Ok so, I’m panicking about majors and I’m not sure what to do. I love writing and graphic design. I’ve got a talent for English and such. But I also wanted to pursue graphic design and other arts. I’ve heard about double majors and majoring and minoring. I have a bit of an understanding but all the examples I’ve heard didn’t really pertain to my struggles so I find it hard to understand. If I were to get a major in English and a minor in graphic design or another art. Could I pursue a career in art? If I were to find something there would someone even care about a minor in art?
Congratulations on being interested in finding the right career to follow.. It takes a special person to enter into a specific career field and meet the demands which that career area presents. The first step is to get to know yourself to see if you share the personality traits which make one successful in that area. The next step is doing networking to meet and talk to and possibly shadow people doing what you might think that you want to do to see if this is something that you really want to do, as a career area could look much different on the inside than it looks from the outside. When I was doing college recruiting, I encountered too many students, who skipped these important steps, and ended up in a career/job for which they were ill suited.
Ken recommends the following next steps:
I'm a huge fan of double majoring. I double majored in English and a second major I created (mix of Philosophy, Political Science, and Economics). It was a great experience and I felt like I was able really dive deep into both fields. The plus side is you get to study all the things you are passionate about. The down side is that by double majoring, you'll have less electives available to you to explore classes outside of your two majors. Minoring is a great way to get more flexibility.
At the end of the day, when it comes to humanities, what your major in doesn't really affect you job prospects. If you are interested in pursuing a career in art, you should make lots of art. It's all about practice and getting your work out there. Same goes with graphic design. Having a degree in art is helpful but at the end of the day, potential employers and clients will be interested in your skill and portfolio. I'd recommend looking for internship opportunities and building out a portfolio as both will be really valuable when you hit the job market.
I felt very much the same when I was in college; I loved writing and English, but nearly equally, if not as much, I loved art. I went for a single major in English-Creative Writing, but ended up as a graphic designer, which was a mid-career switch -- I was in my late 30s at the time. It was a long, hard road to end up as a designer - I don't have a graphic design degree. And while I am working as a designer, not for one instance do I regret my choice of an English degree. I'm still very passionate about books and good writing, even though I may not practice it quite enough. While you come across as passionate about both English and art, the wording of your question makes it sound like you really want a career in art/design. As such, I would do some serious soul-searching about what you really want to pursue as a career. If you're leaning towards art, go for that as your major -- it will make things easier on you. A good portfolio and some experience can still open plenty of doors, but I find more and more employers looking for a design degree. You can always minor in English and still make time to read and practice writing on your own if you find yourself pulled in that direction. Whatever you choose, I wish you good luck.
If you were to major in English and minor in graphic design, you could theoretically pursue a career in art. Many employers hire their designers based on the strength of their portfolio rather than the specific degree type. However, if you know you want a career in art/design I would suggest the opposite — majoring in art/design and minoring in English, which will allow you to take more artistically-focused classes that will help you build a stronger portfolio.
Double-majoring is a fantastic solution if you aren't sure where you want to end up. An ability to write is a huge plus in hiring designers, and having the overlapping experience can open even more doors and allow you to cross-feed your ideas between mediums. But as others have mentioned it can be draining, especially considering the creative effort that goes into each discipline separately.
Lastly, it's okay to change your mind or be unsure. Part of college is figuring out what you do and don't like so that you don't get trapped in a career path you hate. If at any point you decide you don't like or want to do art/design, English, a double major, etc. you can change your major/minor easily.
Maria recommends the following next steps:
First up I would say that I can very much relate to your situation, it can feel hard at that early stage not knowing exactly what you want to do but I would encourage you to embrace talents in all areas. We are so often encouraged to focus and specialize in life but I have found in my career that being more of a generalist is actually more beneficial in the long term. I studied industrial design but now work as a Creative Director so my journey has been very meandering and very rewarding.
To reiterate what Rachel said above, the combination of language with the arts is a very fruitful combination that can create so many opportunities. It will set you apart from the field as a designer/art director as it will make your communication stronger, and at the same time if you choose to be a writer then your visual/art interests will also set you apart in the field.
The other thing that I would actively encourage is for you to always be making your own work. In the early days of building a portfolio you don't always have commercial work to show your viability as a professional but you can always have personal work which in my experience is what built my career and created conversations with people I wanted to work with. As someone who hires people, to see the things that inspire an individual beyond their day job is hugely valuable and will always set you apart.
Edward recommends the following next steps:
I went to college for English / Creative writing and then went to a secondary school for Advertising Art Direction. There are tons of careers in this field. You could be an Art Director for film or a production artist for sets. You could be a graphic designer. You could be an Art Director for Advertising or if you want to, you could be a copywriter for Advertising. You could be an experience designer for products (websites) like Airbnb or Google. You could go more technical and be a product designer. In that case, you'd want to go to school for industrial design. In the creative field, your major is less important than your portfolio, so in my opinion, if you want to pursue a career in art, you could bypass college altogether and go to a 2 year portfolio school. If you want to major in writing, do it! If I had it to do over again, I would double major in Graphic Design and Creative writing. I've found in my career that even though I am not a professional writer, having a degree in writing has helped me tell stories and communicate really well.
Rachel recommends the following next steps: