What Is Digital Media? Opportunities in Design Technology (2023)

As the worlds of business, communication, and entertainment continue to embrace virtual mediums, digital media is more relevant than ever. This field, which encompasses communication through visual and virtual means, is applicable in many industries and speaks to a growing need for new ways to exchange ideas and information through compelling media.

Individuals interested in pursuing a career in this growing and relevant field should consider earning abachelor’s degree in digital media.

What Is Digital Media? Opportunities in Design Technology (1)

Definition: What Is Digital Media?

The Digital Media Association refers to digital and streaming as “the future of media content,” but exactly what is digital media? Digital media represents the union of artistic talent, creativity, and technical skill to design everything from video game animations to company websites. Because this broad field allows for many areas of specialization, digital media professionals often focus on a single area of expertise.

(Video) Best Digital Media Career Opportunities 2022 | Career Development

With a wide array of applications, digital media is only becoming more relevant. A report by the World Economic Forum indicates the many benefits of digital media, including the facilitation of social interaction and civic participation, more efficient and flexible work environments, and ongoing education.

Digital media has become integral to day-to-day business operations. According to 2019 data from Pew Research Center, 90% of Americans use the internet, 28% of adults are nearly constantly online, and 96% of Americans own some type of cellphone. This provides an avenue through which nonprofits, corporations, and government organizations can reach their target audience and open the door to more candid and frequent conversations.

Skills That Digital Media Graduates Learn

When it comes to what digital media is for those pursuing a degree in the field, it’s about learning how to create products that are both functional and visually appealing. As a result, a typical digital media curriculum will allow students to gain a strong foundation in the following skill sets:

  • Art: Digital media is visual. Whether the product is part of a new animation or a company’s brand, it should take into consideration aesthetic appeal and art theory. Knowledge of areas such as art history and the psychology of design is essential.
  • Communication: The purpose of visual products is often to communicate a core message to end users. Students gain skills in marketing, branding, and the visual representation of information to convey their point through media.
  • User experience (UX) and user interface (UI): Creativity is only half of what digital media consists of. It isn’t enough to simply create a product that looks good — it must also function well. Skills and knowledge in effective UX and UI, along with a foundation in website design or game design, help digital media graduates develop media pieces that are technologically sound and take into consideration how users will interact with the end product.

In addition to these skills, graduates often develop an intimate familiarity with programming languages and tools like Adobe Suite, allowing them to create a portfolio of high-quality samples within their area of focus.

What Can You Do with a Digital Media Degree?

Because there are endless applications for digital media products, the demand for experts is experiencing an upward trend. Graduates with a degree in digital media often encounter a variety of career options. So, what can you do with a digital media degree?

Web Development and Design

When a developer creates a website, functionality is key. Developers rely on a keen understanding of coding languages to build websites that respond to a variety of devices and browsers. In addition, they take the end-user experience of the site into account, using the website should lead to a positive experience. Web designers tend to focus more on the visual aesthetic of the website, though they may also be proficient programmers.

Web Developers

Recent trends in web development and design indicate the value of this potential career path. A Pew Research Center report indicates that, as of 2019, 81% of Americans owned smartphones, providing them with immediate access to the internet, where they can engage with brands, purchase products, and participate in social media. Ensuring that websites and apps are eye-catching and practical is key. As more companies take their business online, the need for web developers is growing. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) anticipates 13% job growth in the profession between 2018 and 2028 as a direct response to an increase in consumer reliance on e-commerce and mobile devices. According to the BLS, web developers earn an annual median salary of $73,760.

(Video) What is Digital Media?

Digital Branding and Marketing

What digital media is for branding and marketing experts is the means for identifying and representing their companies and products in the market. Digital media is integral to the success of businesses and includes the development of brand assets such as logos and color palettes, the design of promotional campaigns, and the integration of visual media into forward-facing content. This remains as important as ever in today’s digital world.

