Best Online Associate in Graphic Design

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Find top-ranked online associate in graphic design degree programs for students taking their first steps toward a career in a fast-growing industry.

Top 10 Online Associate in Graphic Design Degrees

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  1. Blinn College
  2. Wake Technical Community College
  3. Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
  4. Hodges University
  5. Arizona Western College
  6. Southwestern Illinois College
  7. Grand Rapids Community College
  8. Western Nevada College
  9. Bluegrass Community and Technical College
  10. Great Basin College
  1. Blinn College
  2. Southwestern Illinois College
  3. Wake Technical Community College
  4. Bluegrass Community and Technical College
  5. Hodges University
  6. Great Basin College
  7. Western Nevada College
  8. Grand Rapids Community College
  9. Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
  10. Arizona Western College
    1. Blinn College 36 to 1
    2. Elizabethtown Community and Technical College 22 to 1
    3. Great Basin College 18 to 1
    4. Western Nevada College 18 to 1
    5. Wake Technical Community College 18 to 1
    6. Bluegrass Community and Technical College 18 to 1
    7. Arizona Western College 17 to 1
    8. Southwestern Illinois College 17 to 1
    9. Grand Rapids Community College 17 to 1
    10. Hodges University 12 to 1
    1. Hodges University $14,780
    2. Grand Rapids Community College $7,410
    3. Southwestern Illinois College $6,120
    4. Elizabethtown Community and Technical College $4,296
    5. Bluegrass Community and Technical College $4,296
    6. Great Basin College $3,518
    7. Blinn College $3,510
    8. Western Nevada College $3,293
    9. Arizona Western College $2,700
    10. Wake Technical Community College $2,432
    1. Hodges University $14,940
    1. Great Basin College
    2. Bluegrass Community and Technical College
    3. Western Nevada College
    4. Grand Rapids Community College
    5. Southwestern Illinois College
    6. Arizona Western College
    7. Hodges University
    8. Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
    9. Wake Technical Community College
    10. Blinn College
    1. Arizona Western College
    2. Elizabethtown Community and Technical College
    3. Grand Rapids Community College
    4. Western Nevada College
    5. Great Basin College
    6. Hodges University
    7. Bluegrass Community and Technical College
    8. Wake Technical Community College
    9. Southwestern Illinois College
    10. Blinn College
      1. Hodges University 12 to 1
      2. Arizona Western College 17 to 1
      3. Southwestern Illinois College 17 to 1
      4. Grand Rapids Community College 17 to 1
      5. Great Basin College 18 to 1
      6. Western Nevada College 18 to 1
      7. Wake Technical Community College 18 to 1
      8. Bluegrass Community and Technical College 18 to 1
      9. Elizabethtown Community and Technical College 22 to 1
      10. Blinn College 36 to 1
      1. Wake Technical Community College $2,432
      2. Arizona Western College $2,700
      3. Western Nevada College $3,293
      4. Blinn College $3,510
      5. Great Basin College $3,518
      6. Elizabethtown Community and Technical College $4,296
      7. Bluegrass Community and Technical College $4,296
      8. Southwestern Illinois College $6,120
      9. Grand Rapids Community College $7,410
      10. Hodges University $14,780
      1. Hodges University $14,940

      Featured Programs

      Frequently Asked Questions About Graphic Design Degrees

      Why get an associate degree in graphic design?

      An associate degree in graphic design is an excellent first step toward a career as a graphic designer in a fast-growing industry.

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      How long does it take to get an online graphic design degree?

      An online associate degree in graphic design requires roughly 60-credits and can be completed in about two years.

      What will I learn while getting an online associate degree in graphic design?

      Students working towards an online graphic design degree will gain the foundational knowledge necessary to become a graphic designer. Graphic design programs develop skills in web design, digital art, motion graphics for video, graphic design, and typography.

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      What can I do with an associate degree in graphic design?

      Graphic designers create visual communications in a variety of industries, including healthcare, social media, government, and commercial marketing.

      Graphic design programs will allow students to use their skills in entry- and junior-level design jobs or take their associate degree and apply it toward a bachelor’s degree in graphic design.

      Note that many community colleges have transfer agreements with nearby public colleges and universities. Transfer agreements can make it easier to transfer your credits from your current graphic design program and apply them to a bachelor’s degree program.

      According to projections from the BLS, there will be nearly 24,000 job openings for graphic designers each year through the decade.

