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Art Degrees: Are They Really "Pointless" or Can You Actually Have A Career?

Updated on March 15, 2018

People Should Be Doing What They Love, Not A Job They Hate...

I hear the argument "art degrees don't get good jobs" or "people with an art degree are wasting their time and money" and "artists can't make any money, certainly not enough for a living!". Whenever someone brings up my major, these few sentences always attack me. I believe people should do what they love, not something they hate. Instead of waking up and working a boring 9 to 5 job that you don't enjoy, and dread going to everyday, wouldn't you rather do something you're passionate about? Something that makes you excited about life? Something that gives you butterflies when doing it or even thinking about it? You may not be passionate about art but there are so many humans who are, and so many of those who are, are dragged down by family, friends, teachers and others which results in a lot of artists not following their dreams.

Are there really enough jobs out there for artists? Absolutely. You may not make as much as a lawyer would, but there's definitely jobs out there for artists or anyone with an art degree. Who do you think illustrates those Hallmark card doodles you buy for your niece or granddaughter? Who do you think illustrates the books you read to your children in bed at night? Or those photos in your son's high school text books?

Multiple different Art Degrees were mentioned in this article by thesimpledollar, titled "10 Worst College Degrees To Earn"

Via Source: "10 Worst College Degrees to Earn in 2015"

With just a simple google search you are flooded with articles on people's opinions on their art degrees being worthless, whether it's liberal arts, fine arts, theatre arts, etc,.

"Education in the arts is an integral part of the development of each human being. Those who have studied learning processes throughout the ages, beginning with Plato, have emphasized the importance of the arts in the education process. Arts education refers to education in the disciplines of music, dance, theatre, and visual arts. Study in the arts is integral to our society. They are a part of the cultural heritage of every American. The arts are what make us most human, most complete as people. The arts cannot be learned through occasional or random exposure any more than math or science can. Education and engagement in the fine arts are an essential part of the school curriculum and an important component in the educational program of every student in Katy ISD." is a quote from an article titled, "The Importance of Art" via source: "The Importance of Fine Arts Education"

Art is what makes us human. Art is history. Art is our future. Art gives us theatre and entertainment. Without art we wouldn't have films, tv shows, plays, ballets, auctions, galleries. I understand a lot of you don't care about some of that stuff but just take a look around your house.. that design on your pillows and blankets? Art. The minimalist decor painting/drawing hanging on your walls? Art. The photographs of your daughters senior pictures? Art.

Art is more than just sketching, or painting or playing with crayons. Art is around us everyday, everywhere. Our lives, our world would be nothing without art. They would be so bland, so boring, full of nothing? So I say let's stop putting down college students who are majoring in any sort of art degree. There's thousands of jobs that require artists. Thank you. And remember, Art really is important, no matter what you prefer for entertainment or decor or history, or learning.

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    • sparkleyfinger profile image

      Lynsey Harte 

      9 months ago from Glasgow

      I think that, from what I can see, creative jobs and also creative self employment is more common in the US. (I base that mainly on the amount of craft shops you are all lucky to have, as well as massive craft sections in walmart etc- it must be popular at least!) Im in the UK, and while there is opportunity out there, it would have been a massive move of city for me to find it. Maybe I was just born in the wrong country! lol

    • cbrookesj profile imageAUTHOR

      Carly Brookes Jenkins 

      9 months ago from California

      Lynsey Harte, thank you so much for you comment. I'm very new to this site and this was one of my first pieces. I am so sorry to hear about your experience like that. I'm assuming it comes from being from different parts of the world as well as maybe an age difference? I'm 18 years old and grown up and live in California so I was always told that I could never be an artist, artists don't make much, artists can't get real jobs etc, so I just kind of had the opposite experience. I wrote this article based off my personal experience and point of view. I'm so sorry to hear you had a bad experience like that, especially one that people are always telling me about.

    • sparkleyfinger profile image

      Lynsey Harte 

      9 months ago from Glasgow

      Interesting hub, I enjoyed reading it. I am a qualified graphic designer. I have not worked in any capacity as a graphic designer, apart from freelancing work that I tried to "gain experience" and try to get a permanent job. Any jobs that I could get with my qualification were access level, meaning I didn't even need the qualification to start with!! Personally, I feel that my chosen course was a complete waste of time and caused me to get into a lot of debt for no reason really. Unfortunately, I had to get a standard 9-5 job as the software I trained on is now out of date. I work with a qualified Interior Designer and a qualified Textile Designer. We are paid very little in standard office roles.

      Unfortunately, this is the case for a lot of people who undertake design courses and other art based courses. While I appreciate the point that no-one should be judged for choosing an art based degree, I do wish that someone had pointed out to me the lack of job opportunities before I undertook mine, and I think a lot of graduates of arts based degrees would agree.

    • husslindsey profile image

      Lindsey Huss 

      10 months ago from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

      I think it really all depends. I double majored in art and business and that double major helped me tremendously. I'm a product designer so I'm using my art degree, but that double major with business actually helped me get hired over other candidates as I had more skills to bring to the table.

    • Rochelle Frank profile image

      Rochelle Frank 

      10 months ago from California Gold Country

      I know a lot of people with art degrees. One of them became an industrial designer for a company that made biomedical equipment and scientific instruments. Another designed artwork for rpgs and video games.

      I have a degree in art history,and though I didn’t become an art historian, I constantly used what I learned as an elementary teacher, because I had learned about history,geography,cultures, folklore, religions , science, literature and many other subjects through art.

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