The first graduates of Penn State’s new digital media design program are licensed this week. Their studies are more relevant than ever, according to the senior program coordinator.
“There has never been a more important time to learn how to apply creative design approaches to solve the problems big and small the world faces,” said Michael Collins, senior faculty coordinator for the interdisciplinary program , offered by the Penn State World Campus by the College of Arts and Architecture, College of Communications, and College of Information Science and Technology.
The first recipients of the news bachelor of design, which is offered only online, have interests that span a wide range of topics, including web and user experience, product and service design, code-based art, 2D and 3D animation , concept art for video games and real-time interactivity, Collins mentioned.
Kelsey Ann Barksdale, 26, of O’Fallon, Ill., Is making her first trip to the University Park campus to participate in the launch ceremonies.
Barksdale had finished community college and was trying to decide what to do next when she discovered the digital media design degree at Penn State.
“I was looking for a degree that combines artistic and computer skills,” she said. “I saw DMD and I said, ‘It looks exactly like I want.’ “
Barksdale is looking for digital marketing and social media jobs in the St. Louis area. She has a particular interest in branding and print design and expects the 3D modeling, animation, photography and photo editing skills she has acquired to be useful in the job market. .
“I feel really ready,” she said. “I learned so much.
Barksdale said online learning was right for her, both because of the flexibility it gave her in planning and because “I’m quite a shy person in real life,” she said. . “Online is much easier for me. “
Michelle Carlos, of Bethlehem, Pa., Said the online program allowed her to continue working in retail and “have a life.” Carlos, 27, who also makes his first trip to University Park for his debut, applies for jobs in video production after graduation.
Over 150 students are enrolled in the program, which has more than tripled in size since its launch in the summer of 2017. Anna Divinsky, online coordinator of the School of Visual Arts, said she was delighted to see the number of majors increase. so quickly.
“It’s exciting to see their progression and creative growth,” she said.
Many students have work or family obligations that prevent them from going to a physical campus, Collins said.
“This program is a very good option because it gives them the possibility to change careers or to take a more creative path without disrupting their life,” he said.
Career options for graduates might include work as a digital designer, web developer, art director, public relations specialist, publicity manager, or media relations professional.
Collins said digital media design skills “are a way to create compelling work that allows us to engage in conversations, respond, entertain, inform, and make a positive impact – by manipulating the world. that surrounds us for the better “.
For more information on the diploma, visit the Penn State World Campus website.