7 programs to get started on your graphic design career

It’s amazing what you can do with a graphic design career these days. From creating beautiful logos to perfecting digital interfaces, every organization that engages customers with a website or mobile app needs a designer’s keen eye. At the same time, there’s never been more variety in media and entertainment—all the content on HBO, Netflix, and Amazon is brought to life by teams of film animation and visual effects specialists.

The gaming industry in Canada is also bigger than ever—from the vast libraries on Apple Arcade to the growing world of esports—which means the need for motion graphic design and 3D animation skills has hit an all-time high. Beyond that, graphic design has become a must-have for modern businesses. Whether it’s finding ways to creatively display data for C-level executives or market new products to customers, people are drawn to visual communication, adding huge variety to the in-demand jobs in this field.

At the School of Business + Media at BCIT, the Digital Arts, Media and Design programs are tailored to prepare you for success in your graphic design career, no matter what direction your journey might take you. Here are seven different programs for seven different paths.

1. Graphic Design

If you want to fast-track your path to a graphic design job, the Associate Certificate in Graphic Design at BCIT can be completed in just six months of full-time study, though part-time options are available as well. Think of these graphic design courses as a “career boot-camp” that helps you fill your toolkit with digital design, composition, and creative software skills.

2. Technical Arts

Do you have a talent for balancing your artistic abilities with programming skills? Businesses place high value on visionaries who can bring together the creative and technical aspects of a project, and that’s what the Advanced Diploma in Technical Arts at BCIT focuses on.

Full-time students can complete this program in just one year, though there are options for part-time and weekend course delivery as well. You’ll be learning from the best in the business, with industry professionals delivering courses that are designed in tandem with EA Games, Imageworks, and The Coalition.

3. 3D Modeling, Art, and Animation

If you aspire to build the next video game sensation or work on the newest hit show, the full-time 3D Modeling, Art, and Animation diploma at BCIT is made for you. In addition to honing your 3D animation, film animation, and visual effects skills, you’ll bring your imagination to life and graduate into a fulfilling, creative career.

The program takes a year and half to complete, but the payoff is worth it: by the time you’re ready to look for a job in art and animation, you’ll have a full portfolio and demo reel of professional-quality work.

4. Digital Design and Development

Do you know how to use JavaScript? What about HTML or CSS? For lots of students with an arts background, programming and coding languages can seem like another world—but in the Digital Design and Development Diploma program at BCIT, you’ll discover that envisioning a work of art and coding a great new app are both creatively engaging, and you have what it takes to do both.

During your two years in the full-time program, you’ll gain experience in motion graphics, user experience and user interface design, and business and digital media platforms. Not to mention, by building a portfolio, you’ll be equipped for the workplace long before you leave BCIT.

5. Graphic Communications Technology Management

Graphic designers and production artists do a lot of their work digitally, but not all. These high-valued professionals work across a broad spectrum of visual media, both online and offline. And with a wide selection of state-of-the-art imaging technology, BCIT is the place to train for a variety of graphic design jobs.

With focused areas of study and faculty who are industry professionals, the two-year, full-time Graphic Communications Technology Management diploma program gives you the tools you need to succeed in print, production, and digital design.

6. New Media Design and Web Development

What are the most sought-after skills in business today? So many of them depend on design—creating on-brand multi-media experiences, social media campaigns, and dynamic websites are all critical—and professionals with these capabilities have boundless prospects.

The New Media Design and Web Development diploma at BCIT is a favourite among graphic design students. The two-year, full-time program enables you to master interactive media solutions, build a digital portfolio for future employers and clients, and embark on an exciting nine-week practicum.

7. Communications Design Essentials

It’s not every day you get the opportunity to study at two leading institutions at once—but that’s exactly what the Certificate in Communication Design Essentials gives you. The full-time program is a joint offering between BCIT and Emily Carr University of Art and Design (ECUAD), with classes providing you with broad perspectives and deep knowledge in the field of graphic design.

The certificate is unique in that you can use it as a block of transfer credits if you’d like to pursue a full BA in Communication Design at ECUAD. Either way, this is a great credential to have as you start your graphic design career.

SEE MORE: What’s the difference between a polytechnic and a university?

Graduating with a certification from a well-respected institute gets you ready for an exciting, rewarding career in the ever-expanding field of graphic design—whether that’s for business, entertainment, arts and culture, digital technology, or gaming. BCIT continues to offer applied education in a format appropriate to the unfolding global situation. The School of Business + Media is accepting applicants for its upcoming intake of the program. The Digital Arts, Media and Design options and opportunities at BCIT are virtually endless, but if you’re not sure where to start, talk to one of our advisors.

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