What Can You Do With An Art Degree?

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Art is a very broad area of study that contains mostly visual expressions created often from the imagination. Creativity is the core of all forms of art. Without it, the world would be empty. So then, what can you do with a degree in art? This article will provide you with ideas of specific areas of art to study as well as universities with excellent art programs to prepare you for careers in the world of art. It will also give you examples of types of jobs you can land with a degree in some form of art.

Studying the Arts

There are various forms of study you can explore in the field of art. Within the category of liberal arts, humanities generally incorporates most forms of art. Some specific types of art are listed here.

Graphic design

Print screening




Culinary arts




How to Get an Art Degree

Liberal arts colleges and universities around the world offer outstanding humanities programs that will help advance your knowledge in the arts and prepare you for the working world. The best way to begin your studies in art is to consult your guidance counselor for ideas on how you can best prepare for an arts program in college while you’re still attending high school. Many high schools offer photography, painting, interior design, and other art courses to help educate you for a future in those areas.

Massachusetts College of Art and Design has very impressive art programs. From undergraduate programs in jewelry and metalsmithing to animation and graduate programs from architecture to media arts, this college offers students education and personal experience in all sorts of arts. The college also offers certificate programs in fashion, furniture, graphic, and industrial designs. Massachusetts College of Art and Design is in fact the very first art school to issue art degrees and is the first independent public college of art and design in the United States.

Founded in 1908, the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma offers its students programs in everything from music to theater arts to earning a bachelors degree in fine arts. Undergraduate students can choose from concentrations including sculpture, ceramics, painting, printmaking, photography, drawing, graphic design, and computer graphics in order to best ready themselves for the careers of their choice. With incredibly small classes, students are guaranteed to get the attention they need to help them further succeed in the arts industry.

Savannah College of Art and Design in Georgia provides students with great educational experiences in the world of art. Before entering college, Savannah also offers pre-college summer courses to prep students for their immediate educational future at the college. Bachelor degree programs include but are not limited to dramatic writing, fashion, graphic design, painting, photography, and sound design. Masters programs include nearly all of the categories of undergraduate degree programs in addition to topics like urban design, luxury and fashion management, cinema studies, and illustration design at campuses in Savannah, Atlanta, and even Hong Kong. With various events and workshops throughout each semester, students have multiple opportunities to get involved in their areas of study.

Careers in Art

Once you earn a degree in art, you will qualify for many positions. It is important to get an idea of what career path intrigues you most before you graduate from college in order to form your studies around obtaining that career. The more successful you are in the world of academia, the more successful you may be in the art industry. Still thinking, “What can I do with an art degree?” Check out this section for some useful ideas.

Entry Level Careers in Art

With an associate degree or a bachelors degree and little experience in the art industry, you may find that you qualify for one or more of the positions described here.

Art Critic

Art critics are writers who analyze and report on works of art and the artists behind them. Art critics often work for newspapers and magazines and cover stories on local artists and their work and sometimes even artists around the globe. They may also write about art exhibits and galleries at museums and universities, as well. With a bachelors degree in art or art history and background knowledge in journalism or writing studies, an art critic is bound to thrive. Art critics approach pieces from creative angles that intrigue readers, making them want to see the pieces for themselves. Art critics possess excellent verbal and written communication skills for interviewing artists about their work and presenting information to their readers.

Art critics can earn over $25,000 annually, depending on education and experience levels as well as the type of businesses they work for.

Fashion Designer

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If you’ve always been interested in designing and creating clothing, you should consider a career as a fashion designer. Design clothes that are both functional and stylish for everyday use or formal wear and display your creations at notable fashion shows across the globe. Fashion designers possess associate or bachelor degrees in fashion design or similar fields and have usually gained experience through internships. They are also highly innovative and often express themselves through their collections.

Entry level fashion designers can earn around $32,000 annually, with room for significant growth once education and experience levels further develop.

Interior Designer

An interior designer consults with clients looking to recreate one or more rooms in home or business environments. Interior designers interact and get a feel for what clients are looking for in a room, whether its to create a more friendly environment or redesign the function of a room with a particular style, and then get to work remodeling and organizing on budgets provided by the clients. With a bachelors degree in art, interior design, or another related field as well as a unique and creative mindset, an interior designer helps people become more comfortable in their everyday environments.

Interior designers can earn around $46,000 annually.

Advanced Careers in Art

Once you gain more experienced and/or higher education in the field of your choosing, you’re bound to qualify for at least one of the two positions described in this section.

Art Therapist

Art therapists help patients coping with disasters or disorders by teaching them to relieve their troubles by creating unique pieces of art. They understand that art can be used as an escape as well as a healing technique for those suffering from psychological traumas. Art therapists possess bachelor degrees in art, art history, or psychology and a masters degree in art therapy. They are patient and personable as well as talented artists with a passion to help others overcome their struggles through art. They typically work in psychiatric hospitals, mental health care centers, and nursing homes but may find work in other health clinics as well.

Art therapists can earn over $40,000 annually, depending on education and experience levels.

Art Gallery Manager

With a job as an art gallery manager, you will find yourself working together with local and perhaps foreign artists in efforts to best display their works for observation and purchase. Art gallery managers are often also responsible for scheduling events and activities to attract community members and help art appreciation grow within the community. It is not uncommon for gallery managers to also handle the financial aspects of running art galleries, as well. Art gallery managers typically possess a bachelors degree in art, background in business management and finances, and a masters in art management. They are devoted to the success of artists as well as their galleries’ contributions to and interactions with the community.

The salary of an art gallery manager can vary based on the gallery’s location and the manager’s education and experience, but it is possible for art gallery managers to earn over $58,000 annually.

Companies that Hire People with Art Degrees

Once you earn your degree in art or a related field, it’s time to reach out into the job market and apply for jobs in the art industry. Companies around the world are looking for museum curators, gallery managers, fashion designers, and more. Below is a list of places that often hire people with arts degrees.

National Gallery of Art – located in Washington, D.C.; hires positions for event planning specialists, gallery managers, etc.

Glidewell Laboratories – located in Newport Beach, CA; hires interior designers, copywriters, customer service representatives, etc.

CannonDesign – various locations across the U.S.; hires positions for architects, project managers, interior designers, etc.

Kohl’s Corporation – headquarters in Menomonee Falls, WI; hires positions for graphic/textile designers, assistant designers, product development specialists, etc.

GAP Inc. – headquarters in San Francisco, CA; hires positions for fashion designers and other product design and marketing jobs

With a creative and determined mindset, you are a perfect fit for the arts industry. Finding a job that best fits your needs and personality is important for your well-being and success. Look for universities and colleges that offer arts programs in the area in which you’re most interested, and never be afraid to follow your dream. Paint your future bright with a career in the art industry.

Author: Rose Boettinger

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