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Confessions of a Liberal Arts Major: "My Parents Wanted a Doctor"

dr-mccoyIn the original Star Trek television series, a running gag occurs between Captain Kirk and Dr. McCoy in various episodes. Inevitably, McCoy would be asked his opinion about something outside his expertise.

He would become exasperated and proclaim, "I'm a doctor, not an engineer!" McCoy's line would vary according to the circumstances, but it was clear that he considered himself narrowly focused on his career as a doctor and nothing else.

Choosing liberal arts as a major or career is sort of like playing the role of Dr. McCoy, except in reverse. We say to our family, "I'm a graphic designer, not a doctor!" Or, you could fill in that last part with the liberal arts profession of your choice. Parents often beam when saying, "My son/daughter, the doctor!" But rarely do you hear, "My daughter, the graphic artist!"

design-toolsSelecting a profession in the liberal arts can be a steep hill to climb especially when your family wants you to take on a career that is considered more traditional such as medicine, law, business, or engineering.

However, those who work in design, graphics, media, print, and imaging are as professional in nature as any other career. These important professions provide the visual infrastructure for the entertainment, medical, legal, business, and media industries.

Graphic designers, fashion designers, graphic artists, photographers, web designers, and others in the liberal arts are the cornerstones for what people hear, see, wear, or read. We reach and influence everyone in some way.

So the next time you are asked why you decided to become an illustrator, interior decorator, animation artist, etc., you can say proudly, "I'm a (fill in the blank), not a doctor!"


Schools and Colleges offering design degrees:

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Master of Arts in Visual Communication Design
  • Liberty University provides a worldclass education from a christ-centered worldview
  • 100% online programs at associate, bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral levels
  • No standardized testing if student meets admission requirements
  • Accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges
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Bachelor of Science, Graphic Design (Online)
  • Located in Hollywood, CA, offering degrees in film, music production, business, animation and more.
  • Scholarship, financial aid and military benefits are available for students who qualify.
  • Programs taught by award-winning industry professionals in real-world working environments.
  • Features industry-standard facilities including recording studios, soundstages, green screen, movie theatres and more.
  • Accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges (ACCSC).
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Graphic Design, Bachelor of Science (Online)
  • Full Sail University offers online degree programs that are designed for the world of entertainment, media, arts, and technology. Full Sail's approach is centered on real-world industry experience and creative problem solving.
  • Full Sail uses the experience and knowledge gained from more than three decades of educational innovation to create an unparalleled online education experience that challenges and inspires our students.
  • Learning at Full Sail has always centered around interaction and the exchange of ideas, and our online curriculum fully embraces this philosophy with the aim of being the most people-focused education experience on the web.
  • Through Full Sail’s multitude of online program offerings, students get: One-click access to instructors, Powerful collaborative tools, Interactive learning environments and Innovative curriculum.
  • Full Sail's newest program is the Dan Patrick School of Sportscasting. Developed in collaboration with sportscasting veteran Dan Patrick, the goal is to provide students with real world experience both behind and in fornt of the camera.
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Graphic Arts (AAS)

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