Do companies truly focus on your college major when applying for jobs?
My major might be something broad like English, but I want to work in the creative arts. I want to know if employers truly care about your major even if it might not match exactly to what they want. #major
I've been working as a professional artist for almost a decade now. It's been my experience that when you are applying for jobs in the creative field, companies don't really care about your college major. They are looking for these 3 things:
- The quality of your artwork (so focus on assembling a great portfolio!)
- Whether or not the work in your portfolio looks like the work they'd hiring you to do (For example: If you're applying for a magazine design job, you need to show them examples of magazine page layouts before they'd consider hiring you)
- Whether or not you know how to use the right computer programs (it's almost always something in the Adobe Creative Suite line of products, but the software depends on the job)
Hope that helps!
Laura recommends the following next steps:
It largely depends on what industry you want to work in. Since you want to work in the creative arts, a strong portfolio that demonstrates your skillset can speak to your creative talents much more than a degree in a specific field can. Additionally, some employers will explicitly state what kind of degree they want a candidate to have, so you can always weed those out when job hunting. As a hiring manager I interview and screen many candidates for creative roles in filmmaking, photography, graphic design, etc who majored in something completely unrelated such as engineering or biology. The individuals who were hired even though they didn't have a degree in the arts still maintained an impressive portfolio of creative projects which they did on the side. When applying for jobs, they made sure to link to their portfolio or provide files for me to view. Even candidates who DO have a degree in the arts are often still evaluated for a role on the strength of their portfolio or CV. No matter what major is listed on someone's resume, when it comes to the arts a solid portfolio and/or CV listing your experience in the industry can often get your foot in the door during a job hunt. A good portfolio/CV shows employers that you can implement creative techniques or use specific media and software relevant to the type of art you are making. People are multifaceted and it is common for individuals to have skillsets that span a multitude of fields regardless of their major in college.
Networking is important in any field but especially for the arts, sometimes moreso than talent. It's often about who you know and what connections you have to colleagues in your preferred industry. Honestly, this can be a downer if you're not the networking type or it can work very much in your favor! Attend events geared towards your industry and make yourself known. Connecting with others via collaboration can provide access to resources you need to further bulk up your portfolio and get creative with you projects.
I recommend that you look through job openings that match the field you want to work in. You can also browse LinkedIn profiles to see what qualifications other successful people in the industry have. You will find some commonalities to focus on. You can then see what employers are asking for from candidates and determine 1) what creative field will be the best match for you and 2) what you may - keyword being MAY - need to do to be successful.
Lastly, not everyone's journey is the same, so don't get discouraged if what you're doing doesn't match up to what everyone else is doing. If you're wondering what my relevant experience is, I have a degree in art, went to a graduate program for art, worked in the art industry for a while (internships, galleries, exhibitions, freelance) and now am a Hiring Manager for a digital media company. I am also a professional artist. There are multiple ways to succeed in the arts and as you get to know yourself you'll figure out what works best for you.
From what I can observe, this seems to be a major concern for you, and you may have hit a few road bumps along the way. As an Artist myself, with a very broad range of skills that do not fit neatly into any pre-packaged job, I know what you are feeling.
Now, to get straight to the point- the answer is Yes, your employer will absolutely look at your major, and it will score points. However beyond that, the employer is even more interested that you WENT to College. Why? Because all colleges have something called a "Core Curriculum" which cover ALL major aspects of education ranging from Science and Mathematics to the Arts. Educated employers know this. That means that you yourself as an English major probably completed an Art course or two in college. Use this as a spring point for when you apply for jobs.
First thing is first, if you are interested in a field, then that means you have enough experience in that field. So if you are interested in the art field, you have some sort of experience in your favor, whether you are aware of it or not. Gather 2- 3 relevant experiences and note them down. These experiences will highlight why you love the art field, what knowledge you have gained or problems you have solved. Use these experiences to formulate your cover letter.
In addition build a portfolio. More then anything in the Art world, a portfolio is everything. Yes resumes are great, but if you are applying for a visual field I need to see your visual work. Gather 5-10 good pieces or photos of your work. Make sure they have good resolution and accurately reflect the color intensity and saturation.
