Careers surrounding graphic design and animation are a necessity in the digital age. Luckily, schools and educational centers in Oklahoma are providing courses to expand students’ knowledge of digital media.
Scott Williams, Ph.D, Tulsa Technology Center’s chief instruction officer and associate superintendent, says the school offers two programs that correspond to careers in graphic design and multimedia design.
“Each program prepares students to acquire the credential and industry certifications,” he says. “Tulsa Tech aligns its programs with industry needs so students who successfully complete our programs and acquire certifications/credentials can be competitive in today’s ever-evolving workforce.”
The visual graphic design and multimedia design courses help students express unique artistic vision, design and produce creative projects, create a strong foundation in digital design, utilize industry standard software and develop a professional design portfolio for their future careers, says Williams.
“As media – more specifically digital media – plays an important role in how a company or organization communicates with its customers or stakeholders, graphic design and similar technical skills will be a critical component for success,” he says. “Its popularity is representative of both ‘industry need’ and characteristics common in careers that combine an artistic outlet with high levels of producing tangible results.”
Tulsa Tech animation instructor Tony Johnson says not only is the digital design career field growing more and more relevant, but it is now quite a competitive market.
“I feel we are living in a time where people seek visual information as fast as they can get it, can consume it, can be entertained, or informed by it,” says Johnson. “And this means our field is more relevant than ever.”
Tulsa Tech provides an experience that touches on many different subjects and provides information and projects for the students, allowing them to explore this career field without the daunting expense of a traditional college experience, Johnson says.
“This might save them some money, sure, but it really saves them time,” he says. “By helping them find their focus, we’ve potentially saved them from hours of wasted college credits and lost opportunities pursuing dead ends.”
Tulsa Tech has sister schools across Oklahoma that offer programs in design, photography and digital media. Students in the OKC metro can visit the Moore-Norman Technology Center, and most four-year universities in Oklahoma offer a graphic design program or something similar. In the Tulsa area alone, the technology center is not the only place allowing Oklahomans to explore these interests.
Nicole Burgin with Tulsa Community college says the school offers digital media as an interdisciplinary area of study, combining computer science, art, video, music, journalism/mass communications and design.
With design and animation gaining more and more popularity in Tulsa, the Tulsa metropolitan area predicts a 7.4% increase in graphic design jobs by 2025, says Burgin.
These design courses are not only for the people interested in pursuing careers in these fields either.
“The combination of work readiness skills, combined with technical competency, can benefit students across multiple industries,” says Williams. “It’s a definite way to differentiate yourself.”