Graphic Designers and Art Directors

Graduates interested in a career in digital branding and marketing often seek graphic design positions. New trends in color schemes, logo creation, and 3D imagery point to exciting opportunities in this field, which the BLS predicts will grow 3% between 2018 and 2028. Growth will vary by industry, with positions in computer systems and related fields growing 24%. Graphic designers earn an annual median salary of $52,110, according to the BLS. Graphic designers may also secure positions as art directors, who earn a median annual wage of $94,220 and often lead teams of graphic designers, illustrators, and photographers.

Motion Graphics and Video Game Design

Both television and film rely heavily on the skills of motion graphics experts. What is digital media for these creatives? Designers in this field develop storyboards and create animations that deliver cohesive visual effects. The advent of modern computer-generated imagery (CGI) has led to an increased demand for these digital media skills, with Comscore reporting growth in the film industry to a market value of $42.5 billion in 2019.

The gaming industry also looks to motion graphics experts to create realistic and seamless stories that are visually engaging. According to one report from SuperData, the video game industry alone was worth more than $120 billion in 2019. With gamers making use of a variety of platforms — including desktop computers, mobile devices, and consoles — there is no lack of opportunity for digital media experts who specialize in animation and motion graphics.

Motion Graphics Experts, Multimedia Artists, and Animators

Motion graphics experts often seek multimedia artist or animator positions. Whether working in television, film, or video games, there is ample opportunity, with the BLS reporting the annual median salary of multimedia artists and animators as $75,270. The profession is expected to see employment growth of 4% between 2018 and 2028.

Digital Illustration

Art meets technology in the field of digital illustration. Whether creating posters, book jackets, fliers, or other materials, a keen eye for color, layout, and typography will go far. Digital illustrators may work with print or online media, and often integrate aspects of web design, animation, and graphic design into their work. They must be proficient with current technology and offer ample creative insight.

Digital Illustrators

Since digital illustrators can pursue careers in any number of fields, the opportunities to seek a career leveraging this skill set are numerous. Among the most common fields digital illustrators enter are marketing and web design, both of which project growth in the coming years. The BLS places the career of digital illustrators in the category of graphic designers.

(Video) CAREERS IN DIGITAL MEDIA – Bachelor Degree,Certification Course,NIIT,DMI,Web Analytics,Jobs

Pursue a Career in Digital Media

As employers gain a more complete understanding of what digital media is and recognize the value it brings to their organizations, those who work in this area could encounter new opportunities to advance in their careers. Aspiring designers who have a dual passion for art and technology may find that earning a degree in digital media can be a decisive step toward achieving their professional goals.

Discover how an online bachelor’s in digital media from Maryville University inspires students to build professional portfolios and gain hands-on experience that can be invaluable in future jobs.

Recommended Readings:

Marketing in the 21st Century: How Does Digital Media Affect the Marketing Mix?

Design in the Digital Age: Must-Have Tools for Graphic Designers

A Guide to Activism in the Digital Age


(Video) Digital Media Technology and Graphic Design

Billboard, “2019 Global Box Office Revenue Hit Record $42.5B Despite 4 Percent Dip in U.S.”

Digital Media Association, About DiMA

Pew Research Center, “10% of Americans Don’t Use the Internet. Who Are They?”

Pew Research Center, “About three-in-ten U.S. adults say they are ‘almost constantly’ online”

Pew Research Center, Mobile Fact Sheet Superdata, 2019 Year In Review Digital Games and Interactive Media

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Art Directors

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Graphic Designers

(Video) Types of Digital Media Technology- An Overview of the Field

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Multimedia Artists and Animators

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Web Developers

World Economic Forum, “Digital Media and Society — Benefits and Opportunities”


What is digital media and design? ›

Digital Media Design enables students to actively craft their career with a degree that combines fundamental production skills in video, photography, design, and programming with training to understand and analyze how culture is transformed by a myriad of rapidly evolving and hybridized media.

What is digital media technology? ›

Digital media is any form of media that uses electronic devices for distribution. This form of media can be created, viewed, modified and distributed via electronic devices. Digital media is commonly used software, video games, videos, websites, social media, and online advertising.