Good Luck moving forward!
Natalie recommends the following next steps:
As a freelance artist and writer, I'm going to echo Fatima's advice.
In my career thus far I have had a novel and several short stories published. I've worked as an illustrator and fine artist (in galleries), and also as a newspaper reporter.
All of these jobs involved a demonstration of skills. I got into book publishing via entering and advancing in contests. From there I made contacts to get my short stories published. The illustration work I got through an online portfolio hosted by a writing and publishing organization, and the gallery work from getting a portfolio together and hustling from gallery to gallery. (My gallery days were a while ago. There are probably online options now.) The reporter job was aided by my previous (creative) writing experience.
My best advice is to hone your skills, pinpoint some areas you want to work in, see who's hiring, and who they're hiring: what kind of work they are after. It never hurts to contact a potential employer and ask them what they are looking for. This makes you look serious, and helps you focus your efforts. You may have to undertake some self study, and/or apply for an internship or targeted training course to help get you there.
Hello, my name is Malcolm and I am a 5th-year student at Clarion University studying the Bachelor of Fine Arts with a minor in Entrepreneurship Marketing Leadership. To answer your question it truly depends on the company that you are looking at!! I am currently applying for jobs in my field of study and outside my field. In my marketing courses and my professors at school are hiring people outside the business field to get a new diverse/creativities team to work for their companies/business.
When applying for jobs you want to look over your resume and take out anything you feel that is not related to the job. Your resume can really help you when you are applying outside your field! If you have other work experience(s), organizations/activities, or volunteering work that you have done, and put that in your resume. I wanted to mention this because having information like can show a future employer that you may qualify for the job. Also when looking at job sites for opening positions it will look through their site for "keywords". Example if I go to Indeed.com and put in the search bar "English" it will show me opening positions for a whole list of openings and some jobs that seems not to be related to what I am looking for. They are showing me these jobs because in the job description or requirements it may have that word or words that are associated with it. If you find a job that you are interested in I highly recommend you applying for it. The best advice I got about applying for jobs outside my field is from my marketing advisor. He said "if you speak to their human resources department, representative, boss/manager, or whoever about the job and they question you about applying because its not your field. Tell them why you are applying for this position/company, what you can bring to the table, and make you different from the other candidates".
Malcolm recommends the following next steps:
If you're applying for jobs in creative arts with your BA in English, they will most likely just appreciate the fact that you went to college. Your resume would stick out more if you had a degree in something fine art related. Your relative experience and work history will be what they care about most in this situation.
I have my BA in Studio Art. I have found that, depending on the job you're applying for, certain companies WILL care about your major. STEM fields in particular usually require you to have a specific major. I know I have a good shot at any art related job because of my major. Often times, the manager will tell me they are interested in speaking with me because my art background makes me a unique candidate who perhaps holds a different perspective than all the business majors they see.
When applying for jobs outside the realm of your major, cover letters are your best friend. Explain how the major you chose helps you be the best candidate for the job. Never ever say something like "I know I'm not qualified" or "I lack the skills required", say something like "my experience doing ____ and _____ makes me a unique candidate as I hold a unique perspective" or something like that. Also take what you learned as an English major and find a way to make it applicable to the job you're applying for. "As an English major, I was able to explore ________ through writing and hone my ________ skills. As (Position) at your company, I will be able to ______________......... " and so on.
In the arts, a fine art degree is not necessary, depending on what you are seeking, as several respondents have already noted. Most employers will be looking for something in the Liberal Arts, to show you have some arts background. English could work well, however you will want to focus on your art background in your resume, stress any art history, studio classes or projects in your education or skills section. If you are looking to be a free lance independent artist it will be the strength of your portfolio. Many jobs in the art industry will be looking for tech experience, photoshop and such editing programs. They may also be looking specifically at experience with sculpting and/or knowledge of how to use a wide range of materials. These would be areas where stressing hands on experience and any classes taken would be of great benefit. So in short, a degree is not necessary, but one helps. As an independent fine artist with a background in art history and teaching, I do not have a degree, so I have focused on my experience, classes I have taken or taught and how I have helped others achieve their goals. This helped me in landing a job as a consultant in education for the museum of fine arts Boston, where I taught studio classes, Egyptian art history and conducted workshops and summer intern programs for many years. Persevere, the Arts take commitment and passion, if you want it, you can make it happen, with or without a degree.
