Many opportunities exist for professional practice in visual art (studio, art history, and art education). Mastering the 21st century skills required to study art at the college level can be a highly rewarding and enjoyable learning experience. Individuals who study art find exciting opportunities to creatively investigate and communicate ideas that influence ways of thinking and impact the world in which we live.

Sample Occupations

  • Commercial & Fine Art
  • Graphic Designer
  • Illustrator/Concept Artist
  • Animator
  • Desktop Publisher
  • Photojournalist
  • Web Designer/Developer
  • Freelance Artist
  • Jeweler/Designer
  • Painter
  • Photographer
  • Sculptor
  • 3-D Modeler/Fabricator
  • Art Administration
  • Curator
  • Gallery Owner
  • Art Buyer
  • Exhibit Designer
  • Collections Manager
  • Art Advocate
  • Applied Arts
  • Merchandise Displayer
  • Interior Designer
  • Floral Designer
  • Fashion Designer
  • Art Critic
  • Art Educator
  • Art Therapist

Types of Employers

  • Art Museums
  • Design Firms
  • Advertising Agencies
  • Marketing/PR Firms
  • TV Stations, Film Companies
  • Corporations
  • Industrial Design Firms
  • Nonprofit Organizations
  • Libraries, Museums, Galleries
  • Schools, Colleges, Universities

Preparing for your career in

Commercial Art: Develop expertise in graphic and design software, maintain a physical and digital portfolio of your work, obtaining an internship is essential in highly competitive fields like advertising or publishing

Fine Arts: Develop an online portfolio and network to develop a referral base for freelance business, take electives on marketing and promotions, participate in juried shows and exhibitions, secure guild membership, decide if you want to pursue art as full time job or an avocational interest since opportunities are limited for full time work

Art Administration: Learn about fundraising for nonprofit organizations, take elective courses related to marketing, management or finance, develop strong interpersonal skills, volunteer or intern with a museum or gallery to learn about administrative practices, build a strong foundation in art history, anthropology, classical civilizations, and a foreign language as this is important for certain positions, study abroad, most art historians will specialize in a period or region

Applied Arts: Develop proficiency using industry-specific computer software, most designers have formalized education in their specific field (fashion, interior), expect to work with overseas suppliers, be able to communicate effectively with different types of people, do internships with design firms, obtain a master’s degree for art therapy

How do I know if its right for me?

ASSESS: Take a career assessment, such as PathwayU, to see how your interests, values, and personality fit with majors and careers.

RESEARCH: Research the careers on this WCIDWAMI and thousands of other careers using O*Net Online, The Occupational Outlook Handbook or FirstHand.

EXPLORE: Learn more about a career field of interest by job shadowing, attending a career panel, or participating in a Career Trek. Further your exploration while gaining valuable skills by completing an internship, co-op, volunteer, or research experience.