If you are wondering if you can combine a graphic design degree with a computer science degree, then you you will be happy to hear that it is indeed possible to combine these degrees. In fact, it may be preferred for many careers.
When you choose to combine graphic design and computer science, you are taking two complimentary areas of expertise and putting them together. Many college programs offer interdisciplinary studies that combine elements of graphic design and computer science into a single major. These are usually some of the best programs for gaining expertise in both fields. An example of the types of courses that would be offered in such an interdisciplinary program can be found at Calvin Colleges website.
If your favorite college does not offer an interdisciplinary program that naturally combines the two fields, then you may choose to double major. A double major is much more difficult than a regular program because, just as it sounds, you are pursuing essentially two degrees at the same time. The advantage of double majoring is that you get the full line of courses for each major, rather than the trimmed down version that will be offered in an interdisciplinary program. This makes you far more marketable to employers looking for both skillsets. You can still complete a double major in four years, but you will likely have more credits per term than an average student, and there will be more graduation requirements, such as internships, that you may be responsible for, according to an article in the U.S. News and World Report.
Related Resource: Combining Computer Science and the Health Industry
Why Would You Want to Combine These Skills?
Employers are increasingly looking for candidates who can combine a graphic design degree with a computer science degree. The highly specialized worker is becoming less prized than the worker who can do multiple tasks. By combining degrees, a candidate naturally makes him or herself more marketable. Graphic designers make use of technology, sometimes quite advanced programs, in order to do their job. By having a background in computer science, the candidate is even more familiar with these programs and how they work. They will need less technical support when working with the technology.
The greatly emerging area of web design also demands more computer expertise from graphic designers than ever before. In the past, graphic design was often done on the computer, but ultimately was used in printed material. This is increasingly not the case as companies take steps to lower print materials and increase digital presence. Nearly all graphic design is now done partially or completely on the web. This medium brings with it many more opportunities to work digitally, but also demands greater programming expertise from designers. Most web pages, especially those that are advanced, require knowledge of programming languages that many straight graphic design degrees do not provide. This forces a graphic designer to work with a web designer or computer professional to complete the website. An employee who can design the graphic materials and place them properly in the website without any help will be far more valuable to a company.
A changing graphics design industry that is increasingly purely digital, requires new students to adapt as well. As you can see, gaining multiple sets of complimentary skills is now the preferred course, and will help you land and retain an excellent job in your field. The question now becomes not can a graphic design degree be combined with a computer science degree, but why wouldn’t you?