Nathan recommends the following next steps:
The short answer is "No". The long answer is a little more complicated. The creative arts and job opportunities are dependent on two factors.
1. Your Portfolio:
This is going to be the body of work and the number of samples you have to display what you can produce. You want the highest quality you can produce. It makes more sense to be more specific in most situations for your samples as long as the quality is very high.
2. Your Previous Jobs:
This isn't going to be a factor at first when you first start looking for assignments. Eventually, business will pick up if your previous jobs have been done successfully. If you have previous experience working on other projects, it makes future clients feel more at ease about hiring you. At this point, your a proven asset. In other words, they're not the first client that your "cutting your teeth on".
Special Note: There are situations where a degree can "help" for assignments or even full time work. For instance, working for a client as a graphic designer when you have a degree in "education" looks really good if the client works in the "education industry". The point is, degrees broadly don't matter, what matters is the work. To the extent that a degree has an effect, in almost all cases it's a benefit never a negative.
But if the reverse were true... you had a bad reel/portfolio and went to a prestigious school no one would really care.
I have a journalism degree. And aside from my first couple jobs out of college, I haven't been in that field. I've worked in film/television, worked for NASA (animation... same skills as film /television) and now video games.
What area in the creative arts are you hoping to work in? I can speak from the visual arts side of this only. Hopefully there will be some useful information here though.
Usually, the specific degree one has is not completely important, though usually one within a range of related degrees is expected or previous professional experience to show that one understands the type of work. What they care most about in visual arts is what is shown as in one's portfolio and website.
That said, even if the specific degree is not completely important, there can be the problem of splitting one's focus. If one wants to do visual work, they get good by doing it. You would be competing for jobs with people who spend all their time getting good at whatever the specifc discipline is, and not focusing on that puts one at a disadvantage.
Being that you may get an English degree, would you be considering creative writing? In children's books, there are writer/illustrators who do both. That's an example of a very competitive field to break into.
That said, it is one way to cross disciplines that comes to mind, and those that can get the book deals do well. So that may be an area to look into. I could maybe point you directly to resources and people who mostly do the visual side but know the industry.
That's just a quick answer for now. I may later to add more. Good luck!
Alan recommends the following next steps:
In my experience, your major only matters if you're going into certain professional environments. for example, if you're going into life insurance or anything financial, generally employers look at if you're majoring in economics, finance, entrepreneurship, communications, or anything similar. From what I've seen, what really matters is your transferable skills from other jobs, experiences, or school. Written communication is a big skill that employers look for, while technology literacy is one our generation (and younger) often forgets can be super essential to building yourself up. As an artist, I find that attention to detail, creativity, and emotional intelligence are transferable skills that prove to be quite useful when applying for jobs. For example, when you think about yourself in a group project, are you a person who goes with the flow and interjects when you feel needed? Or are you a person who takes the reins and steers the project in a way you think would be successful? After about 1 year out of college, people stop really caring what you studied, unless it's essential to that career.
If you have a hard time giving yourself credit for anything, like me, asking friends or family what you're good at can give you a direction. When you ask enough people, patterns start to emerge.
Caitlin recommends the following next steps:
I am a college graduate with a major in philosophy and mathematics! The first job I applied for and accepted was a Data Entry Clerk. I believe the bachelors degree helped differentiate me from other candidates with similar skills. The job I received at the time was not specialized. Specialized positions such as a Lawyer and doctor often require college degrees.
As I moved up in the company I work for; I had the privilege of hiring and or promoting people into management positions. Many of the job advertisements include a college degree requirement; but in my hiring experience I considered the college degree as one of many other individual qualities and strengths and weighed them all together in deciding on the best job candidate. Earning a college degree requires self discipline and persistence which are qualities of a good employee. Other qualities I looked for that are important are integrity, leadership, positive attitude, great verbal and written communication, and creativity.
