Though being an artist can look different to each individual, a level of skill and training is involved in many artistic professions. Even those who are self-taught must still learn to master their craft, whether that be an instrument, a brush or a keyboard. However, in order to master artistic abilities like directing a movie, composing an original soundtrack or designing clothing at a professional level, specialized training may be necessary. That’s why there are art degrees offered through postsecondary institutions. Let’s dive into an overview of art degree programs available online.
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While “starving artist” may spring to mind for some while thinking about the profession, many art degrees can result in profitable careers. Although it can be difficult to break out as a famous artist, many career options are available to art majors, and with the right formal training and hard work, respectable wages are possible. The exact amount can vary based on the particular type of art and the subjective tastes of society. However, the following guide should provide a ballpark picture of what professionals with art degrees can potentially earn.
|Occupation||Median Annual Salary: Entry-level||Median Annual Salary: Mid-level||Median Annual Salary: Late-career|
|Web Developer and Designer||$48,000||$59,000||$81,000|
Unlike many professions, there are relatively few positions in the art world that absolutely require a specific degree. For example, although many successful movie directors have formal bachelor’s or master’s degrees in film or a related major, it is not necessarily required that an individual have any formal training. That being said, because some careers specific to art may call for a particular degree, students need to consider each degree level and the potential careers that are associated with them. Let’s look at common art degree levels and what a prospective student can expect with respect to coursework and possible careers.
As unique as each art profession is, so is its recipe for success, which can make it difficult for a student who is seeking an art degree to follow one particular formula. Fortunately, there are many factors that are considered universal. Depending on the specific art field, a student can typically expect to spend a few years honing necessary skills. The following steps can provide a solid framework and a starting point for prospective art students to choose a fitting art degree program.
A high school diploma or GED is required to enroll in any college degree program. Time to complete: Four years
Art has many avenues, and no degree program will provide an education in all of them. Individuals must decide what type of art they would like to learn. Time to complete: Varies.
Schooling can be expensive, and since a high salary employment after graduation isn’t guaranteed, students should determine what they can afford. It’s important for prospective art students to look into all available financial resources. Time to complete: Less than a month
Some online programs are entirely online, but many have a blended format with on-campus or in-person curriculum requirements. In addition, programs can be synchronous or asynchronous. Students should decide what online program works best for them. Time to complete: Less than a month
Students should choose a school that is affordable and offers the program they desire. Time to complete: Varies
It is important to value a degree by attending an accredited school. Identify the organization that accredits art programs on your list to make sure all that hard work and tuition are put to good use. Time to complete: Less than a month
An entrance exam, such as the ACT, SAT or GRE, may be necessary for admission. Students should also study and prepare for these exams to get the highest scores possible. Time to complete: Three to six months.
Aside from an application, a transcript and test scores, many art programs will also have special application requirements, such as an on-campus interview or submission of a portfolio. Some of these can take awhile to set up and prepare. Students need to identify these requirements quickly so they have enough time to complete them. Time to complete: Less than a month
Prospective students may need to gather copies or evidence of prior artistic work, line up recommenders to write letters and arrange a trip to a school for an interview. Once these are done, the applicant will then need to submit the application before the deadline. Time to complete: Three or more months
Generally, students will apply for financial aid around the time they apply for admission into a school. The financial aid process usually requires students to complete the Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA. Students should also look into the numerous scholarships and grants available. Time to complete: Three or more months
Students lucky enough to receive multiple acceptance letters will need to make a decision. To make this decision, campus visits, calls to alumni and long discussions with parents and family can be expected. Time to complete: Varies
Congrats! Now that you’ve been accepted into a school, begin studying hard to earn good grades, but don’t forget that there’s more to an education than your GPA. Time to complete: Two to four years
Many programs require students to get real-world experience, which allows them to apply their classroom knowledge to the actual profession. Time to complete: Several months
Finding a job is as much about who you know as it is about what you know. Find opportunities to get your name out there in front of potential employers and clients. Time to complete: Varies
The classroom can only teach so much. You may be required to have a certain number of years of experience, so be looking for real-world opportunities. Time to complete: One or more years
Although not required, getting a specific credential or certification can help land new jobs or make an individual much more marketable to clients. Time to complete: Varies