At La Sierra University, New Digital Media Degrees Target Growing Markets

For Kyleigh Sanchez, a freshman at La Sierra University, the slate of new degree programs this school year represented an opportunity to cultivate her creativity and prepare her for potential careers in photography or industry. cinematographic.

She enrolled in the Bachelor of Fine Arts program in Digital Media and Visual Effects, one of four new bachelor’s degrees at La Sierra organized under a new digital media umbrella. The new degrees combine courses from the departments of art and design, communications, computer science, film and television production, and marketing. Along with digital media and visual effects, the other three programs offer bachelor’s degrees in digital media in design and communication, digital media and web technology, and digital media and marketing.

The university, located in Riverside, California, United States, launched the new interdisciplinary degrees in digital media starting in fall 2020, with the aim of better preparing students for job opportunities that will require more in addition to combinations of artistic creativity and skills in the latest technologies.

“The digital media program sits at the crossroads of emerging industries and future employment opportunities combining technology and creative disciplines,” said Terrill Thomas, chair of the Art + Design department, who led the development of the new initiative. He is director of the digital media program. “The four Digital Media degrees were created to serve both the academic and professional goals of our students,” Thomas said.

The new study tracks, which involve cross-disciplinary collaboration and a realignment of existing classrooms, emerged in response to an analysis of the digital media market published by the Hanover Research Group in November 2018. to above-average growth in several career paths related to digital media degree programs: jobs for special effects artists and animators are expected to increase by 16%; work for film and video editors and camera operators predicts a 29% increase; web developers and digital design jobs could increase by 13%, and media and communications occupations by 14%, for example.

Additionally, Otis College’s 2021 Creative Economy Report for the Los Angeles Area and the State of California notes that the entertainment and digital media sectors created 152,000 jobs between 2014 and 2019, most of California’s creative industries.

Sanchez’s degree in Digital Media and Visual Effects is offered through a partnership between the Art + Design Department and the Film and Television Production Department. Instruction includes courses in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator software, motion graphics, music editing, video editing, photography, and more. Graduates will be prepared to test and receive industry certifications in various creative technologies, apply to graduate animation programs, and access other career and postgraduate avenues.

“What attracted me to my digital media degree program was how creative I can be,” said Sanchez, a graduate of Mesa Grande Academy and a member of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. of Yucaipa. “I can kinda do things freely and make them unique in my own way.” She noted that her classes helped her understand the importance of paying attention to detail. Photography was a favorite class, she said, as she was able to design her own magazine, which was LA lifestyle-themed and focused on business content.

“Digital media majors offer degree programs for students whose career goals don’t fit easily into a traditional academic category,” said Sam McBride, dean of La Sierra College of Arts and Sciences. “Graduates will work in fields unknown a few decades ago: social media, interface design, video games and online marketing.”

the original version of this story was published by La Sierra University.