Is an Art Degree a Waste of Time?
If there is a degree that is most likely to get called a “waste of time” by friends and family, it’s an art degree.
That’s unfortunate. Also, it’s not true.
Liberal arts graduates, such as those with an art degree, have picked a major they are actually interested in. They also are building skills and qualities that can lead to success in many different careers.
Considering the following the next time someone tries to tell you that pursuing an art degree is not worth the time. These are some of the advantages a degree in art offers.
A Variety of Art Degree Career Paths
Once you graduate with an art degree, you don’t immediately move into a hovel and starve for the rest of your life while painting every night until 3 a.m. You can do that, if you want, but you can also consider careers such as:
Art therapy. Researchers continue to see the connection between creativity and well-being. Art therapy uses creativity to help patients – often children – to deal with behavioral or mental health issues. Many artists earn the credentials to work in this area.
Teacher. Teaching art is another way to earn a living while working on your own art.
Creative services. Many consulting agencies provide creative services, including graphic design, to organizations. Some larger companies have large creative services departments in-house.
Art major graduates also work in museums, as directors of art galleries, and in video game design. There’s a wealth of opportunities out there.
A well-rounded liberal arts education teaches exactly the kind of skills sought after by employers. They also can help graduates become leaders. There are many success stories about those who went into leadership positions after getting a liberal arts degree. Past and current CEOs with a liberal arts background include Howard Schultz at Starbucks, Andrea Jung at Avon, Michael Eisner at Disney, and Steve Ells at Chipotle.
You’re Doing What You Want
Chances are that just among your own friends and family you know people that everyone considers the “frustrated artist.” That’s because rather than pursuing a degree in art, they instead went into business, marketing or some other area that people advised them would lead to a better career.
It’s impossible to quantify the impact that following your own passions and interests will have on your career. It plays out differently for every art major. But what is certain is that few regret picking art as a major instead of something else that holds far less interest for them.
It’s also easier to move into another profession after earning a degree in art than it is to try to study art after starting another profession.
Keep these points in mind when considering a degree in art. If you have solid reasons for not earning an art degree, that’s one thing. But don’t let anyone tell you that you are wasting your time.