Online Degrees in Art and Design
Everyone knows the cliché of the starving artist; unemployed, paintbrush in hand. However, this image is not the reality of today's art & design world. According to an article in The Guardian, graduates of British art & design degree programs in 2008 found careers in retail, education, marketing and sales, graphic design, consulting and fine art.
Today's art & design student may aspire to careers in computer-aided drafting rather than oil painting; however, the hallmark of an artist - creativity - is still the most important requirement for success.
A successful career in the fine arts takes more than passion, however. According to The College Board, careers in the art & design field require self-starters who can work independently, sometimes honing their craft without the aid of a supervisor or clock to keep them on track. Successful artists and designers must be disciplined, driven to succeed, creative, organized, detail-oriented and often computer-savvy.
An art & design degree program exposes students to a wide variety of disciplines within the creative world. Both traditional and online art & design degrees combine theoretical courses or art history with instruction in the applied arts, such as fashion design and graphic design.
Depending on one's area of specialization, art & design students may spend a lot of time working in the studio, experimenting with computer design programs or researching a critical period in art history. The common thread underlying these diverse applications of art & design is a focus on effective ways to communicate abstract ideas.
Art & design students may choose from specializations in studio arts, technical arts, design programs or art history.
Studio arts are those that focus on the creation of art with various mediums, such as sketching, painting, sculpting, or creating pottery and ceramics. Technical arts focus on disciplines such as photography and digital imaging.
Art history allows students to explore the art of various regions and time periods and focuses more on research and writing rather than the creation of art.
Degree programs in design arts can include fashion design, graphic design, interior design, architecture and even video game development.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, the most popular art & design degree in 2009 was general art studies, with 12,939 bachelor's degrees awarded in 2009. Other popular degree programs included studio arts with 9,231 bachelor's degrees and graphic design, with 4,756 degrees. There were 4,234 bachelor's degrees awarded for interior design and 2,176 for fashion designers.
Although art & design students may frequently be asked, "what are you going to do with that degree?" a new survey from the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) found that 92 percent of art & design graduates found employment quickly after graduating, and 74 percent of those who aspired to a career as a professional artist worked as one at some point during their career.
The 2010 survey also found that 52 percent of art & design graduates worked as art teachers at, and 54 percent of students working in fields outside the arts considered their art degree relevant to their current work.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 60 percent of the 221,900 workers classified as artists and related workers were self-employed in 2009. The other most common job titles for artists included art directors (84,200), multimedia artists and animators (79,000), fine artists (23,600) and craft artists (13,600).
More and more students are taking advantage of the opportunity to learn online: a comprehensive 2010 report from Sloan Consortium shows an increase of almost 1 million students in online education since 2009. Furthermore, over 75 percent of higher education institutions report an increased demand for online courses since the economic downturn.
Johns Hopkins University cites flexible scheduling, wider availability of courses, easy access and improved understanding through a multi-media approach as advantages to pursuing an online degree.
Pursuing an online degree in design can offer many advantages employers often notice when comparing resumes and portfolios. Successfully taking and completing courses online requires a self-starter who has the discipline to finish courses on his or her own time--a trait many employers seek in their new hires.
Additionally, online degrees in art & design allow students to become more familiar with the computer programs that could be used in careers such as computer-aided drafting.
According to an annual salary survey by AIGA, a professional association for designers, incomes rose for most art and design professions in 2010. The highest increases were for Web designers, with a 2010 median income of $58,500, an increase of 6.4 percent over the previous ten-year period, and for owners, partners, or principals in design firms, who saw their income rise by 8.4 percent to a median of $110,000.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, graphic designers made a mean annual salary of $47,820 in 2009. Other salaries of note included interior designers at $51,990, fashion designers at $74,410, and fine studio artists at $50,630.
At a glance:
- 74 percent of art degree holders report working as a professional artist at some point in their careers
- 60 percent of artists are self-employed
- The most popular art and design program in 2009 was general art studies.
- 90 percent of arts graduates surveyed by SNAAP said they received good or excellent training during their degree program
Online Degree Programs in Art & Design
At University of Phoenix, we believe everyone deserves access to higher education.
Earn a Certificate, Associate, Bachelor, Master's or Doctorate for less at Baker College Online.
- Associate of Applied Science - Web Development
- Bachelor of Web Development
Five colleges of study. One clear focus: Your career success.
Earn the respect of employers with a degree you can earn on campus, online or both.
Why ASU? At ASU, learning online is effective, flexible and smart. Every program delivered online is developed by the same excellent faculty who teach on our campuses, and is designed to engage students and professors in meaningful ways. The result? Our students are an integral part of a New American University.
Helping creative minds bring their ideas to life.