We are a reader-supported education publication. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission to help us keep providing content.
Whether you’re considering how to start your college experience or want to switch degrees, following your artistic spirit down the path to an art degree can feel scary. People like to joke about how artists will never find a job after graduation, but that’s not true. The world is changing in favor of those with an eye for beauty.
If you’re wondering whether you should get an art degree, check out these eight possible career paths. With a little thought and creativity, you can spin your education into any career you want.
1. Photography Entrepreneur
Calling yourself a photographer means you have an unlimited world of job opportunities. You could become an entrepreneur and open your own photography studio. Capture weddings, pet portraits or even landscapes for nature magazines. It all depends on what you love to see through the lens of your camera.
You can also land a spot with an agency that sells to major magazines and other publications. Businesses are always looking for someone who can find the next heart-stopping photo for their full-page spread, cover, or ad campaign.
2. Digital Designer
You’ve likely heard someone joke that if you get an art degree, you’ll end up in a graphic design role. Many artists find it fulfilling to work in those positions because you can find employment anywhere and climb a well-paid career ladder. If that’s not your thing, tailor a digital designer future to your interests.
Learn how to build websites and use your artist’s eye to create gorgeous sites while working from your home in pajamas and cozy slippers. Join up with a grassroots foundation you support and design layouts for their emails or merchandise. Your art could help change the world, even if you never leave home to do it.
3. Video Game Architect
If you’re one of the many people who love a good video game, an art degree could build on that passion. Channel the hours you’ve spent playing on your console into becoming a video game designer for the next major release. Your skills could put your name on the next iconic character that launches a brand with multiple spinoffs. You could also partner with an innovative app company and carve your spot into the future of mobile gaming.
4. Fashion Illustrator
Companies that make everything from footwear to accessories need fashion illustrators during the design process. Artists who can sketch ideas and love the fashion world can get started on this career if you get an art degree.
Research the major brands you love to find places with internships and jobs. Consider studios and publications along with clothing manufacturers. You could also think about studying abroad to learn from the greatest minds in fashion who live around the world. Build your portfolio with part-time jobs and internships to become more competitive after graduation.
5. Interior Designer
You love maintaining an aesthetically pleasing Instagram and pulling together decor pieces for your home. Your true calling could be a career in interior design. An art degree will get you started in this fulfilling career. You could start your own business, style sets for magazines, or partner with renovation companies to meet new clients.
The most important way to make yourself stand out in any art-related career is to build a portfolio. You could manage this with part-time jobs, online opportunities or internships. If you can’t fit those into your class schedule, consider taking a gap year to gain the experience you need before finishing your degree.
6. Professional Musician
Many universities offer fine arts specialties under art degrees. Classes for these specialties will likely count towards your degree as well, so you can double up without adding extra classwork. When you take these electives, you can study music theory and learn how to compose music.
You’ll graduate with a portfolio that could get you an entry-level position as a musician, producer, or even a teacher. With time and hard work, you can build on your experience and devote your life to music in several different roles.
You should get an art degree if you love filming things and playing around with editing software. Videographers get their start with an art education that teaches them about production and filming techniques. Take your experience into careers focused on commercials, freelancing or even working for famous YouTubers.
The best thing you can do if this career interests you is start promoting your portfolio outside of your resume or personal website. Upload your videos to a public platform like YouTube so employers can easily check out your work. Some of your content could also go viral, which will open doors that would otherwise stay closed without the name recognition and views of widespread content.
8. Visual Effects Animator
While you study for your art degree, sign up for classes regarding animation and modeling. You could use that degree to become a visual effects animator. Companies that make TV shows, movies, and video games all need animators to translate their plans onto the screen. People in this career make a yearly average of $72,520, so you won’t need to hear any jokes about how your education didn’t result in a liveable wage.
Reflect on Your Passions
Anyone with a passion for creativity should get an art degree and pursue one of these possible career paths. You can make your education work for you if you reflect on your passions and decide to chase them. Plan how you can use your time and local resources to learn, get experience, and graduate ready for whatever career field you want.