Written by Linda Weems
Anyone who enjoys creating art or viewing it in museums might want to consider pursuing an art major in college or through a vocational school. By enrolling in a degree program or trade school course, you can gain the knowledge required for success in this field. Online schools offer a variety of options to gain the training you’ll need.
Is Majoring in Art Right for Me?
Before pursuing a visual arts degree, it’s important to make sure that this career path is a good fit for you. Just because you earn an art degree doesn’t mean that you’ll just do nothing but create art.
- Prepare for the expenses involved with pursuing a visual arts degree, including purchasing art supplies, traveling, and paying exhibition fees.
- Be ready to take general education classes as well as art classes.
- Make sure you are ready to receive constructive criticism from others regarding your art.
- Expect to spend significant time alone working on your art.
Courses and Degree Programs
A student with an art major can enter a degree program that lasts only a semester or two or many years. The program you should choose depends on the career you want to pursue.
- Certificate programs are typically short, lasting two years or less. These programs are designed to teach specific skills that are needed for a particular career.
- Associates programs are generally two years long and usually offered at a trade school or community college. These programs give students a generalized education, often in preparation for completion of a bachelor’s degree program.
- Bachelor’s programs usually require four years of study. These programs can help students earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree or a Bachelor of Arts degree. Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees are earned in professional programs, and Bachelor of Arts degrees are liberal arts programs.
- Master’s programs require a bachelor’s degree prior to enrollment. Master’s programs may take between one and three years to complete. You can opt for a Master of Arts or Master of Fine Arts degree.
Careers in the Arts
While becoming a visual artist who works to create art within your discipline may be your future, visual artists may also work in many other occupations. Some career paths are traditional, while others a bit more unexpected. Explore these potential career paths:
- Graphic designer
- Art critic
- Art educator
- Museum or gallery owner
- Art therapist
- What Is Visual Art? Visual arts are types of art that people view, including drawing, painting, sculpture, and photography.
- Visual Art: Definition, History, and Classification: Visual art is a broad term that includes both fine arts and contemporary arts.
- What Are Visual Arts? Handicrafts such as textiles and jewelry-making fall under the umbrella of visual arts.
- Types of Visual Art: Representational art represents real objects or subjects, using either realism or impressionism.
- Four Types of Visual Art to Try: Painting and drawing, pottery, floral arranging, and needlework are all types of visual art.
- Visual Arts and Copyright: Visual arts that can be copyrighted include drawings, paintings, enamel works, mosaics, posters, photographs, stencils, and weaving designs, among others.
- Realism: Landscapes: Watch a video of painters narrating their process of creating paintings.
- What Can I Do With a Major in the Visual Arts? Students studying art, art history, or photography could become an estate appraiser, a book designer, an art librarian, or a museum curator.
- What Does a Visual Artist Do? An artist might work as a freelancer or for a company producing art.
- 38 Arts Jobs You Can Get With Your Fine Art Degree: A fine art degree program that focuses on illustration could provide the means for a career as a fashion or book illustrator.
- Visual Arts Careers: A graphic designer, architect, or fashion designer might all have training in the visual arts.
- Visual Arts Degrees: What Coursework Is Included in a Typical Visual Arts Program? Visual arts programs provide students with experience with various types of visual arts, such as painting, drawing, digital imaging, and figure drawing.
- Job Profile: Sculptor: Sculptors research their subjects, sketch designs, and shape material to create original sculptures.
- Craft and Fine Artists: Artists use a variety of materials and techniques to create art in private or commercial art studios.
- What Is an Arts Major, and Is it Right for Me? Before pursuing a visual arts major, think about the costs associated with this major.
- Uses for a Fine Art Degree: Learn about the potential career paths that are open to graduates with a fine art degree here.
- Bachelor’s in Art and Art History Programs Guide: The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates that fine arts careers will grow between six and 13 percent by 2026.
- Fine and Studio Arts Degree Guide: Fine and studio arts degrees were the 31st most popular programs in 2017 and 2018.
- What Can I Do With a BFA in Studio Art? Graphic design is a popular career option for art majors, but it’s far from the only one.
- Guide to Art and Design School Degree Programs: Different art degrees have different benefits and are suited for different types of art and career goals.
- The Visual Arts and Your Future: Explore career options and the marketable skills you can learn by getting an art degree.
- What Can You Do With an Art Degree? People earning art degrees may work in media or marketing.
- Is Art School Worth It? Some students decide to have a secondary major as a backup in case an art career is difficult to pursue.
- Beyond the Gallery: What Can You Do With an Art Degree? Visual artists have plenty of career opportunities beyond running or exhibiting at an art gallery.