What Can You Do With an Art Degree?

What Can You Do With an Art Degree?

Pursuing higher education is like stepping onto a blank canvas — there are countless possibilities. If you have a passion for artistic expression and creativity, you may be looking into an art degree. We’ll delve into the brush strokes that make up art degrees and paint a picture of the possible careers out there.

What Is an Art Degree?

An art degree is a program or course of study that provides students with a higher education qualification encompassing an often broad spectrum of varying artistic disciplines. Students who pursue art associate degrees engage in visual arts, design and overall creative expression through different mediums.

You could explore painting, sculpting, photography, ceramics and even filmmaking as part of your program. Most courses offer practical elements as well as theoretical knowledge and art history.

What Is a Fine Arts Degree?

What is fine arts? Traditional fine arts are visual art forms, such as painting and sculpting. As art has evolved, though, fine arts degrees encompass categories like:

  • Visual arts
  • Design
  • Music
  • Theatre
  • Dance
  • Creative writing
  • Photography
  • Film
  • Art history

The easiest way to think of fine art is as a specialized subset of an art degree focusing on creative and visual arts. Depending on your major, fine arts students focus on practical, theoretical and historical aspects of disciplines such as drawing, painting, printmaking and much more. The program encourages students to explore and experiment with materials and mediums to improve understanding and develop more specific skills within their chosen field of specialization. An associate degree in art may be a good step on the way toward a degree in fine arts.

What Jobs Can You Get With an Art Degree?

What Jobs Can You Get With an Art Degree?

Pursuing an art degree was once seen as limiting. However, even in a world where AI and generative text and art are ever-increasing, human autonomous creativity is still crucial to innovation in many fields. Here are some potential career paths for art students:

  • Graphic designer: Graphic designers create visual concepts and designs using computer software according to client specifications.
  • Art director: There are art directors in various fields, but the overall position involves overseeing a project to ensure the message aligns with the goal.
  • Animator: Animators use illustrations, both drawn and computer-generated, to bring ideas and stories to life.
  • Art therapist: Art therapists help people face mental health conditions like anxiety and depression through art.
  • Art museum curator: This role requires individuals to manage, organize and oversee collections in museums, galleries and other cultural institutions. They ensure the proper presentation and preservation of artistic pieces.
  • Art educator: Depending on your skill level, degree and preferences, you can teach art at various education levels.
  • Freelance artist: A freelance artist works independently or collaborates with others to create artwork in different mediums with the intent of selling, exhibiting or taking commissions.
  • Web designer: In the internet age, artists with technical expertise can help design visually appealing and user-friendly websites.
  • Creative director in advertising: This fast-paced career involves leading creative teams to develop effective and competitive advertising campaigns.
  • Set designer: If you enjoy design and working with your hands, designing sets for theatre and movie productions may be a good fit.

Average Salary for an Art Degree

Calculating the average salary for an artist depends on a few variables, including experience, field, specialization and industry. You can use the Mount Wachusett Community College Career Coach to search for more information on your desired career, see average pay with an art degree and more.

We broke down the average pay with an art degree for the following careers in North Central Massachusetts:

Is an Art Degree Worth It?

The following factors can help you determine if an art degree would be fulfilling for you.

Passion and Personal Fulfillment

Pursuing an art degree can be immensely rewarding and fulfilling for those passionate about creative expression and creation. If you find joy and value in creating art and sharing it with the world, then the intrinsic value may be enough to keep your passion alive while earning compensation for your talents.

Skill Development

One major misconception about art degrees is that all you learn is how to draw, paint or sculpt — in reality, comprehensive art programs equip you with skills such as critical thinking, communication and problem-solving. Many of these skills are transferable to various professional settings.

Job Market Realities

Before embarking on your art degree, research the common limitations and obstacles, and keep an eye on the job environment to see how to overcome them. Specific art careers are highly competitive, while others promise lower annual salaries than others. Thus, consider the transferability of the degree skills and determine whether you’re open to a related career in education, technology or marketing.

Portfolio, Networking and Trends

Regardless of how talented you are and how hard you work, you need good networking skills backed up by an impressive portfolio in art. Bolstering your portfolio of work, constantly staying abreast of trends and interacting with other arts professionals go a long way to enhancing career prospects.

Making the Choice

Artists and creatives are often dreamers, and this is essential to creating innovative works, remaining inspired and growing artistically. However, when enrolling for an art degree, you must determine whether you would thrive in a competitive, challenging and gratifying field of study.

Kickstart Your Art Career at Mount Wachusett Community College

The Mount is an accredited institution that cherishes the arts and believes creative expression and ingenuity are vital skills many industries require to grow and thrive. The MWCC Art Degree equips students with vital knowledge and allows them to earn credits to transfer later, should they wish to pursue a bachelor’s or master’s.

If you want to start your art journey, apply to MWCC online or download a PDF application. For any questions, request more information or call The Mount at 978-630-9447 — your future starts today!


Kickstart Your Art Career at Mount Wachusett Community College