5 answers

Is college worth the investiment if I am interested in pursuing a creative field?

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Hello, currently I am an art student attending community college for an associate's degree in fine art and for a while now I have been contemplating if I am really suited to be in a college environment? Because after reflecting upon my own skills and interests I have recognized that I do not have many useful skills outside of art and I do not feel that college is a necessity if your an artist. I can understand the need for college for people who want to pursue more technical careers such as medical or law but when it concerns more creative fields that relate to art the work that you have produced holds more value to employers than a college degree. While I do believe that college art classes would help improve my skills, at the same time, I also think there are cheaper and more convenient alternatives for improving my craft on account of all the information that is available to artists online and that includes all of the countless internet videos that teach art lessons. So my question is would a degree in art actually help me land a job in the future? Or am I wasting time and money trying to get a useless degree when I would be better off spending my time promoting my own art work and creating content that will increase my value as an artist?

I would like to hear your opinions on this subject and thank you in advance for any advice you can give me. #career #artist #fine-art #future-careers #community-college #associates-degree #creative-direction #personal-development #financial-planning #career-details

5 answers

Jennifer’s Answer


Much of what you learn about making art will come from doing it, but there is a great deal to be gained by having an audience (your classmates) and constructive feedback from your instructors. College is a special time to dedicate yourself to your pursuits and meet people that may become lifetime friends, and mentors. There are many art-related professions: graphic design, website design, illustration, art therapy, teaching, interior design, fabric design, museum work, etc that do require schooling and training.
It is wise to think about what you will do after you graduate. There is nothing to stop you from attempting to seek fine art venues for selling your work now, but you may still need another source of income until you are established. Perhaps you could consider a double major, in a field that would allow you to make good money part-time, while preserving dedicated time to pursue your passion and establish your art career. Art requires a steady and disciplined effort. Success doesn't typically happen overnight.
Think about a job that you could work at three days per week. Some medical professions schedule people in 12 hour shifts so that working three days per week is considered full time. There are many decisions for you to consider. As other people have mentioned, education is valuable and the opportunities it can offer cannot be underestimated. The job market is difficult and the reality is that higher education is also about networking, making connections, and being introduced to your future colleagues. Good luck!

Ron’s Answer


One important question is...what kind of art career are you hoping to get? If it is as a free lance visual artist, college may not be necessary and the road to making a living is long and may not work out, but is very rewarding and satisfying if that is your passion. If you are looking to work as an illustrator , graphic designer, in marketing, design in movies, animation or other technical type venues, you should go to school to get the knowledge required to compete in today's fields and learn the latest programs and techniques to be able to meet the job expectations. Working for someone else will require you to have a knowledge base that is considered coming from a professional, competent source. Schools and degrees can give you that credibility. Ask yourself what you hope to receive from being employes...what are your priorities? Good luck.

Philip’s Answer


This a very difficult question to answer simply because of the present day economy and the time we live in. Careers in the creative arts should be perused if one feels this is your calling or soul urge. Having said this some creative people find it difficult making ends meet however not all do. Some creative artists do live comfortable lives, so you see it's a roll of the dice. Above all have a clear vision of what you want and a path on how to get there.

Keith’s Answer


Whenever someone asks if they should go to college, I always like to say that how you define success is personal, but if employment and wages are a part of that, not going to college makes the path narrower. While I can't comment on careers in the arts in particular, in general, not completing college makes finding employment significantly harder.

I'm always hesitant to discourage someone from making his or her own choices, but I think it's important that you consider your education carefully, and understand the risks of not going to college. Take a look at some of the statistics on college graduates here: http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/2014/02/11/the-rising-cost-of-not-going-to-college/

Kristina’s Answer

It depends honestly, for myself it did pay off. I used my time in college to build connections, establish work experience for my resume, and learn technical skills I didn't know would actually help a lot years later. College doesn't only help you build your art abilities but also your mind. I view things differently and that came out in my art. Challenging your mind actually causes it to see things in a way others wouldn't normally which is what every artist needs to push the envelope. If you are self driven and have your strong portfolio already getting recognition then no you might have no need for college. If you are still unsure where you plan to use your art degree then I say try a year of college and really hear and attempt everything your professors throw at you.