Digital Media Art Program Prepares Students for 21st Century Jobs


Manhattan College is eager to prepare its students for a 21st century job market. One of the college’s minor programs, digital media art, is helping students and professors do just that.

The digital media art minor entails several different aspects, including mastery of Adobe Creative Suite and a series of electives such as digital drawing, digital painting and digital photography.

One of the students in the digital media art program is senior communication major Amanda Alfredson. Alfredson was particularly interested in the digital media art program due to her advertising concentration, though her interests had fluctuated throughout her time at MC.

“I came to the school as an education major, and then I switched to marketing, and then I switched to [communication] because I really wanted to do advertising, and I was really interested in the creative aspect of it,” she said.

In the classes Alfredson has taken thus far, she has particularly enjoyed photo editing and designing logos.

“I liked creating the logo a lot. I did it for my internship and my internship’s a small company and … the company was for senior care, and for some reason, her acronym was ‘SMASH,’ so it was very aggressive. I really struggled with doing that, but it was a lot of fun,” she said.

Senior communication major Angelica Delgado chose to double minor in digital media art and Chinese. Delgado had always been somewhat interested in creating art, and learned about the digital media art minor in her junior year.

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“I’ve always been the type of person who loves drawing in the side of my notebooks or drawing cartoons and all that,” she said. “I was always interested in learning how to draw with the computer … and I’m also a broadcasting [concentrator] so I love video editing and audio editing and all of that. And I heard about the minor, and I was like, ‘this is what I always wanted to learn, plus what I’m learning right now,’ so it’s a win-win situation.”

Delgado has especially enjoyed using digital programs to edit and improve drawings she has done.

“[I like] learning how you can draw something by hand and make it computerized and [perfect] it in some way through the computer,” Delgado said. “Like I said, I always wanted to see how my drawings would look a little bit better, not only drawing them by hand, and with the digital [media art] minor, I learned how to use PhotoShop and Illustrator, which is my favorite out of all the Adobe software programs, and it’s just so wonderful to have the opportunity to learn how to create content through the computer and perfect your art.”

The digital media art minor has provided several students with valuable, marketable skills for a 21st century job market. Stephanie Zmuda ‘18 is an alumna of the program and now works as a professional art director.

“The classes that I took helped me build a portfolio and land the job that I have now right out of college, which is fantastic!” Zmuda said. “I am so happy that I get to do what I love every day.”

Along with her digital media art minor, Zmuda majored in communication with a concentration in public relations when she was a student at MC. She especially remembers her digital painting class, which she classifies as her favorite.

“I enjoyed the three hour working periods; it was so relaxing and exactly what I needed,” she said. “I enjoyed learning how to use Corel Painter, which is a program outside of the Adobe Creative Suite, which in turn has made me a more rounded artist,”

During her time at MC, Zmuda launched “Selfied by Steph,” a platform for her to share digital paintings she created herself. Most of the paintings are recreations of photographs which are submitted to her Instagram account.

“I launched Selfied by Steph after drawing my friends for fun and wanting a platform to share it on,” she said. “Overall, I think that my quality of work has improved from the digital art classes that I took at Manhattan College.”

As Alfredson and Delgado are seniors, they will be entering the job market soon. Both students believe the skills that they learned in the digital media art minor will assist in the process of finding jobs.

“I definitely want to go into … advertising, so pretty much anything I’m going to be learning can easily be used towards what I want to do,” Alfredson said.

Delgado, however, is concentrating in broadcasting, but also believes that she can apply the skills she has learned in her field.

“I learned how to use Adobe Premiere and Final Cut Pro. Here they show us how to use Avid, so now I know three softwares I can use in the future. I had the opportunity to learn all of them. And with graphic design and PhotoShop and all of that, I’m sure that the opportunity will come where I can use it career-wise, and I look forward to that,” she said.