Digital Media Technologies, Minor Digital Media Technologies
Kutztown University - Degrees Offered: BFA Studio Art with a Concentration in Digital Media
Pennsylvania College of Art & Design – Degrees Offered: BFA Digital Media
Saint Francis University – Degrees Offered: BA, BS Digital Media
Messiah College – Degrees Offered: BA Digital Media with a Concentration in Art and Design, Church Media, Digital Video and Story, Mobile Application and Game Design, BA, BFA Studio Art with a Concentration in Design and Digital Media
Drexel University – Degrees Offered: BS Interactive Digital Media, MS Interactive Digital Media, Accelerated BS/MS Digital Media
University of Pennsylvania – Degrees Offered: Bachelors in Engineering and Science (BSE) with a Digital Media Design Major, Minor Digital Media Design
University of Valley Forge – Degrees Offered: BS Digital Media Studies, BS Digital Media – Photography, BS Digital Media – Recording Arts, BS Digital Media – Video Production, BS Digital Media – Graphic Design, Master of Digital Media Communications, Minor Digital Media
Duquesne University - Degrees Offered: BA Digital Media Arts with a Concentration in Multimedia Development or Web Development
Albright College – Degrees Offered: BS Digital Media
Employment and Salary Trends for Pennsylvania Digital Media Artists
As mentioned, digital media professionals work in a variety of fields. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), most of these fields are categorized under the broad group "Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media" (ADESM) occupations. Pennsylvania is home to 60,020 professionals in this group, and they earn an average of $50,590 per year. In 2013, the state was home to 65,810 professionals in this group averaging $48,030.
To give you an idea of what digital media professionals may earn by industry, take a look at the most current BLS figures for the following:
Multimedia Artists and Animators - Pennsylvania is home to 510 multimedia artists and animators averaging $59,290 per year. In 2013, the state was home to 480 multimedia artists and animators averaging $60,610.
Graphic Designers - Pennsylvania is home to 8,700 graphic designers earning an average salary of $47,970 per year. In 2013, the state was home to 8,210 designers averaging $44,510.
Media and Communications Professionals – Pennsylvania is home to 310 media and communications professionals averaging $60,210 per year, up from $43,610 in 2013 when the state was home to 400 professionals in this field.
While employment opportunities in these fields can be found in a number of cities across the state, consider Pennsylvania’s largest cities first. They are Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Allentown, Erie, Reading, Scranton, Bethlehem, and Lancaster.
Awesome Animation Fact: The show "Jonny Quest" (ABC, 1964-1965) was the first of several Hanna-Barbera action-based adventure shows. The show's visual style was unusual for its time, combining a fairly realistic depiction of human figures and objects with fairly limited animation techniques. The series made heavy use of rich music scores, offscreen impacts with sound effects, reaction shots, cycling animations, cutaways, scene-to-scene dissolves, and abbreviated dialogue to move the story forward, without requiring extensive original animation of figures. -Listverse