Courses offered by the new digital design program in the School of Professional Advancement bridge the gap between art and technology while preparing students for careers in graphic design, interactive design, and game art and animation.
Amanda Garcia, program director and professor of practice, developed the curriculum after conducting extensive research on the workforce within the state and Greater New Orleans.
“My goal was to craft a realistic program that would make it possible to find internships and jobs locally,” she said.
“My goal was to craft a realistic program that would make it possible to find internships and jobs locally.”— Amanda Garcia, director of the digital design program
Garcia estimates that during the next five years in Louisiana, graphic design jobs will grow by 9.43 percent, interactive design positions will grow by 23.02 percent, and opportunities in animation and virtual reality will grow by 11.8 percent.
Reflecting these anticipated areas of job growth, the program offers three tracks of in-depth coursework and three degree options — a bachelor of arts, a post-baccalaureate certificate and a digital design minor.
To build the game art and animation track, Garcia collaborated with local video game development studio inXile Entertainment.
“I asked them, ‘If you could go back to school today, what would you need to know in order to be successful in this profession?’” she said. “Now, we have embedded courses within the track that no other schools are offering in the area.”
The program also incorporates service-learning projects into all 3,000- and 4,000-level classes.
“Service learning will teach students how to survive after graduation,” said Garcia. “We’ll be partnering with local nonprofits and providing students with real-world clients. These experiences will give our students a competitive edge when applying for jobs upon graduation.”
This summer, the program will also offer a bootcamp series, featuring workshops covering Adobe Photoshop, website building and creating a professional social media presence.
Discounted fees are available for Tulane faculty and staff.