2 answers

I dunno what to major in art history, graphic design or communication. I really wanna be an art director but I dont want to drop either of the 3 subjects. What's more worth? Which subjects should I major and which should I minor? And does minoring also worth as much as majoring when you apply for jobs? And how expensive is it to minor 2?

Asked Dehiwala-Mount Lavinia, Western Province, Sri Lanka

2 answers

Judy’s Answer

Updated Alpharetta, Georgia

HI Angel!

Wow ... you sound like where I was many decades ago. When I growing up and through high school, I was an artist and loved writing poetry. It was a natural talent for me and took it for granted. When I got into college, I majored in sociology and anthropology to start with but wasn't quite sure that was what I really wanted to do as a career for a number of reasons. By my junior year in college when I had to declare a major, I was forced into really thinking about my future. Through a lot of deep thinking and discussions with career counselors at my college and other places, I took another look at my strengths and ended up double-majoring in English and Fine Art. After graduating, I was hired in market research at a major pharmaceutical company to manage their global internal newsletter as a copywriter, graphic designer, and editor. Through the years, that led me to several jobs with media companies in various connected roles, and eventually I became Creative Director for a major insurance company doing direct mail marketing. That was a huge leap for me as it required a lot more business skill that I realized. So, I was able to get my company to pay for training in business management.

At one point, I won DMMA aware for two direct-mail marketing campaigns and an ADDY award for a print magazine advertisement and then became an ADDY judge which was a pinnacle for me in the industry.

Over the years, I ended up in the high tech industry (where I am now) and am a marketing manager. I direct graphic design, video production, writers, and editors in a project management role. The thing I miss sometimes is doing the actual creative work. But, I get paid more as a project manager than I would in those roles, but I still get to apply my creative juices. Art History can be limiting, but you may think about Fine Art or graphic design to steer yourself towards and consider double-majoring. Communications is a pretty broad field and without laser focus I think you'll have more trouble defining yourself on the one hand and more difficulty with those hiring to figure out what your strengths are and how to define you. You don't want to leave it up to their imagine. You want to bring it on with laser focus.

Judy recommends the following next steps:

  • Check out the American Advertising Federation https://www.aaf.org/AAFMemberR/Awards_and_Events/Awards/American_Advertising_Awards_Overview.aspx
  • Network with art directors on LinkedIn.
Updated
Thanks alot this gives me so much of encouragement. I'm glad I got to know some 1st hand experience@
Updated
You are very welcome!! I'm glad my story was inspirational. One more thought as you start defining yourself -- don't try to strengthen your weaknesses in any area. Instead, focus on your strengths and make them POWERFUL!

Kim’s Answer

Updated San Antonio, Texas

Angel,

An Art Director is a manager. They make business decisions, but must also be knowledgeable in their field! Please see this link to a wealth of information on the O'net website. https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/27-1011.00

My recommendation would be to drop "communication." It is often perceived as more of a "soft skill "field. Major in either art history or graphic design with a minor in Business Management. Try to find a way to squeeze in a few classes from whatever field you do not major in (9 hrs), and also Sales and Marketing.

Based on my experience in working with job seekers, I firmly believe that you will create your own career path, and your work history will become more important than what you majored in. So you could start as a tour guide/docent in a museum while in college, get a job in marketing, etc. Each job will lead to the next, and you will depend on "transferable skills" to move around within the field from one position to the next.

It will be important for you to be socially active - attend museum openings, artist showings, etc.

I hope this helps. Best of luck!

Kim