What opportunities do you have when it comes to IT and digital media? ›

8 digital media careers to consider
  • Digital media photographer.
  • Video editor.
  • Animator.
  • Social media specialist.
  • Graphic designer.
  • Video game designer.
  • Web analytics specialist.
  • Web developer.
1 Mar 2021

What is a digital media example? ›

Examples of digital media include software, digital images, digital video, video games, web pages and websites, social media, digital data and databases, digital audio such as MP3, electronic documents and electronic books.

What are the 4 types of digital media? ›

Digital photographs. Digital books (ebooks) Websites and Blogs. Social Media (Facebook, Twitter)

What are the 5 types of digital media? ›

The following are common types of digital media.
  • Audio. Audio such as a music file or streaming music service. ...
  • Video. Video that is recorded, stored and transmitted in a digital format. ...
  • Digital Publishing. ...
  • Information. ...
  • Photos. ...
  • Holograms. ...
  • Social Media. ...
  • Advertising.
18 Feb 2019

What is the purpose of digital media? ›

Digital media allows for the exchange of information in a wide range of forms. The information can be for purposes such as entertainment, illustration or communication. Digital media is the product of digital data processed electronically, stored as a file, and transmitted within computer systems and across networks.

What is the importance of digital media? ›

The universality of digital media means that people from all walks of life—economic, cultural, political, religious, and ideological—can communicate and learn from one another. In times of emotional hardship, many people turn to social media to reach out to friends and family and receive comfort and encouragement.

What are employment opportunities in the digital media field? ›

Careers in digital media include video game design, social media marketing, graphic designer, production assistant, video editor, web application developer, web analytics specialists, and even photography.

Is digital media design a good major? ›

Yes, a digital media degree is worth it for many students. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the media and communication sector is growing faster than average, with 14% job growth and more than 150,000 new jobs expected over the next ten years.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of digital media? ›

Earned mediaAdvantages and disadvantages of digital mediaAdvantages1. Digital media is constantly updated2. Physical copies are not necessary3. Usability4.
What is digital media and its drawbacks?
  • Exorbitant. ...
  • Lack of Durability. ...
  • Isolated from the environment. ...
  • Internet crime. ...
  • Security Issues. ...
  • Effects on physical health.
26 Jun 2022

Why is digital media important in education? ›

Among the important conclusions of the study is that the cognitive competencies are determined in the digital media education curriculum by focusing on topics based on growing knowledge, wise skills, understanding, and comprehension, by activating creativity processes, learning communication skills, and developing the ...

What is the difference between digital media and social media? ›

Digital meaning is typical defined as any online or offline method used to reach a large audience. Digital media platforms include Google and Amazon. Social media is is a type of digital media, but is restricted to online platforms only. Social media includes Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.

What are the components of digital media? ›

Typically, digital marketing components include:
  • Search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Pay-per-click advertising (PPC)
  • Web design.
  • Content marketing.
  • Social media marketing.
  • Email marketing.
  • And more.

Is Netflix a digital media? ›

Netflix isn't a media company or a technology company -- it's an entertainment company, CEO Reed Hastings says.

Is internet a digital media? ›

While traditional media refers to outlets that existed before the internet, digital media includes any online platform, including email, social media, websites and video streaming.

What do digital designers do? ›

Digital designers combine technology and imagination to create media meant to be viewed on a screen or digital interface. This could include web design, animation, interactive elements, or 2D or 3D models. Several different roles fall under the umbrella of digital design, including: Web designer.

What are the 5 types of digital media? ›

The following are common types of digital media.
  • Audio. Audio such as a music file or streaming music service. ...
  • Video. Video that is recorded, stored and transmitted in a digital format. ...
  • Digital Publishing. ...
  • Information. ...
  • Photos. ...
  • Holograms. ...
  • Social Media. ...
  • Advertising.
18 Feb 2019

What is a digital media job? ›

Digital media specialists design and develop content for video games, websites, animation, special effects and marketing initiatives. If analytics are your special talent, you can also find jobs working with information technology and web analytics. Preparation for a career in digital media varies.

What does a digital media company do? ›

A digital media company refers to any company that specializes in the production of digital media, which refers to any information stored in an electronic format such as text files and images, along with audio and video files.


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