By the Numbers: The Class of 2014

written by Georgia Schumacher 9 January 2015

At the start of every New Year, it’s always worthwhile to reflect on and celebrate what you accomplished last year. Last year, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division had a lot to celebrate—including 1,394 graduates!

By the Numbers

By the program

In 2014, 77% of our graduates earned an associate’s or bachelor’s degree, whereas 23% of our graduates earned a certificate or diploma. Below are the top 5 programs with the most graduates:

1. Associate of Science in Graphic Design with 360 graduates
2. Associate of Science in Photography with 217 graduates
3. Associate of Science in Web Design & Interactive Media with 137 graduates
4. Bachelor of Science in Graphic Design with 93 graduates
5. Digital Design Diploma with 88 graduates

By states

While we had graduates from across the United States, the following states accounted for the largest numbers of our students:

1. Pennsylvania (108)
2. California (104)
3. Texas (102)
4. Ohio (94)
5. Florida (73)

By military status

137 of our graduates (almost 10%!) were affiliated with the US military in some manner, including veterans and active duty military members. The Art Institute of Pittsburgh – Online Division extends our sincerest gratitude for all that these individuals have done for our country!

By age & gender

Last year, around 68% of our graduates were female. Our diverse graduates ranged in age from 19 to 72, with the average age of our 2014 graduates being 35.

What’s next?

Are you a 2014 graduate? Be sure to stay connected on LinkedIn, Ai Alumni Connections, and our social media sites! We’re so excited to hear about everything you accomplish!

Graduating in 2015? The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division will host its Commencement Ceremony Friday, June 19, 2015 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Graduates from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division are also eligible to participate in any one of our local campus Commencement ceremonies across the country. Please contact your Career Services Advisor for details.

If you’re considering a creative arts education, request more information today!

See for program duration, tuition, fees, and other costs, median debt, federal salary data, alumni success, and other important info.

7 Tips for Getting Started in the Creative Arts

written by Georgia Schumacher 5 January 2015

ImageryThe New Year has officially arrived! There’s no better time to evaluate your current situation and set goals for the year ahead. If you’ve been dreaming about a career in the creative arts, make 2015 the year you turn your vision into a reality.

Use the following 7 tips to jumpstart your future in the creative arts this year.

1. Volunteer Your Time

Gain valuable experience and help out a great cause by volunteering your services to a charitable organization. Use the work you do for the charity to build your profile and establish a name for yourself. This is also a great way to make valuable connections that could help to advance your career.

2. Join Relevant Professional Associations

Many professional organizations offer discounted memberships to students, so this is your chance to start networking! Join as many relevant organizations as you can and attend their networking mixers, workshops, and other events to build your professional network.

3. Seek Internship Opportunities

An internship is a great way to gain on-the-job experience in your field. Some companies may pay you for your time, while others will not, but the chance to gain real-world experience that you can put on your resume is invaluable. Many companies even extend full-time job offers to interns that make a great impression! Current students can use our Career Resources to get started.

4. Find a Mentor

Is there a seasoned professional in your field that you really admire? If so, ask them to be your mentor. Meet with the person every opportunity you can learn more about becoming successful in the industry and gain useful insights on your work that can help to boost your career. Your mentor can also serve as a valuable connection during your job search.

5. Create a Robust Online Presence

Position yourself as an up-and-coming professional by maintaining a strong online presence. Create a personal website or online portfolio showcasing your work and your unique skillset. Make sure to include your contact information so it’s easy to get in touch with you. Use popular social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn to market yourself and connect with other industry professionals. Students at any of The Art Institutes schools can use Behance to share their work – learn more here.

6. Tailor Applications to Fit Each Specific Job

Go the extra mile when applying for jobs or internships and customize your application to fit each specific position. Try to find the name of the hiring manager to personally address your cover letter, include the exact job title, and explain why your creative skills would be an asset to the organization.

7. Stay True to Yourself

It takes a lot of time and energy to build your personal brand, so don’t be afraid to turn down work that doesn’t align with your values. When you’re just starting out, it can be tempting to take on any project you can get your hands on, but that isn’t necessarily the best approach. It may take a little longer to build the right client base, but patience is a virtue when your professional reputation is at stake.

Top Stories and Highlights from 2014

written by Georgia Schumacher 29 December 2014

As we wrap up 2014, we’re looking back on all the exciting things that happened at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh ─ Online Division this past year. It was a great year filled with a variety of creative learning opportunities for our students ─ made possible by the endless support of our talented faculty.

Exciting Things Happened at Ai

New Mobile App Rolled Out.
The Art Institutes now has a mobile app available in the App Store and Google Play! It is now easier than ever to keep up with important dates and information ─ and even access your classroom remotely. Learn more about our new mobile app.

Named 2015 Military Friendly® School.
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh ─ Online Division was proud to receive a 2015 Military Friendly® designation, from Victory Media ─ publisher of G.I. Jobs, Military Spouse, and Vetrepreneur® magazines. Read about this incredible honor.

