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What Can You Do with an Art Degree?

What can you do with an art degree?

College is, undoubtedly, one of the most stressful times in one’s academic life. Not only are you expected to choose a major you often know little about, but you must also spend thousands of dollars to get there. It doesn’t help that society tells you to follow the money instead of following your passions.

But if you’re not in love with your field of study, you’re simply bound to fail. Following your passions is a must for college students, otherwise dropping out becomes a much more appealing option. After all, the amount of reading and studying you have to do for these majors is akin to STEM majors and other fields of study, whether you’re practicing fine art or graphic design for marketing. For those who choose a degree in the humanities or arts, coping with the ridicule from STEM majors starts to get old fast. They might ask you questions like, “what can you do with an art degree?” or “are you ready to take my order?” Not only is it a shame that they’re looking down on service jobs, but they’re also ridiculing what you love for no reason. It can become tiring.

Have no fear: there are plenty of things you can do with an art degree, and it’s not always locked to one avenue. There are a range of paths you can take when it comes to finding your dream job. In fact, as many as 70% of people who get degrees in arts are able to find work in their desired field. So, what can you do with an art degree? Read on to find out:

Key skills picked up through an art degree

It’s important to note that there are a few essential skills that you pick up from an art degree that can set these graduates out from the rest of the pack. First and foremost, art degree graduates are creative problem solvers. After all, there isn’t always one answer to a problem. If you give the same problem to a few different art majors, they will likely all come up with different, plausible solutions. These often pertain to concepts and ideas, not necessarily numbers and hard facts that are used in the STEM world. Similar to an essay prompt, art can take many winding paths to get to the creator’s point of view on a problem. As a creative thinker and problem solver, art graduates are able to assess a problem from multiple angles and backup their views with adept communication skills.

This essential skill makes artists essential in the workplace. Artists are often able to adapt to new situations and they aren’t afraid to share their thoughts with others. They are typically seen as innovators while working for a corporation while others will begin freelancing and starting their own businesses to support their passion. It isn’t always easy to get a job after college — and that goes for all majors — but having an artist on your team will ensure a company has some creative thinkers in the mix. So, what can you do with an art degree? Almost anything you set your mind to. Here are some of the most common jobs artists are able to find after college.


Marketing jobs will always need artists to help their customers. After all, building a brand is more than coming up with a catchy slogan. Artists are vital for developing logos, documenting important achievements, building visual assets, and bolstering a brand’s image.

A marketing and advertising agency is a great place to work for a graphic artist or someone with computer skills. More often than not, marketing agencies serve a range of clients, giving an artist ample opportunity to flex your artistic skills. Commercial graphics and signage will always be needed. Marketing agencies might need large designs for billboards or smaller projects for onsite content.

However, even smaller companies often need the help of an in-house graphic designer. This is particularly common among companies that rely heavily on social media content to reach their customers and followers. Beautiful pieces of photography, unique graphic designs with eye-catching colors, and professional images displaying members of the company will help businesses connect with their customers on a deeper level. If a company hopes to maintain a specific brand image, this can boil down to color use, layout, and more. Someone without an eye for the arts can’t hope to build a successful social media campaign.

In some situations, advertising companies solely work on branding or rebranding other businesses. This is vital for businesses first starting to open their doors or companies trying to reinvent themselves. The need for the arts extends from the web design services you can offer your customer all the way down to their office layout to boost employee engagement and morale.

When it comes to marketing, there will always be a great need for graphic designers, artists, and web designers. If you’re wondering what can you do with an art degree, simply look at marketing for inspiration.