Mark recommends the following next steps:
Here's what you can do:
Nubia recommends the following next steps:
Your question is a very insightful one and something I would expect an honest person looking to become a professional artist to ask. To answer, no, people looking to hire artists are not looking at college majors; rather, employers will be paying attention BIG TIME to your portfolio! It doesn’t matter what you’ve studied or even if you have studied any form of collegiate diploma program- what matters above and beyond all else is what you can SHOW employers, your skills.
It is never to early to begin collectively applying diligent sound mind, including the ever-so painful criticism, known as “critiquing” in the Art World, to your portfolio. Take on a variety of disciplines to have a decent selection installed into your portfolio- it will basically be your calling card, which reminds me, as the front protective sheet inside your portfolio book, ALSAYS remember to have your name and contact information displayed well so that employers know to whom they return the portfolio to, if they happen to ask to borrow it for a few days.
You can also create your portfolio online. Seeing as you’re an artist, it is also never too early to buy your own name online, this way your name is secure for you to apply your artwork to once you design or have designed your online portfolio; check out a few from searching Google to get an idea of how other artists have chosen to design their own.
I hope my help serves you well and I am so excited to learn of young people still choosing to exert themselves artistically during a time when The Arts have been stripped from public education funding. I am really proud of you and for you!
take care and good luck!
In general educate yourself as thoroughly as possible in all areas of history-art, social, political, and religious. Know the context of your own life and education by understanding what came before.
There is nothing wrong with being broad, call it versatility, but your going to have to package yourself differently for each employer. It really comes down to what you emphasis to an employer in attendance with their preference. If you have work experience in A and B, but want to do C, you are going to have to harness that during your free time. It has to be able to compete with someone who has professionally done C.
I am learning this as we speak because I just graduated and I’m summarising all the feedback from my interviews.
Still, tough egg to crack, I’ll tell you.
Blossom recommends the following next steps:
It depends on the company you are applying to. However, often times companies ask that, one, you have a degree and two, they will specify what type of degree is ideal. However, companies will often state "other relevant degree's or experience" that shows they are flexible on the degree requirement. I have my degree in Child Development with a minor in Psychology. I have several years of professional and volunteer experience working with children, youth and families. I have applied to jobs that have asked for someone to have a BSW, but then they will state "other relevant degree's or experience" and then list everything they are wanting the ideal candidate to possess, if I match half or over half of those requirements I will apply to that job. If you match all or most of the requirements for a job, apply! The worse than can happen is you do not get selected, what I have done in the past is even asked why I was not selected... doing this has helped me gain a better understanding of what areas I need to improve on or gain better/more experience in.
Therefore, ask yourself...
"What draws me to this role?"
"Does this role tie into my major/passion?"
"Would this role help me down the road?"
Along with other similar q's that could help uncloud your judgement.
In the example you use, English vs the creative arts, it all goes back to what you exclusively seek within the English fields . Even with a broad outline, there are so many niches to take. from freelancing to being a teacher/professor. Employers can only recommend and be a mentor. At the end of the day, it is you who will always care about your major/passion.
Hope this helps, good luck out there! You got this!
Hi Rokaria. I was a full time kitchen designer for seven years. In that industry employers want specific job skills, such as certain software programs.
Katie recommends the following next steps:
Companies will generally look at your major to determine what your area of specialization is for the position they are looking to fill. What is important if your interested in Creative Arts is getting mentored or an internship within this field to experience so it can be put on your resume. Not only will this help you obtain experience, but connect you with networking agents that are professionals in the field. Make sure when networking with people that you ask "Do you have any other referrals?". The more work you do to occupy your time in your field the better off you will be in the long run. Just speaking to professionals in field can help. Faculty from your university or college can help also. Instructors who teach classes are in the field. Sometimes students forget about this key networking agent.
Don recommends the following next steps:
It honestly depends on the job and the company. I want to say no. I majored in media arts and animation but worked as a photo retoucher for over 8 years. The most important part is your portfolio and who you know.