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      Best Online Associate Degree Programs in Graphic Design

      1. Other Rankings

        Tuition + fees

        $3K

        Graduation

        28%

        Student body

        15K

        Career Outlook for Graphic Design degree at Wake Technical Community College

        Cost of Degree: $2,768
        Expenses: $15,411
        Starting Salary: $20,261
        Salary after 4 years: $27,369
        Cost Recoup Time: 8 years
        Paid back at 15% of annual salary

        Online Degrees

        AAS in Advertising & Graphic Design
        • Required Credits: 71
        • Completion time: None Reported
        • Format: Online
      2. Other Rankings

        Tuition + fees

        $4K

        Graduation

        41%

        Student body

        3K

        Career Outlook for Graphic Design degree at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College

        Cost of Degree: $4,560
        Expenses: $15,411
        Starting Salary: $18,177
        Salary after 4 years: $24,554
        Cost Recoup Time: 9 years
        Paid back at 15% of annual salary

        Online Degrees

        AAS in Graphic Design and Library Technology

        Concentrations

        • Library Information Technology
        • Required Credits: 60
        • Completion time: None Reported
        • Format: Online
      3. Other Rankings

        Tuition + fees

        $3K

        Graduation

        23%

        Student body

        4K

        Career Outlook for Graphic Design degree at Arizona Western College

        Cost of Degree: $2,760
        Expenses: $15,949
        Starting Salary: $18,524
        Salary after 4 years: $25,024
        Cost Recoup Time: 8 years
        Paid back at 15% of annual salary

        Online Degrees

        AAS in Computer Graphics
        • Required Credits: 64
        • Completion time: None Reported
        • Format: Online
        Associate in Arts

        Concentrations

        • Graphics
        • Studio Art
        • Required Credits: 64
        • Completion time: None Reported
        • Format: Online
      4. Tuition + fees

        $6K

        Graduation

        29%

        Student body

        6K

        Career Outlook for Graphic Design degree at Southwestern Illinois College

        Cost of Degree: $6,390
        Expenses: $15,411
        Starting Salary: $17,772
        Salary after 4 years: $24,007
        Cost Recoup Time: 10 years
        Paid back at 15% of annual salary

        Online Degrees

        AAS in Graphic Communications
        • Required Credits: 63-65
        • Completion time: 2 Years
        • Format: Online
      5. Other Rankings

        Tuition + fees

        $8K

        Graduation

        20%

        Student body

        8K

        Career Outlook for Graphic Design degree at Grand Rapids Community College

        Cost of Degree: $7,929
        Expenses: $15,411
        Starting Salary: $19,914
        Salary after 4 years: $26,900
        Cost Recoup Time: 9 years
        Paid back at 15% of annual salary

        Online Degrees

        AAAS in Graphics/Web Development
        • Required Credits: 60
        • Completion time: 2 years
        • Format: Online
      6. #8

        Western Nevada College

        Carson City , NV
        Other Rankings

        Tuition + fees

        $4K

        Graduation

        29%

        Student body

        2K

        Career Outlook for Graphic Design degree at Western Nevada College

        Cost of Degree: $3,838
        Expenses: $15,411
        Starting Salary: $20,724
        Salary after 4 years: $27,995
        Cost Recoup Time: 8 years
        Paid back at 15% of annual salary

        Online Degrees

        AAS in Graphic Design
        • Required Credits: 60
        • Completion time: 2 years
        • Format: Online
      7. Other Rankings

        Tuition + fees

        $5K

        Graduation

        35%

        Student body

        6K

        Career Outlook for Graphic Design degree at Bluegrass Community and Technical College

        Cost of Degree: $4,640
        Expenses: $15,411
        Starting Salary: $17,251
        Salary after 4 years: $23,303
        Cost Recoup Time: 9 years
        Paid back at 15% of annual salary

        Online Degrees

        AAS in Graphic Design and Library Technology

        Concentrations

        • Graphic Design
        • Library Information Technology
        • Video Game Design
        • Required Credits: 60
        • Completion time: None Reported
        • Format: Online

      Career Outlook for Students with Graphic Design Degree

      Go to Degree Finder tool

      Graphic Communications

      Degree Level: Associate's

      • Location: The U.S. (Private Schools)
      • Avg. Cost of Degree*: $5,799
      • Avg. Expenses*: $13,194
      • Avg. Starting Salary*: $21,820
      • Avg. Salary after 4 Years*: $29,475
      • Avg. Cost Recoup Time**: 7 years
      • Job Growth: -17.12%
      • Number of Jobs: 25,700
      • * denotes ‘annually’
      • ** denotes ‘at 15% of annual salary’

      Career Salaries

      CareerJob GrowthAvg. Salary
      Special Effects Artists and Animators8.17%$78,763
      Desktop Publishers-12.94%$51,546
      Prepress Technicians and Workers-17.12%$42,962
      Printing Press Operators-8.49%$39,361
      Data Entry Keyers-26.03%$35,665

      Average Career Salaries

      Bottom 10%MedianTop 10%
      $31,349$43,820$62,898

      Promising Job Markets

      StateCost of LivingAvg. Salary
      #2 District of Columbia49% higher than average$87,993
      #3 Arkansas16% higher than average$46,276
      #4 Michigan15% higher than average$45,183
      #5 Mississippi18% higher than average$43,505
      #6 North Carolina11% higher than average$46,268

      Top Industries

      IndustryAvg. Salary
      Motor Vehicle Manufacturing$115,540
      Federal government, including the US Postal Service$93,192
      Federal Executive Branch (OES Designation)$91,732
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      Online Graphic Design Programs Looking for You

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      Online Degree Frequently Asked Questions

      If this is your first time taking an online course, the experience may require a time of adjustment. Although you’ll typically learn the same material and take the same exams as your on-campus peers, going online will require greater independence and responsibility than going in person. You’ll be accountable for your own time management, for harnessing the online educational technology that you’ll need to use, and for completing the course requirements, such as listening to lectures, learning lessons, reading texts, and handing in assignments. This means you’ll need to create a suitable workspace for yourself, maintain a realistic schedule, and take the initiative in building relationships with your instructors and classmates. With online college, your goal is to find a balance between independence and engagement.

