Graphic information technology vs. graphic design: Which program is right for you?

March 15, 2022 · 3 min read · By ASU Online
ASU Online offers bachelor’s programs in graphic information technology and graphic design. Find out which of these programs best suits you.

Wondering what’s the difference between graphic information technology and graphic design programs? These two areas of study sound similar and do have overlap in their curriculum, but each empowers graduates with a distinct skillset.

Learn more about the two degree programs offered at ASU Online and which is best for your career plans.


What is a graphic information technology degree?

Arizona State University’s online Bachelor of Science in graphic information technology (GIT) focuses on technical web development. In ASU Online’s GIT degree, offered through the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering, you’ll focus primarily on the design and development of websites, motion graphics, photography and videography. Specific skills developed throughout the duration of the program include:

  • Motion graphics.
  • Commercial photography.
  • Print and digital graphic design.
  • Print technology.
  • Video production.
  • Web design and development.

Through this program, you’ll gain proficiency in the technical and creative skills needed to pursue competitive careers in user experience (UX) design, user interface (UI) design, web design and development and digital media.

“The GIT program sets itself apart from similar degree programs in that students receive a broad foundation for graphic and media art skills and experiences, including graphic design, print technology, web design and development, commercial photography, video production and motion graphics,” said Laurie Ralston, program chair and principal lecturer for graphic information technology. “We like to call our graduates ‘unicorns’ because they have the ability to fit into many roles and ultimately be the managers and leaders in the graphics and media industries.”

Below are some of the roles and employers graduates of the GIT program have gone on to work for:

  • UX engineers at Amazon, Adobe, PayPal, U-Haul and GoDaddy.
  • Graphic designers at McKesson, Lockheed Martin and Lacrosse Wear.
  • Video and multimedia producers at Quadmark, ArtistsWorks and NerdPower.
  • Print production specialists at Prisma Graphic, O'Neil Printing and District Photo.

In addition to the Bachelor of Science in graphic information technology, ASU Online offers GIT degrees with concentrations in full-stack development and user experience, plus a Bachelor of Applied Science in graphic information technology. The BAS program is for transfer students and requires fewer lower division courses.


ASU’s online graphic design degree

Another degree focused on visual design, ASU Online’s Bachelor of Science in Design in graphic design program centers on visual communication and storytelling. In this NASAD-accredited program within the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, you’ll concentrate on the visual design of digital media and the overall communication of messages to audiences. Throughout this online graphic design degree, you’ll familiarize yourself with many digital design aspects, including:

  • Animation.
  • Interface design.
  • Motion graphics.
  • Publication design.
  • Visual literacy.
  • Web design.

Graphic design emphasizes creative storytelling in digital media. In this program, you’ll develop skills critical in design-centered careers, including those as a graphic designer, art director, animator, graphic artist, TV/movie set designer or industrial designer. Graduates of ASU Online’s graphic design degree have gone on to roles such as:

  • Exhibit designers at the Chicago Design Museum.
  • Interaction designers at Amazon and IBM.
  • UX designers at PayPal.


Choose the degree that’s right for you

Both the graphic information technology and graphic design degree programs help you hone the skills necessary for visual web development with key differences.

  • In the GIT program, you’ll learn technical skills relating to web design fit for careers that lean more toward STEM-related fields.
  • In the online graphic design degree, creativity and visual communication are the main focus.

While there is some overlap in both areas of study, it’s important to consider the career you’d like to pursue following graduation before selecting a degree.

What is a double major and is it worth it?

Is a double major worth it? Learn what a double major is, some popular combinations and the benefits of pursuing two majors as you complete your degree.


About ASU Online

Earn your degree completely online from the nation's most innovative university. ASU Online offers more than 300 degree programs and certificates in high-demand areas such as nursing, engineering, business, education and more. Explore all of our areas of study.

Our offerings include:

  • Elite expertise and research.
  • Innovative curriculum design.
  • Superior student support services.

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