The answer is: it depends. If you're looking to do fine art (i.e. painter, sculptor, photographer) and your goal is to sell art and get exhibitions, then your degree really doesn't matter. I'm an artist myself and have had several exhibitions, sell my art and no one has once cared about my degree. Furthermore, I have artist friends who are very successful (exhibitions at the White House etc.) and they are the ones who gave me this very advice years ago.
However, if you're looking to get into something such as graphic design/illustration or become an art director for a company, then degree is very important. Most of these jobs require a bachelors in a related arts field. A simple search on Indeed for jobs will show you postings to give you an idea of what is needed to book a position. Hopefully this helps! :)
I would say Nope
As an artist i didnt got a job inside the industry via my diplomas but with my portfolio and my work produced
The school system though will help you build and (maybe ) having a strong network of friends who might help you make your dreams come true
But at the end of the day, your personnal work is the important one
Now, for technological design, I know that is really based on what you know not so much schooling, but I feel like courses are necessary for that, just to know what you are doing.
I studied art history - worst decision ever, had to go back and get and MFA because I couldn't get any creative jobs. I'm an illustrator/textile designer/ branding consultant and all of those positions were given to me because of my MFA status. It's a much harder slope if you are trying without the education, but if you're going into digital, that's your best bet.
It depends on the philosophy of the employer. I learned from my scientist uncle who hired people with a degree in any subject because it represented the ability to make the effort to complete something difficult. In the creative world, people have skills in creative problem solving which is an asset in all areas. Showcase your creative problem solving skills with examples and also highlight the skills learned while completing your college degree, such as following instructions and meeting deadlines.
Jeannie recommends the following next steps:
As a college graduate with a BFA in illustration I can tell you that employers care about your portfolio in the creative arts far more than the degree itself. Receiving art degrees can help students network in their community and find their creative voice/hone their skills, but its not a requirement to most employers. I can understand if an employer is looking for specific technical abilities in some cases but for creative areas like illustration and design, they really just care about the quality of your portfolio and what you can offer!
Whatever markets you are looking to work for whether it be for publishing, licensing, or entertainment, there are a lot of online classes and resources that can help! Gearing your portfolio to a certain market is the biggest advice I've heard. Theres a lot of art podcasts for different areas in the arts, and a lot of freelancing youtubers as well that give great advice.
I hope this helps! Good luck~ :-)
For as long as I have been working as a UX Designer and applying to UX Design positions, I have received feedback where the hiring team wants a link to my digital portfolio. It has been very rare that they ask me about my BS. So, to answer your question, your college education doesn't matter in the creative field. Must of the time they care about the quality of your design and the process. Meaning, they want to know can you create the design on your own without much guidance.
Fatima recommends the following next steps:
Jeff recommends the following next steps:
This is definitely a good question, and although I agree with aspects of the other professionals that have answered, I'm going to take a bit of a different approach because I think it's important to see all sides. I also think there is a bit of a catch 22, when you're first starting out in your career, and I'd like to address that here.
I've been working as an Illustrator, Designer, Graphic Artist, and Art Director - for about ten years, combined - and I've found that because I had a breadth of interest (as it seems you do, as well), it was a bit harder for me to narrow down WHAT I wanted to study and major in, because I was interested in many things. However, I took some time to think about what it was I wanted to do in life, and I knew it surrounded the Design field, so MY focus was on a major called Illustration Design. The reason I chose this program, was because it allowed me to focus on a broader spectrum of artist focuses; I took color theory, illustration, figure drawing, graphic design, perspective, english, AND cross disciplinary classes like advertising, etc., that allowed me to stay in my element, but get some experience in other areas of art too!
Now, the reason I'm explaining all of this (let's make this long story, longer :p), is that it was important WHEN I graduated, that I had school experience that fit what I wanted to do. I totally agree that you need a strong portfolio, in fact the portfolio is the key, but when you're first starting out, you don't usually have very much work experience to show prospective jobs. Here's where the catch 22 comes in… sometimes it feels like you need to have the work in order to get the work! (which can feel frustrating - but, fear not), you need to have a portfolio that supports what your style and quality of work IS, BUT, the education really does help inform whomever is hiring you, that you have learned the skills that are required to execute the job well. It may not be a deal breaker, but coming from my industry, you may get asked why, and you may need to work a little harder at the beginning to show that you have those developed skills. I might see a beautiful portfolio, but ask myself, "Can this candidate manage her time? Can I toss her into a working art department and be fairly certain she can execute her work because she was taught the basics of development, and not just how to make the final product look good?" Having the education to back up your portfolio helps align YOUR image, and it presents a clear view to whomever sees your work.