      No. The only part of online education that’s easier than campus-based education is ease of access: all you need is a computer and an internet connection for online education. But even this seeming advantage of online education can be misleading: what’s easier, studying online with your computer and internet connection from your home where you need to cook, clean, pay rent, and maintain a job? Or studying on campus in a dorm where all your living needs are handled by the school, and college staff are there to help you every step of the way?

      If you take the commute to campus out of the equation, campus-based education is easier. All the support structures available on campus for students, especially with real people to help you in person, are not there online. The demands on you as an online student will largely be the same as for your campus-based counterpart, but without the same helps.

      In general, your online courses will present the same material and test you in the same way as traditional in-person courses. In many cases, you’ll even have the same instructors as your on-campus counterparts. In fact, if you are adjusting to the experience of independent learning with remote educational technology for the first time, online college may be considerably more challenging than campus-based college. For a few insights on how to manage this new online experience, check out our 10 Tips for Adjusting to School Online.

      Accreditation is especially important when it comes to online college. This is because the online education landscape is a mix of highly-reputable non-profit institutions on the one end and less-than-reputable for-profit institutions on the other end. Accreditation gives you the power to identify the more reputable actors in online education. Accreditation is a stamp of approval from an independent accrediting agency indicating that a college or university is meeting standards of quality and credibility. School-wide accreditation falls into two major categories: regional and national accreditation. Regional accreditors generally hold jurisdiction only over schools in the states comprising their region, whereas national accreditors hold jurisdiction over schools in all states. Regional accreditation is widely regarded as a more rigorous standard of quality and credibility than national accreditation.

      Attending a college or university that is not regionally accredited could limit your opportunities. For students seeking an online education, we strongly recommend that they opt for regionally accredited schools. Regional accreditation ensures eligibility for federal loans and grants, ensures your college credits can be transferred between schools, and ensures that your degree credits can be accepted if you wish to earn an advanced degree. For more on this important topic, check out our What is Accreditation and Why Does It Matter? College & University Accreditation Guide.

      As long as your online college degree is regionally accredited (see the previous point), you should have little difficulty transferring most of your credits or credentials to another regionally accredited undergraduate school. Every school carries its own standards and procedures for granting a transfer of credits. In many cases, you will encounter some bureaucratic haggling in which some of your credits will be transferred and others may be refused. However, provided that you have attended an online school with recognized regional accreditation, you should be in good shape in transferring your credits earned online.

      In most cases, as long you graduate from a well-regarded, regionally-accredited online college, prospective employers won’t look sideways at your degree. In fact, unless you attend an exclusively online college or university, there will likely be no specific indicator on your degree, transcript, or resumé differentiating your school from its brick-and-mortar counterpart. This means that your employer will likely only differentiate between an online and in-person degree if you mention this distinction.

      Some employers may express the concern that because you did your degree online, you may need to transition from an online education experience to in-person workplace experience. But in an age of Covid, that concern seems much diminished. The fact is that much employment these days is remote. And collaboration increasingly happens online over Zoom. Many employers will therefore view your online degree as evidence of valuable 21st century professional skills such as independence, self-motivation, time management, and tech savvy.

      If you are a student who thrives on the dynamic energy of in-person discussion, who requires the physical surroundings of a classroom to feel engaged, or who considers the social aspects of education to be of equal importance to the actual content of your courses, online education will be less than ideal for you (though depending on your circumstances, it may also be the only viable option).

      While there is much in traditional campus-based education that can be substituted or simulated through the online medium, some students may find that there is nothing that can replace the conversation, collaboration, and motivation that occur in an actual in-person classroom setting. As you transition to online education, one of the biggest challenges you will likely face in getting the most out of your online classes is overcoming this difference between “real reality” and “virtual reality.” Fortunately, we’ve got some great Tips for Online Education Beginners.

      The advantages of online classes are many. Above all, online courses give you the freedom and flexibility to attend class from anywhere that works for you, whether you’re at home, in a coffee shop, or in a quiet conference room at work. In many cases, you’ll also enjoy the convenience of asynchronous learning opportunities-educational experiences that you can complete at your own pace and on your own schedule. This may include pre-taped lectures, ongoing chat-board discussions, and 24/7 access to digital materials. And of course, just as there are some learners who prefer the energy of a live classroom, there are those who learn best when working in their own personal space, free from distractions. If this sounds like you, you might find the solitude of online learning to be a major advantage.

      Resources for Online College-Bound Students

      Whether you’re just getting started on your college search, you’re looking for survival tips on your way to a bachelor’s degree, or you’re preparing for the transition into grad school, we’ve got guides, how to’s and tons of other valuable resources to keep you moving forward in your educational journey.

      Do you have a question about this topic? Ask it here