Digital media is a multidisciplinary degree program that combines the study of fine arts, 2D design, technical communication, imaging, visual thinking, and other areas. Most programs allow students to select a focus area such as integrated digital media, digital film and video, game design, or digital radio and audio, to name a few. As such, graduates of digital media programs are well prepared to work in a range of industries from graphic design and interactive media to multimedia and animation, motion graphics, and broadcasting.
Tennessee is home to 109 Title IV degree-granting colleges and universities. Because Title IV schools are eligible for federal financial aid programs, even the most expensive art and design schools are accessible to students with financial need. Browse the list below for the best art and design schools, traditional colleges, and universities for aspiring digital media artists.
Tennessee Digital Media Schools
Tennessee is home to 109 Title IV colleges and universities. Title IV schools are eligible for federal financial aid programs. This means, even the most expensive art and design programs are accessible to students with financial need. Scroll through the list below to take a look at the top picks for digital media majors and what they have to offer.
Austin Peay State University - Degrees Offered: BA or BS Communication Arts with a Specialization in Media Technologies; BA Studio Arts with a Concentration in Digital Media
Union University - Degrees Offered: BA or BS Digital Media Studies
East Tennessee State University - Degrees Offered: BS Digital Media with Concentrations in Animation, Visualization, and Interaction & Game Design; MS Technology with a Digital Media Concentration; MA New Media Studio
Middle Tennessee State University – Degrees Offered: BS Mass Communication with Concentrations in Electronic Media Production, Electronic Media Management, and Electronic Media Journalism; MS Mass Communication
Belmont University – Degrees Offered: BA or BS Multimedia Productione
Watkins College of Art, Design & Film – Degrees Offered: BA Art with a Concentration in Film and Time Based Media
More Tennessee Digital Media Art related programs to consider:
- San Francisco & Online
- Winter Park, FL & Online
Employment and Salary Trends for Tennessee Digital Media Artists
As mentioned, digital media graduates are well prepared to work in a variety of fields. Most of these fields are members of the broad group "Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media" (ADESM) occupations. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), Tennessee is home to 28,860 professionals in this group, and they average around $49,260 per year. In 2010, the state was home to 25,130 ADESM professionals averaging $44,670.
To give you an idea of the employment outlook and earnings for common industries for digital media artists, take a look at the following information from the BLS:
Multimedia Artists and Animators – Tennessee is home to 200 multimedia artists and animators who earn an average of $51,050 per year. In 2010, the state was home to 120 multimedia artists and animators who earned an average of $52,090.
Graphic Designers - Tennessee is home to 3,150 graphic designers who earn an average salary of $44,490 per year. In 2010, the state was home to 2,970 designers who averaged $39,350.
Media and Communications Professionals – Tennessee is home to 460 media and communications professionals averaging $35,130 per year, up from $36,230 in 2010 when the state was home to 410 professionals in this field.
While positions in these and other areas can be found across the State of Tennessee, consider starting your job search in Memphis—the state’s largest city. Next on the list is Nashville—the state’s second largest city, followed by Knoxville (third), Chattanooga, Clarksville, and Murfreesboro. If you’re interested in a slower pace, consider Jackson, Johnson City, Franklin or Bartlett.
Awesome Animation Fact: While Pixar Films can take anywhere from four to seven years to complete, Inside Out (2015) took longer than most. Pixar first started work on the movie in 2009. -YoungZine