With that said, I think it's important to explore and experiment while in school. If you love English, maybe find a way to do a double major or take a work load that really allows you to learn both; you may find that you'll grow to like one more than the other! If you do that, I'd suggest taking classes in design that allow you a bit of breadth. As an example: Graphic Design requires a huge understanding for space, balance, color, type, layout, etc. Nail the basics in the classes you take. Try experimenting with other areas like UX/UI - this would give you an advantage in the job market.
If you're just starting out in school, experiment! If you're nearing the end, try committing to something you're excited about and really learn it from the inside out. There WILL be time to learn more in your career, but it is a bit more difficult to make a 360 turn from say, nursing to graphic design. But hey! I've seen it happen. We will always keep learning in life, no matter what!
Hope that helps :)
Creds: 10 years of experience in apparel/design
School: Art Center College of Design
As a former hiring manager for an operational unit of J.P.Morgan Chase, I would have to say that work experience and the right attitude out-weight the degree or major that the potential employee holds. During the interview process, I usually ask questions that will provoke answers to how one will employ their skills and knowledge from previous work experiences to a new job. I want to know what can we benefit from hiring someone like you. What are you bringing to the company? How do you get along with co-workers especially when there are differing opinions in completing a task or project?
No, The first thing a company looks for will be the link to your online portfolio, which must be clearly legible from the top of your resume as an embedded link. Then the first 3 images seen on your portfolio must be your strongest and enough to capture more attentions, clicks and a full read of your resume there after. With the amount of applicants per jobs, most hiring managers have between 10 to 20 seconds to understand your capacities and review someone . As Visual artist the art presented must be strong to expend that time and give you a short at the next step.
Lyndsey J recommends the following next steps:
most of the time yet i'm my purpose to be fullfilled because was born an artist
A potential employer certainly looks at your major and how it relates to the position in question, because the manager needs to fit your knowledge with the company's requirements. However and as it relates to an entry-level position, I believe the manager is more interested in the kind of individual you are, your aptitude and adaptability. A new hire with the right "dynamics" can fit in and do well as he/she progresses through the training phase.
Sohail recommends the following next steps:
Companies normally do not focus on your major, it’s more about your experience.
Having had the opportunity to hire people myself I would say education does help but it is not a focus when hiring. I consider what you bring to the position and how that aligns with what is needed to be successful in the position. Your experience goes so much further when applying in my opinion.
Hi, Rokaria. I broke down artistic and creative employment into two categories, non-technical and technical. Artistic and creative employment encompasses a large variety of employment that is too diverse to give a single answer that fits every possibility, but generalizing and simplifying the problem can be helpful, especially when we're getting started. The main thing is just to recognize that there are different expectations depending on what you want to do, but there's also different ways to meet those expectations.
First, non-technical art/design. This typically excludes a necessity for STEM related advanced education. Some of the best examples would be illustrator, concept artist, sculptor, and creative writer. Typically, your college major is considered very little and the portfolio is king. However, the line between non-technical and technical can get blurry, even in these employments. For example, a concept artist designing on a particular line of products may need to know manufacturing and materials limitations.
Which brings me to the next category: technical art/design. Many of the common employment opportunities for technical art/design, like industrial designers, furniture design, and lighting/set design usually will weigh your college major heavily to ensure that you have the technical foundations necessary to do the job. Even employment seemingly as fun as toy design will often require an applicant to be knowledgeable of material properties and manufacturing processes that are a part of a degree in industrial design (see Hasbro).
