I recently interviewed with College Lifestyles about majoring in Digital Media Arts. Although I have basically lived with this major for nearly three years, I never thought about it as deeply as I have now in retrospect.
The other day, I read an article on BuzzFeed about college grads who are not using their degrees. As a recent grad, reading a post like this can get a bit depressing. Considering that I majored in Digital Media Arts, I am aware that some people believe that a degree in art is not applicable for today's marketplace.
Going into the major, I knew that job placement would not be as easy for me as it is for others with majors in math or science. In general, our marketplace does not value the arts as highly as math or science. We live in a technology-centered world that focuses strongly on development. Design seems to come second.
I think that both development and design are essential in business. Design is often seen as fluff, but visual communication is more powerful than many of us realize. Just look at political campaigns, and the heavy use of visual imagery. Even at a very mundane level, think of the last time you purchased something. Did the presentation, label, or colors used influence your purchase?
The Discovery Channel has a new show that started June 3rd called Head Games which tested visual persuasion with wine labels. With the same wine but two different labels (one with a fancy name and design, the other with a basic name designed to look cheap), unknowing subjects were asked to taste the two wines. The result? No one noticed that they were served the same wine, and all said that they preferred the pseudo expensive wine.
Design does not always take center stage in business, but its influence is unmistakable. I don't regret for a second studying design. I studied design because I want to influence the world in some small way, even if my name isn't showcased in big shiny lights.