A career in art isn't limited to sitting in an art studio drawing on canvas. An art and design career can range from interior design to photography to museum curating to creating Web site designs. If you enjoy creating stylish, unique crafts,
fashion, rooms and/or images, a career in arts and design might just be right for you.
Types of art and design degrees
There are several types of art and design degrees. Associate art and design degrees are generally two-year programs and are offered by community colleges, fashion and design schools and some public and private universities. Bachelor's degrees in art and design are generally four-year university programs or specific art and design school programs and are available in fields such as interior design, photography and art history. Most of these fields of study are also available for master's and doctorate degrees.
According to the University of Michigan, a degree in art and design differs from a fine arts degree in that an art and design degree focuses less on creating art in specific media and rather focuses on the concepts of art and design as a whole.
Art and design admission requirements
Virtually all art and design degree programs require applicants to have earned a high school diploma or its equivalent. Some schools require that prospective students submit a portfolio of work related to their desired degree program. Most bachelor degree programs require that applicants take the ACT or SAT college entrance exams.
Careers available with an art and design degree
Those with a bachelor's degree in art and design are qualified for a number of jobs. These include graphic designers, museum curators, collection managers, interior decorators, visual artists, animators, art directors, photographers and illustrators, just to name a few.
With an advanced degree in art and design, a person is also qualified for academic positions in art and more advanced museum management positions.
Salary and job prospects for art and design degree holders
Salaries for art and design graduates are as varied as the career possibilities. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the median salary for an art director in the United States is $80,880. The median salary for an interior designer is $46,280 and the median salary for a museum curator is $42,310. Salaries for those with advanced degrees in art and design are predicably higher, but still varied. For instance, an art professor at a university can expect to earn an average salary of $73,650.
Job growth for art and design careers are holding their own, with no dramatic increase in positions anticipated, but no great shrinkage in the number of jobs expected either, according to the BLS.
Whether you choose a job as the administrator of a museum collection or a fashion photographer, a career in art and design is rarely, if ever, dull. If you enjoy a fast-paced and stylish job environment, consider going to school for a degree in art and design.