Does It Make Sense to Go to an Art College?
More than likely, you’ve heard at least one or two people state that going to an art college has many downsides when it comes to entering the job market. This leaves many students wondering whether or not they should attend an art college at all. Currently, this question has more weight and importance than in past years, and here is why. The cost of education is soaring at a pace that is far out of step with virtually every other industry and is greatly outstripping the rate of inflation. Of course, this means that student debt is higher than ever. As many people are discovering, the promise of a college education serving as a “ticket” to a good job and at least a middle class income and existence isn’t necessarily a fact anymore.
So what does this mean for you, the high-school student considering pursuing an art degree? Does it mean that you should forget your ambitions regarding your art and begin studying international finance? Not exactly, but it only seems logical that based on the shifting reality of economic realities you need to consider how to handle your art school ambitions a little more carefully than past generations.
Can you still go to art school and then transition into a decent paying job in the corporate world relatively easily? It depends upon factors ranging from what you studied in art school to how talented you really are (and not just how good you think you are!) Harsh? Not really, keep in mind that harsh is not being able to find a real and substantial job in a highly competitive job market.
If your passion is to attend art school, and you will be using direct federal student loans or private loans to make it happen, then it is necessary to create a resume that helps ensure your prospects of employment. Is it smart to “marry” your art school degree with some sort of business degree or other degree that might give you the ability to apply for a wider range of jobs? It would certainly seem that such a step makes sense from an economic perspective. The other option could be working jobs that don’t necessarily reflect your education and waiting for the economic outlook for recent graduates to improve.
The key may very well be to think of ways that you can combine another degree with your art degree so that you are more employable. This may not be what you want out of your college experience or your life, but neither is working a minimum or near minimum wage job with little or no hope for advancement. If you take this route will you ultimately sell out your art ambitions? That is, of course, up to you and how hard you work to find a way of creating a blend of skill sets that allow you to at least have your foot in the door of the creative world.
Don’t completely depend on guidance counselors for advice in this regard, but reach out to successful creative people and ask them for their opinions. You will be surprised how many successful, creative people are willing to help a young artist that is confused about the next step. Above all else, plan and demonstrate your creativity firsthand by how you build your own resume so that you are employable after art school!