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Graphic Communications Major

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Graphic Communications

359 Master's Degrees Annually
#168 in Popularity (Master's)
$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
Master’s Degree 359
Graduate Certificate 50

What Graphic Communications Majors Need to Know

O*NET surveyed people in occupations related to graphic communication and asked them what knowledge areas, skills, and abilities were important for their jobs. The responses were rated on a scale of 1 to 5 with 5 being most important.

Knowledge Areas for Graphic Communication Majors

Graphic Communication majors often go into careers in which the following knowledge areas are important:

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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

A major in graphic communication will prepare for your careers in which the following abilities are important:

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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?

Below is a list of occupations associated with graphic communication:

Job Title Job Growth Rate Median Salary
Multimedia Artists and Animators 8.4% $72,520

Who Is Getting a Master’s Degree in Graphic Communications?

359 Master's Degrees Annually
44% Percent Women
18% Percent Racial-Ethnic Minorities*
This major attracts more men than women. About 56% of the graduates in this field are male.

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 Master's Degrees
Race/Ethnicity Number of Grads
Asian 9
Black or African American 19
Hispanic or Latino 32
White 86
International Students 184
Other Races/Ethnicities 29

Geographic Diversity

Americans aren’t the only ones with an interest in Graphic Communication. About 51.3% 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?

Master’s Degree Starting Salary

According to 2017-2018 data from the U.S. Department of Education, students who graduated with a master’s degree in graphic communication have a median salary of $32,350 during the early years of their career. During this timeframe, most salaries fell between $30,300 (25th percentile) and $37,000 (75th percentile).

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We don’t know for sure if all of these people took jobs related to graphic communication so take that into consideration.

Salaries According to BLS

Average salaries range from $34,550 to $46,750 (25th to 75th percentile) for careers related to graphic communication. This range includes all degree levels, so you may expect those with a more advanced degree to make more while those with less advanced degrees will typically make less.

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. In general, the more advanced your degree the more career options will open up to you. However, there is significant time and money that needs to be invested into your education so weigh the pros and cons.

How much schooling do you really need to compete in today’s job market? People currently working in careers related to graphic communication have obtained the following education levels.

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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 166
Communications Technology 17
Other Communication Technology 12

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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