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Is an Art Degree Worth the Investment?

April 5, 2018 Jessica 0 Comments

“Is an art degree worth the investment?” This is a question a lot of potential students ask themselves. This question isn’t limited to high schoolers, though. It also applies to students considering changing majors, as well as to adults who want to return to school in order to make a career change.

Have you ever asked yourself if an art degree is worth the investment?

College Graduates Earn 84% More Than Those with Only High School Diplomas

Did you know that college graduates earn about 84% more money than individuals who only have high school diplomas? This means that any degree, even an art degree, will increase one’s earning potential and can therefore be a good investment. However, this doesn’t mean that every degree yields the same return on investment. Some are more profitable than others. In fact, the earning potential of majors can vary up to 300%.

How valuable is an art degree? The answer can partly be found in statistics.    

Is an Art Degree Worth It?

According to Americans for the Arts, arts majors account for about 4.6 percent of all majors. Types of arts majors include:

  • Commercial art and graphic design
  • Drama and theater arts
  • Film video and photographic arts
  • Fine arts
  • Music
  • Studio arts
  • Visual and performing arts

Americans for the Arts’ article What’s It Worth? The Value of a Bachelor’s Degree in the Arts mentioned a study that measured the value of an arts degree. The article stated:

“– Arts majors ranked quite low in terms of median earnings—median earnings for those with a Bachelor’s degree who majored in Arts are $44,000.

— The highest earning major within the Arts category was Fine Arts, while the lowest earning majors were found to be Studio Arts, Drama and Theatre Arts, and Visual and Performing Arts.

— According to the study, those who major in arts primarily end up working in arts (25%), management (14%), office (12%), sales (12%), and education (8%) related occupations, and about 76 percent of them are employed full-time in the labor force.

— The study also showed that arts majors are the most likely to work part time (24%) and the most likely to be unemployed (8%) across all other major categories.”

These numbers suggest that a degree in the arts may not be the soundest financial investment for some individuals. Despite this, many people with an art degree are happily employed in their respective fields.

How to Decide If You Should Pursue an Art Degree 

A decision about whether or not to pursue an art degree should be made with the head as well as the heart. If you are trying to decide whether or not to pursue such a degree, ask yourself…

1) “How badly do I desire an arts degree?”

2) “Could I be happy getting another type of degree?”

3) “If I make less money with a degree in art than I would with another type of degree, am I OK with that?”

Answering questions like these will help you decide if an art degree is “worth it” to you.

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