The study of computer graphics is one that can lead to careers that are both lucrative and exciting. There are a lot of styles when it comes to computer graphics, making it a field that is very open and has many avenues to explore in order to find your niche.  

What Are Computer Graphics?

Computer graphics is a subsection of computer science that is primarily used today to describe pictures and films made on a computer. In a more complex sense, it refers to computer-generated image data created by using specialized graphical hardware and software. The term computer graphics was coined in 1960 by two computer graphics researchers, Verne Hudson and William Fetter of Boeing. It is abbreviated CG, but often people incorrectly refer to it as CGI or computer-generated imagery.

Why Use Computer Graphics?

On top of being an interesting and creative way to create something amazing from scratch, computer graphics are used in multiple career paths relevant to computer and information technologies. This includes everything ranging from applied mathematics with applications such as Matlab all the way to computational geometry and programs like 3ds MAX or AutoCAD.

In addition to having the opportunity to gain experience using specialized pieces of technology and software, you can enrich your resume with important skills such as image manipulation and rendering as well as being able to create and edit special effects or even create a 3d model for a video game. That being said, let’s take a closer look at some of the very best careers that use computer graphics.

5 Careers Involving the Use of Computer Graphics

Graphic Designer

A graphic designer’s main obligation is to create brochures and various kinds of illustrations as well as creating an appealing user experience which is often required for a company’s advertising success. This career doesn’t just involve the use of computer graphics. In fact, it’s almost 90% of the job. Creating accessible and memorable designs is the goal of his career.

At times, you may also be asked to take on the commitment of designing a web page if not the whole artistic aspect of the website, including animations, pop-up ad designs and any other things relevant to these. This can be done by using specific professional-grade software such as Adobe’s Indesign/Photoshop/Animate/Premier, QuarkXpress, Coreldraw or some other free alternatives like Canva or Scribus.

It is important that a person seeking a job in this profession path has at least some basic knowledge of drawing or sketching by hand rather than doing it solely with the help of a computer. Plus, almost always you will be required to use a graphics tablet for convenience purposes.

Film and Video Editors / Multimedia Artists and Animators

This is technically two jobs, but a job in visual media is a gold mine for those who do computer graphics. Whether it’s a special effects editor position or art and animation, these are kind of passion jobs you’ll fall in love with and that are perfect for those with creative minds. For this reason, we will divide this section into two separate ones emphasizing where the use of computer graphics will provide the best results.

First up are the film and video editors. This type of profession mostly involves video editing software such as Adobe’s Premiere and Sony Vegas where you’d be required to edit the video, cut out or glue together specific pieces of a filming session and even create special effects via the use of applications. Such programs include Mudbox, Maya, Blender, Cinema 4D and many more. You’d also have to be acquainted with techniques like Greenscreen manipulation, double exposure, and motion tracking. Apart from editing and creating special effects, a film and video editor may be asked to create movie trailers, outlines for scripts, video clips, television programs, and even training videos for professional or corporate events.

Moving on to multimedia artists and animators, these people mostly work on the more technical side of things. This can include manipulation of light, textures, shadows, and other aspects so that animations and images can appear more realistic and lifelike. Occasionally you may be prompted to design and create specialized labels and targeted emails as well as presentation briefings. This, however, is mostly done by the multimedia artists because the experienced animators would have to work on creating videos and animations to be presented in corporate briefings and meetings. Another obligation of theirs is to turn ideas and simple sketches to professional-grade 3D models to be later animated into a film or any type of video including cinematic scenes for video games and animation films.

Advertising and Promotions Managers

An advertising and promotions manager’s obligation is to prepare and direct all the required advertising policies and programs and to produce promotional material such as posters, coupons, giveaways, and anything else that has a high chance of promoting the company in a beneficial way. This can be done by increasing the interest of potential clients to buy a product or service provided by the corporation.

There are two main fields where the knowledge of computer graphics could apply to this profession. The first is to create statistics templates in order to review the results of a poll or survey with greater efficiency. This can then be used later to create more appealing promotional material. Second, is the actual creative process. When it comes to creating promotional content, you would have to be experienced in putting skills like photo and video editing and manipulation into use. This may involve using everything ranging from the simplest programs like PowerPoint all the way to Adobe Photoshop and Indesign to achieve interesting material that prompts the viewers to engage with the product or service that’s being promoted.

Apart from these, extra knowledge of IDE software and programming languages may be required. Furthermore, you may be required to create software on your own in order to fulfill a specific requirement or process.

Software Developer, Applications

This is probably the second most interesting profession for people with knowledge of computer graphics. First thing’s first, we are sure you’ve never seen an application for mobiles or computers without a UIX (User Interaction Experience). No matter you’re working on, whether it is creating a video game or a complex computational application, you’d have to enrich it with some nice graphic design.

Regarding applications, you’d need to have experience in Photoshop as well as CSS (not to mention HTML, preferably HTML5 and Javascript) just to create a basic appealing menu and functional environment. Most likely you wouldn’t have to bother with complicated special and visual effects, just the basics. That being said, if you want to develop a highly complex piece of software similar to Matlab or Scilab you’re going to need professional-grade knowledge in high-level programming languages, applied mathematics, and image processing techniques.

On the other hand, if you are most interested in creating video games you’d have to study professional modeling and animating software. Some of the most complex ones are Maya and 3dsMAX but starting with Blender is a good alternative. This is because it is similar to the others but free to use making it a great tool for beginners. In addition, you’d have to study information visualization. For example, you’d be required to know how to connect animations and altering text based on what your code does.

Another extra piece of knowledge that may prove beneficial, especially when creating video games, would be skills such as rendering (studies algorithms to simulate light transportation and thus make materials appear more realistic) and topology (studies how spaces and surfaces behave and interact with each other). Unreal Engine 4 (UE4) and Unity both require at least some basic knowledge of these fields.

Web Developers

Nowadays finding a job in this field has become extremely difficult due to the high level of competition. On top of having at least an intermediate knowledge of web programming languages (HTML, Javascript, CSS, PHP, Ruby etc.) you’d have better chances of being hired if you knew how to add graphics to a website. In order to do so, you’d need to have a good knowledge of Adobe Animate which would aid you in creating vector graphics and animations to be used both for websites and online advertisements. Moreover, they could be applied in web applications and online video games. For still images and responsive websites, Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator knowledge is a huge advantage to have over other people looking to be hired for the same position you’re being interviewed for.


No matter what job you’re looking for in the computer and IT field, you are most likely to encounter some graphic design challenge along the way so being familiar with the basics is guaranteed to help you out. Some common software you’d need to be acquainted with is Adobe’s Photoshop for image editing and manipulation, Premiere for video editing, DaVinci Resolve for color, light, and exposure correction, and last but not least one modeling and animation application such as Blender, Maya, 3dsMAX, or Cinema 4D.