Visual communications is a broad discipline that incorporates elements of illustration, web design, graphic design, imaging, painting, and more. This means, a typical visual communications program can prepare students for a career in a variety of fields, making job opportunities easier to come by. The ability to wear many different hats is a valuable asset in today’s economy, where workers with multiple skills are in high demand.
In the state of Oklahoma, where unemployment rates have been declining at a steady pace (and salaries are on the rise overall), visual communications students appear to have a bright future ahead of them. The state, which has an unemployment rate of 4.8 percent (as of May 2012), is home to hundreds of creative agencies, dozens of production studios, major art museums, and more. While most of the action takes place in principal cities such as Oklahoma City, Tulsa, and Norman, Oklahoma’s creatives can still find an active (although more intimate) art and culture scene in places such as Edmond, Lawton, Broken Arrow, and others.
In addition to a positive employment and earnings picture, Oklahoma is an attractive option for art and design majors, including visual communications majors. The state is home to a unique combination of art schools and traditional colleges such as The University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma, Rogers State University, and the University of Tulsa. While the state is home to a wide variety of schools that offer programs for artists and designers, several offer the best programs for visual communications majors.
Oklahoma Visual Communications Schools
According to the most recent report by the National Center for Education Sciences, Institute of Education Sciences (NCES IES), Oklahoma is now home to 60 accredited colleges, offering all programs from A-Z. Some are located in principal cities such as Oklahoma City and Tulsa, while others can be found from Ada to Weatherford. Scroll through the list below to review Oklahoma’s top schools for aspiring visual communications artists and what they have to offer.
University of Oklahoma - Degrees Offered: B. F. A. Art with Visual Communication Emphasis; M. F. A. Art with Time Based Media or Visual Communication Emphasis
Northeastern State University - Degrees Offered: B. A. Art with Graphic Design Emphasis, B. A. Visual Communication with Photography or Multimedia/Web Design Option
More Visual Communications related programs to consider:
- San Francisco & Online
- Winter Park, FL & Online
Employment and Salary Trends for Oklahoma Visual Communications Professionals
As stated, visual communications artists work in a variety of fields from advertising to film. This means, salaries vary greatly by field other factors. For example, visual communications artists working in the graphic design industry in the state of Oklahoma can expect to earn an average of $35,990 per year, while multimedia artists average a much higher $51,130 per year.
While Oklahoma is one of only 14 states to experience lower over-the-month unemployment rates in May 2012, job growth varies by field. For example, in 2002, Oklahoma was home to 1,360 graphic designers, up from 1,240 in 2002. The number of film artists increased as well from 100 in 2002 to 160 today. On the other hand, the state lost just over 30 percent of its salaried art directors between 2002 (120 art directors) and today (80 art directors).
Fortunately, thanks to a healthy economy and the skills to work in many different fields, Oklahoma’s aspiring visual communications artists still have many options.