Digital Media Technology

student holding tablet
A.A.S./Certificate

Digital Media Technology

Focusing on the intersection of technology and design, the Digital Media Technology program is perfect for the student who wants to explore advanced computer and software skills in the dynamic and creative field of graphic/web design and media.

Focusing on the intersection of technology and design, the Digital Media Technology program is perfect for the student who wants to explore advanced computer and software skills in the dynamic and creative field of graphic/web design and media.

The Digital Media program provides a strong foundation in graphic design, web design/development, animation, audio/video, content, and creative development for marketing and branding businesses and organizations. Our program is project-driven, and courses include the development of design projects that can be included in a design portfolio. We also focus on documentation and communication, whether it is developing an initial concept or presentation of final designs for a project.

Digital Media is a diverse program incorporating technology, software, programming, communication, and soft skills. Our goal is for students to be well-rounded in technical and design skills that will ensure their flexibility in an ever-changing creative field.

If you are looking for a different program in computers, such as networking, software/web development, or security, consider Computer Information Technology, also in Computer Technologies.

Skills you'll learn

The Digital Media Technology program provides training in diverse technical and industry-specific skills including:

  • Content, Marketing, and Branding for Businesses and Organizations
  • Documentation and Presentation (Creative Briefs, Presentations)
  • Graphic Design (Logos, Posters, Advertisements, Brochures)
  • Animation (Web ­Advertising and Motion Graphics)
  • Web Design (UI/UX Design, SEO, Accessibility)
  • Web Development (HTML, CSS, PHP, JS, WordPress, blogging, builders)
  • Social Media and Analytics (SEO, SEM, analytics)
  • Audio and Video (Scripts, Production, Editing)
  • Filmmaking (Scripts, Production, Editing)
  • Professional Practices (Resume, Portfolio, Job Searches, Interviewing)

Career Opportunities

The DME degree program prepares students for employment for entry-level jobs in the digital media field. Graduates should qualify for employment as web developers/designers, graphic artists/designers, interface/UX (User Experience) designers, multimedia specialists, web content specialists, media specialists, digital media specialists, animation/motion graphics artists, video editors, creative project managers, and many new jobs yet to be defined in this expanding field.

Job opportunities often depend on an individual's focus (design/programming, web/print/video), networking, personal communication, and a strong portfolio of work.

Articulation to UNCA New Media

Students seeking a 4-year college degree can continue digital media skills in the New Media program at UNCA. Our articulation agreement ensures that you can receive credit for specific technical classes at UNCA, upon successful course completions and portfolio review.

Good to Know

Degrees

A degree is intended for students who want to learn in-depth skills. Degrees are typically 5-6 semesters in length. Degrees include courses specific to the program you are in, and also include general education courses such as English, Math, Social Sciences, and Humanities. Students may have some of these courses transfer in from existing curriculum programs. Most degree programs conclude with a "Systems Project" course requiring students to demonstrate skills learned during the curriculum.

Degree students who wish to go to a 4-year college may want to consider the UNCA New Media articulation.

Certificates

Certificates are a great way to learn new skills and increase your employability without going through an entire degree program. Certificates are typically 2-3 semesters in length and have courses chosen for their focus. Although not a degree, students must still apply for graduation to receive a certificate.

The DME Design Level I Certificate focuses on graphic and web design skills, and is offered in person, and online (starting in the spring semester). The certificate is also completed while progressing through the degree.

The DME Design Level II Certificate continues with more diverse technical skills, including animation, audio/video, motion graphics, and programming. The certificate is also completed while progressing through the degree. The certificate also includes DME270 - Professional Practices, in which students create personal marketing materials and a portfolio.

The DME Digital Video Certificate is focused on video and motion graphics skills. Courses focus on skills in basic graphic design, commercial video production and editing, filmmaking, and motion graphics.

Taking an online course requires a student with motivation and access to the necessary pc and software requirements. If you are new to taking courses online, you also may want to take an online orientation workshop, offered in the Haynes building at the beginning of the semester. This will help you get up to speed on how to use Moodle to navigate your online course.

Online Digital Media Courses

Selected courses of the DME curriculum are offered online, including courses in the DME Design Level I Certificate. Ask your advisor about specific courses and software/computer needs.

  1. Complete an application for admission into the College.
  2. Complete New Student Orientation.
  3. Complete placement in Math and English.
  4. Turn in any transcripts from previous colleges to the Registrar's Office.
  5. Declare "Digital Media" as your major. (Academic Program Changes)
  6. Consult with your program advisor to receive a course Plan (in Self-Service). Refer to Program Advisor Information to determine who your advisor will be.
  7. Register for classes in your Plan in Self-Service or with your advisor.
  8. Pay For Classes through Self-Service or in person in the Business Office.
  9. Purchase required textbooks. (Find out if the course has required books at the Book Store.)
  10. Obtain a parking decal and place it correctly on your vehicle. Park in the white-lined spaces.
  11. Be present on the first day of class at the indicated time. Parking may be difficult, so plan to arrive at least 20–30 minutes prior to your class time.
  12. Have class supplies such as paper, pens, and pencils for taking notes.
  13. Work hard, have fun designing and learning... and graduate!

If you have questions about Digital Media or need advising, please visit the DME Advising Appointments page.

For those students planning to use their own computers with Adobe Creative Cloud, please be aware of the suggested requirements. Ideally, you would want a computer (PC or MAC) with adequate hard-disk space/speed (512GB+ SSD highly suggested), at least 8GB RAM (16GB suggested), a fast processor (Intel i5/i7), a decently sized monitor (15+ inches) and a quality graphics card (2GB+ NVIDIA GPU with CUDA suggested). Adobe's Premiere Pro system requirements are a good starting point.

MAC or PC?

You may have heard that MACs are better for designers. It's not the computer that does the design... it's you! Between MAC or PC it's just a choice. For both, you must buy a computer meant for more serious creative work.

FYI, Macbook Air computers do not have the hardware specs to work well with Adobe Software. A Macbook Pro is much better. https://www.apple.com/mac/compare/. Google Chrome devices are not compatible with Adobe Software. 

A good rule-of-thumb is to purchase a computer with specs for gaming... since they often have more RAM, faster processors, and better video cards.

Software for each of our courses is available in the lab for the specific course, however, if you are interested in having the same software at home, you may need to purchase a personal license.

Adobe Creative Cloud is the industry standard in software for creative design. Digital media courses require access to Adobe Creative Cloud, including Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, Premiere, Audition, Animate CC, XD, and more. Currently, the educational price is $19.99/mo.

Additional software is usually free or online SaaS, including Figma, Visual Studio Code, and more. Courses may have individual software requirements. Please contact your instructor if you have any questions.

Digital Media Students also have access to Microsoft Office 365 and Azure Education Hub.  More information in the Computer Information Technology Software page.

 

Share your work, resources, cool sites and software, and information about jobs. Current and past Digital Media students may engage in the DME Students Facebook or LinkedIn groups. Details and links are provided in Digital Media courses.

As a project-oriented program, students create a wide range of projects including graphic design, web design and development, audio/video, animations, and more. Upon successful completion of the program, students should have a portfolio of work demonstrating a wide range of digital media projects.