According to the Career Planning staff at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, a typical digital media program offers individuals the education and tools necessary to bring classic media like art, writing, and music into the digital arena. Digital Media as a discipline involves the application of creative and artistic talent as well as technical proficiency in a variety of domains.¹·²· Graduates can expect a variety of opportunities multiple areas of Internet services, electronic media design/4D design, advertising, education, and more. Just a few top careers include:
- Advertising Design
- Computer Graphics
- Corporate Design
- Instructional technology
- Interactive Media
- Motion Graphics
- Newspaper and Magazine Design
- Television Graphics
- Web Design/Development
In the State of Virginia, media artists will find many Internet based companies, film studios, publishers, creative agencies, computer systems design firms, and television stations that are always looking for fresh talent. The state is also home to a variety of public and private schools (K-12), and top colleges and universities that welcome talented instructors. Just a few of Virginia’s best colleges include Virginia Tech, Regent University, George Mason University, University of Virginia, and Marymount University.
Not only do these schools welcome talented educators, they offer some of the state’s best programs for aspiring artists and designers. This includes digital media artists. Continue reading to learn more about Virginia’s best options for aspiring digital media artists and what they have to offer.
Virginia Digital Media Schools
Virginia is home to the nations tenth largest collection of Title IV colleges and universities. Of the state’s 129 Title IV schools, thirty-nine are public, 38 are private not-for-profit, and 52 are private for-profit. According to the Institute of Education Sciences, for the 2010–11 academic year, annual current dollar prices for undergraduate tuition, room, and board were estimated to be $13,600 at public institutions, $36,300 at private not-for-profit institutions, and $23,500 at private for-profit institutions.
Fortunately, all Title IVs are eligible for financial aid programs, so even the priciest Virginia colleges are accessible to students with financial need. Continue reading to find out which Virginia schools are tops for aspiring digital media artists and what they have to offer.
Marymount University - Degrees Offered: B. A. Art, Graphic Design; B. S. Information Technology with Specialization in Interactive Media; Minor in Illustration, Studio Art, Media and Performance Studies
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (Virginia Tech) - Degrees Offered: B.A. Film; B.A. with a Concentration in Design and Technology, Cinema Production Studies; B. F. A. Studio Arts with Concentration in Digital Art, Visual Communication & Graphic Design with Concentrations in Creative Technologies, Visual Communication Design, Graphic Design, 3D animation, and Modeling; M.A. Film; M. F. A. Creative Technologies
Bridgewater College - Degrees Offered: B. A., B.S. Art, Studio Art with Specialization in Digital Media, Drawing, Photography, Visual Design; Minor in Art
Eastern Mennonite University - Degrees Offered: B. A. Art, Digital Media, Digital Video Production, Digital Communication, Photography; Minor in Art, Digital Communication, Digital Video Production, Photography
Liberty University - Degrees Offered: B. S. Studio Art, Studio and Digital Arts: Graphic Design, Communication with Cinematic Arts Concentration, Communication Studies with Digital Media Concentration, Visual Communication Arts with Studio Art Concentration; B.S. Web Technology and Design; M.A. Communication Studies with Media and Communication Studies Concentration; Minor in Graphic Design, Photography, Studio Art
Lynchburg College - Degrees Offered: B.A. Art with Studio Art (includes Painting, Drawing, Sculpture, Photography); B.A. Art with Emphasis in Graphic Design; B.A. Communications with Electronic Media Focus; Minor in Studio Art
Staunton Mary Baldwin College - Degrees Offered: B. A. Studio Art with Emphasis in Drawing, Extended Media, Graphic Design, Photography, Printmaking; B.A. Art Management, Film Studies, Film Production; Minor in Film Studies, Film Production
More Virginia Digital Media related programs to consider:
- San Francisco & Online
- Winter Park, FL & Online
Employment and Salary Trends for Virginia Digital Media Artists
According to the latest report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (March 27, 2012), The State of Virginia is home to 49,990 salaried artists and designers. The population of artists and designers here has increased dramatically since 2002 when the state was home to 40,780 artists and designers. Salaries are up as well. The average salary for Virginia artists and designers is $56,940, up from $42,310 in 2002.
It is important to note that salaries for Virginia artists vary by company, location, experience, job title, and more. Nationwide, the industries with the highest employment levels for media artists include film and video; advertising, public relations and related services; colleges, universities, and professional schools; radio and television broadcasting, and local government.
Top paying industries for digital media artists are independent artists ($82,870), aerospace ($67,830), film and video ($67,200), manufacturing ($62,760), and office and administrative services ($60,430). In Virginia, digital media artists working in public relations can expect to average $69,250 per year, while art directors average $85,950 per year. Professionals in the film and video industry can expect to $51,000-$71,000 per year, while broadcasting digital artists may average $41,000-$78,000 per year. Postsecondary teachers in the arts average $70,720 per year in Virginia and professionals in the web design and development field here average $93,130 per year.