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What Job(s) Can I Get with a Studio Art Degree?

I'm a senior in high school so I haven't exactly figured out my life yet but I know I'm going to get at least a bachelor's degree with a major in studio art. I didn't really look into what kind of jobs that i can get with this degree because I decided that i wanted to go to college at the last minute but now that I'm going to school (and trying to pay for it) I want to know what my options are for a career. #career-choice #experience #artist

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Ellen’s Answer

HI Emma

Good question, there are lots of careers in the art world. I can't address all of them, but here are a few you might thing about.

A degree in studio art is a great beginning for careers in many areas of the art world. The biggest area and the most reliable for steady income is some sort of graphic design. Graphic designers work in many areas; advertising, website and app design, product design, book design, general design for companies and so on. All those catalogs (and junk mail) you get in your mail, and all those annoying pop-ups on your computer were created by graphic designers. My sister in law is a graphic designer for a large utilities company, and she loves her job designer company documents and flyers and makes good money. You'll need to take some graphic design classes and have an understanding of computer graphics, and some sort of summer or postgraduate internships to land an entry level position.

There are also designers who work with architects or on their own as interior designers, there are industrial designers, who design things like furniture, cars, and so on. There are also fashion designers, set designers, textile designers and so on. I have a cousin who majored in textile design in art school and who worked as a designer for labels in ladies clothing (yes, someone has to design them).

Some of the above "design" careers require a postgraduate degree, but not all. Many of the jobs are competitive, so work hard in your classes and work hard on your art portfolio. Talk to your professors about possible jobs or internship possibilities, and check out the career counseling center at your school or local library.

Then there is the career I ultimately landed in, and that was teaching art in a public school. I loved my job, as it allowed me to share my enthusiasm and knowledge about art with middle school students. For a career teaching art you'll need an education degree in art education--either a bachelors or a masters degree. Each state has different requirements for getting a teaching license in art education, so check your state's education section on their website. If your school has an education/teaching department, talk to them about their programs. I had an undergraduate degree in art history (with studio art classes), and I got a masters in art education. You can find more about art education through the National Art Education Association (NAEA) website www.naea.org

So best wishes. It is a big Art World out there, and kudos to you for wanting to research your niche early on. Remember, it is a long 4 years in college, and your interests in art may change as you go along, so keep an open mind, work hard, and enjoy the experience.