Seattle Public Schools

Programs and Career Pathways

Media Arts Pathways

Media Arts Pathways

Is this the right pathway for me?

  • Do you have a passion for creative expression and storytelling? 
  • Are you open to learning and adapting to new technologies and trends? 
  • Do you enjoy collaborating with others and working on diverse projects? 

What is Media Arts?

Media arts is a creative field that uses visual and auditory elements to convey ideas and stories. It includes graphic design, photography, filmmaking, animation, and more. Professionals in media arts use technology to create engaging content for various platforms like TV, film, and the internet. The goal is to communicate, entertain, or inform through artistic expressions, making it a dynamic and evolving field. 

What sort of work would I do?

In media arts, students can pursue creative roles like graphic design, photography, filmmaking, animation, and more. Whether crafting visual designs, capturing images, or directing films, the field offers diverse and dynamic opportunities. Roles also extend to web design, digital marketing, and interactive media, providing a range of creative paths for those interested in visual storytelling and design.

Leads to these Careers

  • Graphic Designer 
  • Photographer 
  • Filmmaker 
  • Animator 
  • Sound Designer 
  • Web Designer 
  • Digital Marketer 
  • Art Director 
  • Interactive Media Designer 
  • Creative Director 

In-Demand Occupations

Typical Education RequiredCareer TitleAverage Annual SalaryJob Outlook in WA State (2020-2030)
High School Photographer $64,051 5% increase 
Bachelor’s Degree Graphic Designer $96,281 29% increase 
Bachelor’s Degree Audio and Video Technician $84,769 22% increase 
Check Career One Stop, Bureau of Labor Statistics for updated career trends

What Courses can I take now?

Check with your school counselor and administrators to find out which classes are available at your school.

In this course sequence, students are introduced to the craft, technology and business of broadcasting. They study mass media, history, licensing requirements, broadcast journalism, programming, sales and marketing, engineering, surveys and research and other broadcasting departmental duties and consequent occupational opportunities. Students learn how how radio fits into the larger context of mass media, will review the history of radio and other broadcasting and webcasting and other digital media, will become familiar with FCC rules and regulations, broadcast journalism, research and programming and digital recording. 

Course numbers: HCT2295, HCT2296, HCT2297, HCT2451 (and more)

Students explore all aspects of graphic design produce deliverables that convey messages and persuade viewers. Students use industry-standard software to create posters, brochures, logos, and other digital and print media. Students explore current trends in graphic production and will develop their own artistic style.  Students are provided with opportunities to make direct connections to careers as working artists. Course content includes portfolio development, guest speakers from arts industries, and development of professional responsibility skills. 

Course numbers: MPC5304, HTC2543 & HCT2544; CFA2543 & CFA2544 

Description: Photography is designed to explore photography as a method of creative visual communication. Students in this course learn basic camera operations and principles of photography such as photo composition, lighting, exposure, and editing. This course may be cross-credited for Fine Arts.  

Course numbers: HCT2536 & HCT2537; CFA2536 & CFA2537 

Recording Arts course sequence prepares students to apply technical knowledge and skills to the production of sound recordings as finished products or as components of film, broadcast, live, or mixed media productions. Includes instruction in sound equipment operation and maintenance; music, dialogue, and sound effects recording; soundtrack editing; dubbing and mixing; sound engineering; tape, disk, and CD production; digital recording and transmission; amplification and modulation; and working with producers, editors, directors, artists, and production managers. 

Course numbers: HCT4100, HCT4101 

Credentials: CTE Dual Credit 

In this course, students will gain a wide variety of digital media production skills and begin developing their own Media Arts portfolio. Students will learn the principles of graphic design, website design, animation, audio production, and video production with an emphasis on real-world projects. 

Course numbers: WCT4640, WCT4641, WCT4642, WCT4643, WCT4695 (Summer Only, intro class)

This introductory course teaches the fundamentals of creatively and effectively communicating visual stories through the lens of a video camera, including critical media analysis. Students collaborate while learning the video production process: pre-production (planning, developing ideas, and identifying resources), production(lighting, composition, and audio recording techniques), and post-production (editing with graphics, sound, and visual effects). Types of productions may include narrative, documentary, news, informational, and experimental. This course may be cross-credited for Fine Arts.  

Course numbers: HCT2452, CFA2452, HCT2453, CFA2453, HCT2454, CFA2454, HCT2455, CFA HCT2455 

Clubs and Activities at SPS

Students can attend Skills USA and TSA club sessions at their schools to dive deeper into all things Media Arts. Learn about opportunities at your high school!

What training do I need after high school?

Below are possible training pathways for students interested in pursuing work and higher learning in media arts.

Seattle Central College – Creative Academy 

  • Programs: Associate of Applied Science in Graphic Design, Photography, and Video Production 
  • Features: Hands-on training, state-of-the-art equipment, industry connections 
  • Eligibility: Free tuition for Seattle Public Schools graduates through Seattle Promise 
  • Duration: 2 years 

Cornish College of the Arts

  • Programs: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Design, Photography, Film+Media 
  • Features: Emphasis on artistic development, interdisciplinary approach 
  • Duration: 4 years 

Local Workshops and Community Classes

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