If you like the idea of having a creatively challenging job but want to actually make money instead of being a starving artist, then you might want to consider getting a visual communications associate degree.

Thanks to computers and television, we’ve become a very visual society. As a result, fields like graphic and web page design have really taken off and are expected to keep growing at a steady rate through 2014. If you love working on computers and have a creative spirit, then this is good news for you.

With a visual communications associate degree you’d have the opportunity to put your creative talents to work for businesses, non-profits, and other organizations to create letterheads, logos, packaging, websites, ads, and other marketing materials.

Students with a visual communications associate degree can expect to find work in advertising or publishing houses, graphic design firms, web design firms, or in pretty much any corporation that’s big enough to have its own design staff.

This is also a very easy field to start your own business in. If you love the idea of being an entrepreneur, you could use your visual communications associate degree to start your own design firm. You can use sites like Elance.com or Guru.com to find work all over the world, and if you’re good you’re practically guaranteed to get referrals from your previous clients. You can make significantly more owning your own business than working under another firm.

If you decide to go to school for a visual communications associate degree, you’ll learn things like:

  • Graphic design fundamentals
  • Digital graphics and animation
  • Web page design and programming
  • Advertising design
  • Corporate design
  • Illustration
  • Computer programs for illustration and design
  • Color theory
  • Composition and style
  • Textures
  • Photograph and digital image manipulation
  • And much more!

Now, it’s hard to say jut how much you can make with a visual communications associate degree.  A lot depends on where you’re located, who you’re working for, and how much experience you have.

The average pay range for graphic designers is $37,000 to $57,000.  Web designers are about the same, $40,000 to $52,000.

It’s important to point out that, again, you’ll make much more in some areas of the country. You’ll also make much more if you’re in business for yourself. Yes, you’re assuming more of a risk, but you also get a bigger slice of the rewards. If you’ve always wondered what it would be like to be your own boss, this is a great field to find out in.

Another great thing about getting a visual communications associate degree is it’s in a field where it’s easy to tele-commute. For example, you could live in New York, and work for a firm in Toronto. Or, you could own your own firm in California, and have clients that do business in the U.K.  In this field the whole world is your market, which makes it a great option for people who don’t want to depend on their local economy.

Getting a visual communications associate degree is a great way to blend a creative career with one that will actually make money.  Plus, if you can work from home then it’s even better!