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What To Do With Your Degree in Fine Arts

By Dan, published on 10/05/2019 Blog > Arts and Hobbies > School Art > What Kind of Career Can You Have With An Art Degree

Whether you’re an undergraduate who has almost attained their bachelor of fine arts, are taking a semester off to think about the next step in your artistic journey, or simply want to learn more about the discipline you’re about to study – it is extremely important to understand what an kind of job opportunities you can get with an arts degree.

Get a career in ceramics The discipline of art includes everything from ceramics to music performance

Types of Art Programs Available

In order to understand the different types of jobs out there, it is important to determine the different types of degrees there are within an programs.

Fine Arts Degree

A bachelor (BFA degree) or master in fine arts (MFA degree)make up the bulk of the degree programs you are likely to find within an arts education. The reason is because this field encompasses both the visual arts as well as the performance arts.

Visual arts involve everything from studio art to the humanities and can be found in both an art school as well as liberal arts institutions.

Because a bachelor or master of arts can mean that you have specialized in a wide array of subjects, here are some of the most common specializations employers are likely to recognize:

  • Sculpture
  • Ceramics
  • Printmaking
  • Art and design
  • Drawing and Painting
  • Studio arts
  • Architecture
  • Digital media

Film Degrees

While a master or bachelor of arts degree in film will still have the same title as one in one of the subjects mentioned above, the types of jobs you will be applying to are likely going to be different. If you are a prospective student that is interested in a program or study geared towards film and film production, you will probably attend one of the many art schools that have a focus solely on film and the technical skills needed to produce them.

Here are some of the art majors you’re likely to encounter whether you graduate from a film school or with a liberal arts education:

  • Computer animation
  • Film and television production
  • Photography
  • Game art
  • Digital arts
  • Visual culture

Art History

Art history is one of the most viable career paths inside of the art world. If you’re interested in the history of art, you won’t even need to find an art program at a school of art. In fact, many universities offer art history as a program even without specifically giving any art degrees (a BFA or MFA).

Types of careers with for film art degrees A bachelor of the arts degree in film can lead to a rewarding career

Types of Design Degrees

On par with visual art degrees are many art programs and art courses dedicated to design. As with fine arts degrees and degrees from film schools, design degrees also award students with a baccalaureate or master of fine arts degree.

This, however, will depend on what specialization ends up being and is specified between the two most common degree pathways found below.

Art and Design Degree

A fine arts degree in art and design are typically awarded to students who attend a college of art and study the interdisciplinary subjects of the visual arts and physical or digital composition. The career goals of these types of graduates are usually oriented towards opening up their own retail shops or artisanal stores. Graduates with design degrees are, for the most part, awarded graduate and undergraduate degrees in the fine arts (BFA and MFA).

Some of the most common programs you are likely to be awarded if you go to a college of art and design are:

  • Metalsmithing
  • Printmaking
  • Graphic design
  • Illustration
  • Jewelry making

Architecture Degrees

While many people don’t often think of an architect as a fine artist – architecture is actually often an integral part of studying any form of art history. In fact, many of the movements in the history of art have been either preceded or followed by a response in the way we build our cities.

While earning an associate degree in architecture will prepare you for entry level work, many employers will require at least a bachelors degree if you are an associate in arts. An undergraduate and graduate degree in architecture will normally be rewarded as a Bachelor of Science (BS), depending on your area of study.

Some of the most common degrees for which you will find an architecture graduate certificate are:

  • Architectural theory
  • Design computation
  • Building science
  • Environmental architecture and sustainability

What Jobs in Art Can You Apply For?

In an age where college is getting more and more expensive, attaining a college education is becoming an even bigger financial burden to young students – especially young artists. Wanting to pursue an art education can be especially daunting with the field’s notoriety in unemployment.

The truth is, however, art jobs can be found anywhere and everywhere. While it is always a good idea to get in touch with alumni or professors for any career questions you might have, it can also be helpful to understand the vast array of jobs that will be available to you depending on your degree.

Jobs with an arts education An arts education can lead to a rewarding career

Exhibition Work

Working in any sort of gallery and museum as an artist can be a very broad field – however, if you’re solely interested in getting your work into an exhibit, specializing in exhibition work will be best for you. This includes everything from having your artworks displayed in galleries for sale, collaborating with private and public museums to get your work displayed, or simply getting your work to appear at local bars or cafes.

One important thing to understand is that the people whose passion it is to share their art in this way, they normally don’t support themselves on this basis alone. Just as with many signers or performing artists, there are a very small percentage of artists who manage to support themselves on their artwork alone. It is very common that artists getting their works on exhibition also take up other jobs in education.

Arts Administration

Arts administration jobs can be found anywhere from museums to NGOs. Whether you make your own art or not, arts administration concerns itself more with facilitating the movement of art from one place or person to another.

Some of the more common jobs will be found in collaboration with art institutions like museums, libraries or galleries. This type of career should interest you if you’re also interested in anything from project management, finance, art history or sustainability.

Art Teacher

Whether you’re involved in giving theory based education courses or in teaching the creative arts, being an art teacher is one of the most common jobs for artists. While many artists find themselves drawn to education because of their love for spreading art to younger generations, the schedule of teaching also is ideal for artists who want to continue to pursue their craft.

While teachers will have to focus on developing coursework or limited school budgets, they also have an amazing opportunity to be able to store their materials somewhere that isn’t in their own home. Art education is a field you should look into if you’re interested in teaching, developing your own work, working with children or with art institutions around the world.

Film Industry

The film industry, especially in today’s world, is full of people who specialize in every aspect that goes into making movies, shows and videos. This can range anywhere from making big budget animations to owning your own business.

While the film industry has grown to encompass a lot more subjects than it did at its inception, that also means that they employ a vast amount of people every year. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the cost of getting a film degree is relatively higher than some of the other degrees in the arts field. If you’re interested in film jobs, make sure to look into directorial work, computer design or photography.

Performing Arts Industry

One major arm of the art industry includes the performing arts. If you’re interested in acting, performing, dancing or singing – this field will be perfect for developing your passions. Depending on what your goal is in this industry – becoming an actor in films, becoming a drama professor – your career path will vary.

Ultimately, people who should find careers in the performing arts will generally be people who find performance expression rewarding. Some of the fields you could check out if you’re interested in performance arts are theater, music engineering, or dance.

If you’re not sure about what you’d like to do with your degree – there’s no need to panic. With enough preparation, you should be able to find an internship, volunteer or job opportunity in the field you’re interested in. This will give you a better understanding of what exactly you can expect, both in terms of salary and work-life balance, from a specific job field.

How To Apply To An Art Institute

Applying to a college of arts differ from applying to other universities in the UK only by the necessity to build a portfolio. Once you’ve applied through UCAS, submitting your portfolio will be the only additional step you’ll have to take to get closer to your entering your chosen program of study.

Finding the right art course and university, however, are equally as difficult parts of the application process. As a prospective student, you should focus on a couple of aspects of a program to help you make your decision:

  • The cost of tuition and availability of scholarships
  • The amount of credit hours and coursework involved
  • If you’ll be able to take an elective or internship
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