For employment in technical art/design, you can learn the necessary requirements on your own, but you need to demonstrate your knowledge by applying it to real-world projects. A hiring manager looking to add an industrial designer can look at the application of a graduate with high marks in the applicable major and be confident that they are competent with the technical requirements of the job; convincing that same hiring manager without the same degree by only using real-world projects to demonstrate competency can be more of a challenge, but still possible.
You can get a lot of really good advice from a lot of great and generous people, but it's up to you to filter through it and figure out how and what applies to your journey. For the sake of context, here's where I'm coming from: I have been hired in 2 art studios and a my undergraduate degree is in History. Demonstrating the strength of my relevant work was the most important (probably the only) factor for each. I've been designing and sculpting manufactured products for 12 years and I've learned enough of the manufacturing and production side that I can do a lot of engineering myself, but I'm not an engineer. I've reached a point where I can take a product about %80 of the way through production, but there is an amount of technical knowledge the engineers have that is simply hard to get without formal education on the subject. So, in my case, even though I've been able to accomplish a lot without a relevant degree, further education (i.e. industrial design or related degree) would bridge that extra %20 that I'd like to have.
Michael recommends the following next steps:
I believe employers care more about whether you have the creative drive and work to show first and degree would be the last thing they look for, so mark sure you have a strong portfolio with great work as proof.
Depends on experience and what work you've done on the side to make a name for yourself as well.
Hala recommends the following next steps:
I do not think you will have too much of a problem getting a job in any field with an English degree. It is all in the way you sell it. Think outside the box when you interview and describe how and what you have learned. For example, with a degree in Theatre Performance, I could have leveraged my ability to do public speaking, even though that isn't something I wanted.
Tamara recommends the following next steps:
Short answer - NO.
If you want to be in the creative arts what matters is the quality of content in your portfolio, and who you network, and become allies with (you don't have to be sleepover friends that share deepest darkest secrets, but close enough to where you can feel comfortable asking each other for job leads and advice). Consider being an apprentice and interning if your starting out fresh. Don't ask someone to be your mentor. Mentorship begins on the friendship level, and is a two way street.
Employers like to know about your experience and how you went about creating your content. The subject will often come up of how you learned your skills, but they're mostly curious about knowing you as a person and why you got started. If you're self taught, it could be seen as a strength, given that you have the will, work ethic, and determination to learn on your own, by actively seeking out various sources of educational content (YouTube, other online sources, community library, etc).
That's not to say there's anything inherently wrong with going to University, but there is a financial relief and freedom of not having to pay for large loans, or hunting for grants and scholarships. It also depends on your learning patterns and pacing. You might find Universities are to rigid and hinder your personality; learning habits. The courses might be too fast or slow, depending on your learning curve. However this might not be the case, you may prefer the structure of a University outline, rather than fragmented learning sources on the internet.
Joseph recommends the following next steps:
When I started in the 90s it was less common to seek out a creative career and the competition wasn't as fierce as it is today. In the 90's you were primarily competing against applicants from the city you in which you lived. Now, you compete against talent from everywhere on the globe. And many of those people have extraordinary art skill or skills in both art and a complementing field (i.e. programming).
When I hired an artist, my primary concerns were technical skill and professionalism. The first was answered with a strong sketchbook and portfolio. The second was less clear, as many things can be used as evidence of professionalism. One of them is a college degree.
For me, degrees came into consideration only when, two or more candidates exhibited equal skill. If one had no degree against one who did, the latter would have the edge. And similarly, if they both had degrees, but one was an art degree while the other was a degree from another non-art field, then the person with the art degree would generally have the edge. So you can see that the degree was generally used as a tie-breaker in the case that both had strong talent but there was only one position to fill. Sometimes though a degree outside of art would benefit the project or the department.
When choosing a non-art major, research how that major can complement your creative skills to make you the stronger candidate. For example, in games, a game designer usually has to demonstrate strong knowledge of gameplay, and it is a bonus if they are strong in art OR programming OR writing. But, a candidate that can show strength in two or more of these categories gains the edge. So an English degree would make them a stronger candidate.
In the end if you are hungry and committed to working in a creative field you can make it happen. Many have done so without any formal education. But they have done plenty of studying their craft.