What Can I Do With an Art Degree
- Collections Management
- Public Relations
- Exhibit Design/Preparation
- Tour Guides/Docent
- Government or private museums
- Local historical societies
Intern or volunteer in an art museum. Develop strength in art history areas.
Enhance computer skills. Earn a business minor. Acquire strong skills in research, fund-raising, speaking, and writing. Earn an advanced degree in an academic discipline or museum studies for greater career opportunities. Each specialty has varying qualifications and required training. Develop good interpersonal skills, including the ability to work well on teams.
- Shared studios
- Historic sites
- School/Community programs
Prepare a strong portfolio. Participate in juried shows. Secure guild membership.
Consider developing a source of supplemental income. Learn to network and make contacts. Develop strong skills in area of interest. Obtain experience through apprenticeships, internships, or volunteering.
- Graphic Art
- Computer Graphics
- Publishing houses
- Advertising agencies
- Design firms
- Large companies - product design divisions
- Department stores
- Television and motion picture industry
- Non-technical and technical books, magazines, and trade publications
- Internet media companies
- Self-employed (freelance)
Prepare a strong portfolio. Gain computer and technical skills. Find an internship in a design firm. Work on campus publications in design or layout. Obtain summer or part-time experience with book, magazine, or newspaper publishers. Develop attention to detail and ability to meet deadlines. Supplement curriculum with course work in advertising or business.
- Studio Art
- Fine Arts
- Art History
- Art schools
- Public and private schools (K-12)
- Colleges and universities
- Adult and community programs
- Alternative schools
- Group homes
Obtain certification for public school teaching. Graduate degree usually required for post- secondary teaching. Develop a specialty area. Work or volunteer as a tutor, camp counselor, Big Brother/Sister, or after-school program counselor.
Become a member of art clubs. Obtain substitute-teaching experience. Develop strength in art history areas.
- Hospitals, nursing homes
- Mental health facilities
- Rehabilitation centers
- Nonprofit organizations
Requires specialized training and certification, usually a master's degree in art therapy. Supplement curriculum with psychology, social work, or counseling courses. Gain experience working with diverse populations.
- Art Journalism
- Art Criticism
- Corporate media departments
- Federal, state, and local government
- Nonprofit agencies
- Public relations and advertising firms
- Independent production companies
- Art-related publications
- Publishing houses
- Newspapers and magazines
Compile an up-to-date portfolio. Gain knowledge of a variety of technical equipment. Develop strong computer skills. Participate in student theatrical productions. Serve as audio-visual aide for campus films and lectures. Act as photographer for campus events. Work on student publications. Gain experience through internships in media or related areas. Supplement curriculum with courses in business, journalism, or broadcasting/electronic media.
- Museums and historical societies
- Media organizations
- Photo agencies, studios, and auction houses
- Large corporations
Apprentice with a free-lance photographer. Prepare a black and white and a color portfolio. Obtain a staff photographer position with the yearbook, campus newspaper, or magazine. Act as an audio-visual assistant or projectionist.
Fashion, Textile, Interior Design
- Pattern companies
- Apparel manufacturers/textile mills
- Interior design departments
- Commercial/residential design firms
Prepare a strong portfolio. Complete an internship in a production firm. Create and fit costumes for stage productions. Enter design ideas in magazine contests.
Become a student member of professional organization(s). Research requirements for entering these fields. Some may require specialized training or additional degrees.
- Auction houses
- Specialty stores
- Gain sales experience.
- Obtain a business minor.
- Develop computer skills.
- Establish contacts by attending shows.
- Volunteer in museums, membership drives, and community outreach programs.
- Serve as a student assistant in a university gallery.
- Develop strong interpersonal and communication skills.
- Store Management
- Display Design
- Fashion Coordination
- Custom Framing
- Retail stores
- Variety chains
Gain sales experience. Enhance curriculum with business courses. Obtain summer, part-time, or internship positions in retail. Secure leadership in campus organizations. Serve as treasurer or financial officer of an organization. Obtain a sales position with the yearbook or campus newspaper.
- A bachelor's degree is valuable for entry-level positions, but an advanced degree is usually necessary to attain competitive, upper-level positions.
- An art degree can and should be tailored to areas of specialization.
- Save artwork for a strong portfolio - too much is better than too little.
- Be prepared to relocate to the larger markets of metropolitan areas where more opportunities exist.
- Join art related professional and student organizations.
- Volunteer with fundraising efforts for the arts.
Gain valuable experience through volunteering, internships, part-time and summer jobs, and apprenticeships.
- Conduct informational interviews with professionals in areas of interest to learn more about opportunities and strategies for these areas.
- Learn to network.
- Be prepared to begin career in entry-level positions.
- Pair an art degree with other career interests to increase opportunities and provide supplemental income.
- Develop skills in business management, computers, marketing, and other related areas to increase marketability.
- A career in the arts takes dedication, patience, flexibility, talent, and some luck.
Prepared by the Career Planning staff of Career Services at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (2005) UTK is an EEO/AA/Title VI/Title IX/Section 504/ADA /ADEA Employer