The world is a more beautiful place because of the art that is in. Irish playwright and critic George Bernard Shaw recognized this sentiment when he said: "Without art, the crudeness of reality would make the world unbearable." If you have a desire to contribute to the world through your creative and artistic abilities, a degree in art and design could be for you.
Whether it's through photography, fashion design, music, theater art, animation, web design or a similar field, a formal education in art and design can open up opportunities for students to work with both traditional and new media. With interest in art and design growing, a degree in this field can be greatly employable. Take a look at some of the trends and government initiatives to keep the arts alive:
- Trends show that Americans are more engaged in the arts than ever before and believe more strongly of its power to impact life positively, according to a 2018 public opinion poll conducted by the American for the Arts.
- Arts is encouraged and supported by companies across the country. In 2017, more than 75 percent of companies made financial contributions to the arts for the building of vibrant communities.
- Thousands of nonprofit arts and culture organizations act as economic drivers leading to an industry that supports employment, creates government revenue, and promotes the tourism industry.
- Government initiatives continue to sustain and promote the arts through programs such as the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) which receives federal funding to keep the arts alive through community projects, making sure that more artists are added to our workforce every year.
- The Comprehensive Resources for Entrepreneurs in the Arts to Transform the Economy (CREATE) Act, re-introduced in 2017, seeks to invest in the nation's workforce and creative economy. One way they do so is by providing more support to artists and creative entrepreneurs.
Whatever your choice of medium when it comes to art and design, you may find many different ways to launch and sustain a career, whether through arts education, manufacturing and retail, traditional employment or innovation.
Online degrees in art and design are available from the associate to doctoral level and could provide you with that extra push for making a step toward a career and divining your own unique contributions. If you're a high school graduate, working professional or someone who has family commitments, an online degree in art and design may be a good option for you to consider.
What can you do with a degree in art and design?
Explore Online Art and Design Degree Programs
Art and design are at the heart of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM). In fact, creativity, innovation and economic growth are said to be fostered by STEAM, rather than STEM. The sections below provide information on diverse online art and design degree programs for you to consider.
Be sure to click on the buttons under each section for detailed information on each program by degree level.
Explore online art and design colleges using our list of the best online schools in art and design. Compare, consider and make your college choice.
More industries are recognizing the value artists can add to their work creating a wide variety of employment opportunities in schools, community centers, religious organizations, hospitals, neuroscience labs, and senior centers. Whether you seek an education in animation, fine art and crafts, music, photography or theater arts, hybrid or fully online art degree programs could be an option for you.
Just click on any of the buttons below to find more information on degree programs related to the arts. You'll find information on the kind of salary you may be able to expect, career outlook, typical job duties and the coursework you may encounter.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) predicts a growing demand for people with skills in animation and visual effects for the creation of video games, movies, and mobile apps. Graphic designers are also likely to see greater job growth with more and more businesses establishing a digital presence through a variety of media platforms.
Click on any of the buttons below to discover more about how these programs can help you achieve your career goals. Explore coursework by degree level, estimated wages, top jobs and more.
Top Ten Online Colleges in Art and Design by Degree Level
Below are lists of the top 10 colleges for art and design online degree programs by degree levels. We compiled our lists using key factors that we considered important to the online experience, including the availability of academic and career counseling services, the percentage of students partially or fully enrolled in distance education and the average in-state tuition. Be sure to check out our methodology at the bottom of this page so that you can be fully confident that these colleges present you with the best online degree program options.
Associate degree programs in art and design typically take two years to finish. An associate degree program can help graduates to prepare for entry-level work in a field like graphic design or to build the foundations for a higher-level degree.
A bachelor's degree is considered foundational for many different occupations in art and design. For example, occupations for art directors, fashion designers, interior designers and animators require a bachelor's degree, the BLS reports. And an online bachelor's degree in art and design can usually be completed in four years.
A master's degree can usually be completed in two years or more. This degree might be right for someone who wants to advance in their profession, teach at a community college or learn more advanced skills.
In-Demand Occupations in Art and Design
Before you decide to commit to a program, it may be smart to see what the in-demand occupations are in art and design and whether you would like to align your interests with them to maximize your career potential. Take a look at this list compiled from BLS data presenting top art and design occupations along with their related employment numbers and average salaries.
Occupations In-Demand for Art Design
Job Openings (2016-26)
Average Salary (2018)
Typical Entry Level Education
|Graphic Designers||26,200||$54,680||Bachelor's degree|
|Producers and Directors||14,000||$89,840||Bachelor's degree|
|Art Directors||8,000||$104,590||Bachelor's degree|
|Music Directors and Composers||7,800||$59,790||Bachelor's degree|
|Multimedia Artists and Animators||6,800||$78,230||Bachelor's degree|
|Interior Designers||6,600||$59,120||Bachelor's degree|
|Film and Video Editors||4,000||$86,830||Bachelor's degree|
|Commercial and Industrial Designers||3,900||$71,430||Bachelor's degree|
|Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators||2,500||$58,370||Bachelor's degree|
|Fashion Designers||2,300||$87,610||Bachelor's degree|