How an Arts Degree Can Boost Your Job Prospects
The concept of suffering for art is not a new one; we’re all familiar with “the poet who died in the gutter,” and so on. However, while the life of an artist may have previously suggested one of two paths — the destitute romantic committed to his craft or the ignoble sell-out — today’s arts degree grads are anything but cautionary tales. Choosing to pursue a degree in the arts is no longer akin to renouncing your worldly goods while in pursuit of your creative demons. Rather, an arts degree can be an effective — and advantageous — means to a fulfilling career. Read on to learn more about how today’s arts students are parlaying their degrees into personal and professional success. Read more about Arts programs here.
The benefits of taking an Art degree: a low unemployment rate, a good salary, and a high level of satifaction.
While many people assume that a degree in the arts is the gateway to a lifetime of struggle, research from the Wall Street Journal published late last year tells a different story. A study of fine arts degree grads revealed surprisingly low unemployment rates, incomes comparable to their non-arts degree peers, and extremely high levels of satisfaction. Many of these grads were working directly in the arts in careers ranging from academia to nonprofit arts administration.
Not only did arts degree recipients demonstrate more promising professional trajectories than anticipated, they also exhibited greater degrees of personal happiness, according to the findings of Bruno S. Frey, conductor of “happiness research” at the University of Zurich’s Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts. In other words: shocking little torture and suffering.
An Art degree is an open door to the expanding Creativity job market.
It’s true that a degree in the arts does not entitle its bearer to a single clear-cut job path as might a professional degree. Rather, an arts education curriculum teaches a breadth and depth of creative skills which are increasingly prized in today’s complex marketplace. While an arts degree is not — in most cases — a means to a predetermined end, it can be a means to a multitude of open doors and endless possibilities.
The bulk of today’s employers aren’t just looking for candidates with finite, narrow skill sets. Rather, they seek workers with creative skills which allow them to be both resourceful and resilient — extremely sought after attributes in the always-evolving contemporary workplace. More and more companies prioritize the ability to communicate and creatively problem solve when making hiring decisions, according to a 2013 study published by the Association of American Colleges and University entitled, ”It Takes More than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success.” In fact, a whopping 95 percent of employers indicated that they valued candidates with the proven skills to innovate and create — the very same skills as those instilled in arts programs — over candidates with degrees in related fields.
You will become a Contemporary Artist, mastering skills grandly appreciated by recruiters.
Life has also changed significantly for arts degree grads who go on to careers as working artists thanks to revolutionary changes in the ways work is presented and promoted. Contrary to popular misconception, the ability to make a living as an artist rarely occurs through an act of serendipity or the fabled “big break.” Rather, those who succeed at monetizing their art have strategically positioned themselves to do so through the rigorous creation and pursuit of opportunities. An arts degree — and the networking opportunities that go along with it — can be an integral part of a working artist’s future success.
In a global marketplace which increasingly trades on the ability to innovate, creative people — those who display a unique composite of attributes including but not limited to the abilities to observe, reflect, take risks, rebound, and ask big questions, as identified by a recent Huffington Post article — offer unique incentive to employers. And while students who seek out arts degrees may have a less direct path to any one profession, they do have a wide open field of possibilities not to mention the leading edge on another coveted commodity: happiness. Read more about Arts degrees here.