Kitchen & Bath Program Recognized as NKBA Supported Program.
The Art Institute of Pittsburgh ─ Online Division met all the requirements to become a National Kitchen & Bath Association supported provider. This exciting development is the first step towards attaining full accreditation. Find out more about this development.

iGrad was Introduced.
iGrad, a personalized site for important financial literacy information was created to help students learn valuable tips and lessons to understand financial aid and better manage their finances. Check out this savvy new financial site.

MATH LIVE! Helped Students Get Ahead. Many students struggle with math, so we launched a weekly informal 60-minute study session with a full-time math faculty member. During these sessions tutors answer math questions, review class material, and provide assistance on assignments. Learn how to register for this helpful study session.

Our Students Learned and Grew Their Skills

Graduating Online Students Joined Portfolio Shows.
Students preparing to graduate from The Art Institute of Pittsburgh ─ Online Division can now display art at any of our locations across the country! This is a great opportunity to meet potential employers, see the work of their peers, and more. Find out how to RSVP.

Photography Students’ Work Featured.
To honor National Photo Month in May, the works of three students ─ April Carlson, Christopher Rogers, and Nicholas Chill were featured on our website. Didn’t get a chance to see their stunning photos? View them here!

Students Participated in Career Webinars and More Online Events.
As part of the American Society of Interior Design (ASID) Career Week in May, Interior Design students had the chance to attend a number of career webinars sponsored by the ASID. In April and May, the Graphic Design Department hosted the seventh annual Graphic Design Career Series. Students participated in weekly webinars featuring top industry professionals and designers to gain valuable insights to enhance their work and help them prepare for a career in the industry. For more upcoming events, visit the Events Calendar today!

Happy Holidays!

written by Georgia Schumacher 20 December 2014

Happy Holidays

From all of us at The Art Institute of Pittsburgh - Online Division, we all wish you all a very happy holiday season with family, friends, and loved ones!

Current students, for information about how to participate in the Art Gives Back contest over the holidays, visit the Campus Common.

Top 5 Sites to Find Online Volunteering Opportunities

written by Editor Georgia Schumacher 16 December 2014

By Guest Blogger, Natalie Hruska, Ph.D.
Full-time Faculty, Web Design and Interactive Media

volunteer button

It is that time of year to not only celebrate, but do something for the greater good. Technology makes it much easier to volunteer today! In fact, you can do all of your volunteering from home. I have been volunteering my whole life, but when I discovered the option to volunteer online, I found I could do a lot more. I have built websites, done online research, consultation, and more, all from home! I recommend volunteering online to anyone. Not only is the experience rewarding for everyone involved, but can look great on a resume.

Non profit organizations are looking for people especially around this time of year, so be selective, and you can find the perfect position for you! Here are a few of my favorite websites I use to find out about volunteering opportunities. (For those of you who wish to volunteer in person, many of these sites can also help you locate volunteer opportunities in your community!)

Volunteer Match
To find online opportunities on this site, click on the link for ‘Volunteers’ and then ‘Virtual Opportunities’. Narrow your search using keywords. For example, I enter ‘Fashion’, and right away, I find an opportunity to volunteer for the Tails of Hope Foundation, Inc. as a writer with tasks like covering the K9 Macy’s fashion show. Interested in fashion? A position like this would be a great way to get your foot in the door!
On this website, start by clicking on the link for ‘Volunteer’. Then, to see all online positions, select ‘Remote’ for location. Filter more to a specific type of position using keywords. For example, I enter ‘marketing’, and I find an opportunity to help with social media for a non profit organization in California called Promote Sustainability. Tasks include managing Facebook, Twitter, and other social networks for the organization. A position like this could give you a great professional experience, with the added benefit of helping the environment!

UNV Online Volunteers
The United Nations Volunteers Online Volunteering Service connects people to online volunteering positions around the world. Click on their link to ‘Opportunity Search’ and filter by language, position type, and development topic. For example, I filtered by ‘Design’, and then ‘Volunteerism’, and found position to design a Christmas Card for UN Volunteers in Lao People’s Democratic Republic. Not only can you work from home, but this opportunity lets you retain rights to your design and credits you for your creative contribution. Work like this would be great for a graphic designer’s portfolio!

Help from Home
This website list micro volunteer opportunities in a variety of areas like community and peace. You can do interesting and creative tasks like sending eCards, playing games, tagging photos, sharing experiences though videos, and more. Just choose what you want to do, and how long you have to do it, whether for one minute or several hours. Depending on the time you put in, you can receive a badge to put on your resume. Studies show that people that volunteer (and put this experience on their resume) are more likely to get hired!

--Dr. Natalie Hruska, The Volunteering Guru

PS: Make sure to check us out in Connections—we are the Online Volunteers club. You can also email me at if you have any questions. Or, follow my Twitter feed ( where I post the latest online volunteering positions!