PROS / The unemployment rate among graphic designers is about as low as you can get.
CONS / The pay for this particular job is much lower than others in the IT field.
VERDICT / Graphic design is honorable work, but you may want to take it as a minor and focus on a more lucrative career track.
Graphic designers are the people who craft all the visuals you see not only online but also in the real world. Graphic designers create all the images you see on billboards, in magazines, restaurant menus, on television and much more. That makes this computer career a good choice for those who have a creative mind and enjoy making things people will see.
Despite how central graphic designers are to both the online and offline experience, they’re not as well compensated as other computer careers. The pay scale ranges from $26,250 to $77,490. The median pay for the average American graphic designer is around $44,150. This is enough to get by in most communities but doesn’t deliver the high earning capacity that is achievable in the computer careers that ranked higher in our side-by-side comparison chart.
Opportunities for graphic designers are also substantially lower than the other IT jobs in our review. There are a total of 259,500 graphic design jobs in the U.S. and only a projected 17,400 openings are projected to be created by the year 2022. This represents a paltry 7 percent growth of the field. This is about a third of the growth rate of the top computer careers in our review. However, the unemployment rate for graphic designers is only about 3.7%. So while job growth is slower, job security seems to be quite strong.
An entry-level graphic designer position normally requires a bachelor’s degree. And unlike many of the other computer careers that we reviewed, there is very little in the way of postgraduate opportunities to improve your skill set. There are a few master's programs around the country, but there are no additional certifications that a graphic designer can acquire to show that he is worth a higher salary. This all must come from the particular designer’s portfolio. So it’s best to keep building it whether you are employed or not.
Graphic design brings up the tail end of our review of the best computer careers. There’s nothing wrong with this IT job – it’s necessary to nearly every online endeavor. But the pay is lower and the opportunities harder to find than other paths in this field. If graphic design is your passion, it may be best to combine it with another skill and sell yourself as that first and graphic design as an additional benefit.