This is often one of the first jobs that fine arts students consider when they dive into their studies. From kids’ books to fashion magazines, illustration is a hands-on experience for fine arts majors looking to draw full-time. Luckily, there are a number of paths you can take in the illustration field, including:

  • A book illustrator: Children’s books will always need great designs to appeal to visually-reliant children, but illustration extends far past the domain of children’s books: medical texts need illustrators and so do comics. You mustn’t forget the importance of great visuals in mythology texts or fantasy novels that make the reader feel like they are a part of the author’s world. At the very least, book illustrators will always need designs for eye-catching covers.
  • Film storyboard illustrator: If you’re interested in film, this might be the right path for you. Animated films and television series are all the rage right now and this form of media is only growing among adults. Gone are the days when animation and cartoons were solely for kids: now that hit shows like “Rick and Morty” and “BoJack Horseman” have mainstream appeal, becoming a storyboard illustrator for the next hit show is only a matter of time.
  • A medical illustrator: This was touched on in the book illustrator category, but medical illustrators do more than just draw for medical texts. Medical illustrators also make important posters for healthcare facilities, documents for labs, and signage for pharmaceutical companies. In some cases, artists might also be able to use audio visual technology, like those in museums, to relay important information to viewers.

Illustrations are everywhere and there will always be the need for new fine artists. Whether you’re working for a major company or offering freelance services, there’s no end to the number of career opportunities in illustration.

Museum curator

Even if you’re not an artist, what can you do with an art degree? If you’re more of an art theorist and scholar than a physical creator, you might want to think about becoming an expert curator for a museum.

Curators are tasked to find beautiful pieces of art for museums, but it isn’t solely limited to paintings: museums also feature cultural artifacts, audio visual pieces of music and story, and sculptures. It’s up to the curator to make these displays come to life. There are often seasonal displays from new artists to consider as well. If you’re interested in art, history, and drawing a crowd, this might be the perfect solution to the question: what can you do with an art degree?

Interior design

It makes sense that people holding art degrees would have a beautiful home. Why not use this passion to improve the spaces of others?

It’s no surprise that artists have an eye for the finer details, especially when it comes to crafting an aesthetically pleasing home. From the color of the walls to the art that goes on them, artists are essential in providing much-needed assistance to those without a stylish home. But not only that, but interior designers are also key in designing safer homes and improving the function of buildings.

This skill can apply to residential buildings all the way to medical centers looking to make their facilities more welcoming. For example, the simple presence of a few still life paintings can completely transform the energy in a cold, white room (even if you don’t paint the still life portrait yourself).

Unfortunately, interior designers don’t have free reign when it comes to planning their ideal space; rather, it’s up to them to pitch layouts and designs to get approved by their clients. Everything from transforming the space to designing the theories to be implemented will rely on artistic skill. This is especially true if you’re considering some unique features like installing custom dog kennels or spaces for exercising. Meeting industry standards is also vital if you’re performing a commercial interior design.

You might have to take a few extra classes to become an interior designer but you’ll always have an answer to the question: “what can you do with an art degree?”

Wedding planner

Wedding planning is all about the aesthetics and making someone’s dream day become a reality. This is the perfect gig for artists that want to better people’s lives each day. Everything from picking the perfect wedding venue to wedding decorations to finding the best photographer for the pictures will rely on the guidance of a wedding planner.

After all, more than two million marriages happen each year throughout the United States and many of them need help when it comes to their wedding plans. These artists must be great with people and willing to go above and beyond to plan the perfect wedding. This is because coordinating with the right people is just as important as decorating the space. While some experienced wedding planners might be able to use their artistic talents to help cut costs in some places (like creating DIY place settings and table toppers), more often than not, finding other creative peoples are essential. For example, you cannot simply go to any random bakery for the ideal cake. It’s up to the wedding planner to lead the affianced couple through a range of prospects. Some bakeries might go above and beyond with crystallized edible flowers while others will opt for a more traditional look. Being flexible — and finding creative solutions to complex problems — are essential as a wedding planner.

What can you do with an art degree?

When it comes to having an art degree, the world is your oyster. Not only will you be able to pursue creative endeavors, but you can help a variety of industries and people to flourish as a result. When you want to pursue a career in art, the question “what can you do with an art degree?” should never be an obstacle, but an endless sea of possibilities.

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