Many parents cringe when they find out that their high school aged student wants to study art in college. A lot of people see art as a hobby and not a profession, and much like kids who want to grow up to be musicians, parents of those kids encourage them to pursue their creative hobby on the side while secretly hoping they will fall in love with something like biology or a social science at the least. Wanting the best for your child is a combination of wanting them to pursue something they love while simultaneously hoping they can find a way to support themselves and make a decent living. What many of these parents do not realize, however, is much like a career in music, there are a lot of ways to make a living with an art degree that you might not have thought about.
- Teaching – This is always a career option for anyone with a degree, but many forget about it unless they particularly wanted to become teachers. Any grade from kindergarten up through seniors in high school can be taught in most places with a bachelor’s degree, and teaching at community college is usually covered by a master’s degree.
- Graphic design – With the rise of electronic mediums and decline in print and paper forms of artwork, there is a huge opportunity to translate art into an electronic form for businesses and web sites. A truly well designed web site or electronic ad can transform the way a company does business.
- Marketing and advertising – Much like graphic design, drawing just the right logo or supporting designs for a business can have a huge impact on the company’s profits and the level of recognition of their brand and logos. The more people who can recognize a logo, the more people will remember that name when they go looking for something that offers that product, such as a soda or athletic shoe.
- Metal working – This type of work would require particular electives to satisfy the criteria and gain the right experience, but a student with the right course work in metal working can easily go on to gain a specialty in metal design. With that specialty comes a variety of options, from jewelry making to custom welding. Companies such as Denver Welding are always on the lookout for up and coming metal designers with the right experience and a solid portfolio to add to their staff expertise.
- Museum curator – An actual art history or fine arts degree can set up a student nicely for a potential museum job. Curator positions are difficult to come by and very competitive, but starting out in an entry level role and working your way up is a terrific way to break into the art museum industry, just like any other industry. Paying your dues is a must here, as is experience with internships in museums around the world. The world’s finest art is spread out across hundreds of museums around the world, and working in a variety of them as a student or volunteer is critical to getting the right exposure and level of competitiveness required to break into the art museum industry.