art major

Art Majors For The Real World Of Art

What Art Major Classes Are Worth Your Time?

My focus here will be Art Majors that will benefit you in a real world work environment. This will apply to those who seek to be artists, or to be employed by an organization with a focus on art.

Below is a list of potential opportunities given to make a comparison. With this an artist should take note of what would be most applicable to their desired path and what is most beneficial.

This comparison will include New Media Art concepts as well as traditional roles such as education. Yet if your goal is to focus on creating art, take special notice of the potential opportunities and how difficult the field can be.

The statistics I offer here are pulled from the National Center for Education Statistics. With this you will see my thoughts to their accuracy in real world terms.

Problems With Education Institutions Pushing Art Majors

One of the problems with institutions of education when processing students for Art Majors is that it becomes more like a factory. Pull the students in and then pump them out of that system whether or not they have a secure position within the work force.

The classes which they push can become a bit run of the mill and cookie cutter for the process of the machine. With this lets look at what classes actually add real value to your future marketability.

The education you receive should add to your life art portfolio rather than stagnate it.

Art Majors : English Language And Literature

More than likely there will be required classes here, yet it can also be dependent upon where you are in the world.

The key here is defining what your purpose is. If you desire to be a teacher then future classes can center or focus more within this field.

If you seek to be an artist then going beyond the required classes is not needed in relating fields. You would benefit with other alternatives such as a focus on Art Appreciation or graphic design.

As a writer this field also becomes questionable yet some relating fields may be helpful. You need to define what kind of writing you intend to do, who it is for, and the platform you wish to pursue. Why?


Today as a writer much of the content that you would create would be for web based presentation or publishing. To put this bluntly, institutions of education do not properly prepare students for writing in this environment.

To write for any kind of web based content requires alternative skills. How one structures this content is altogether separate than formal writing.

Reasoning for this difference is found in the need to write for algorithms as well as people.

Truth be told concerning this matter is that education cannot keep up with the ever shifting sands and tides to the online world. How writers would write one year ago is not quite the same as today.

What you will be taught within educational classes for online platforms can be as dated as 5 to 10 years ago. In the online publishing world, this is ancient history.

Nevertheless there are beneficial aspects to gain from formal education, yet you also will need supplemental education specialized to this area.

I wish to give one example to prove my point. Google updates their systems regularly. As of me writing this today an update was just completed yesterday which upended many platforms across their systems.

Today people are reviewing the changes that were made to adapt their writing to these new standards. It is an ever changing and evolving environment.

What is within your school books cannot update as quickly as needed.

Opportunities Provided As An English Or Literature Arts Major

Employment opportunities are rated at being near 98%. Yet this is with a great emphasis on being within education as a teacher.

There are far fewer roles that this major can apply to within the real world. If your goal is to use your artistic skills as an artist, then this is not the avenue you should pursue.

Art Majors : Arts Entertainment And Media Management

This field is actually one of the better paying fields. Yet you are not in a creative role. Within this Art Major are complementary courses that could apply to you such as communications, marketing, and other business aspects.

The problem with this market is how the world is shifting. Despite the rated employment opportunity being at near 86%, I would disagree with this number. Why?

My wife specialized in this field and has near over 20 years within it across Asia and the United States. She held major corporate roles within these institutions.

The landscape is presently changing rapidly and with some uncertainty.

The roles which these people would traditionally play has become more focused around public relations and event driven models. Outside of this there are other avenues one could pursue.

Being an agent for an individual, or an agent within an institution is a possibility. It is also valuable if one is seeking to brand their own name or build a platform for their own work.

Opportunities For An Arts Entertainment And Media Management

As I stated while the employment opportunity is near 86%, take this statistic with a grain of salt. I would not personally place my focus within this field as my primary major as an artist.

If your goal is something other than maximizing your potential as an artist, then this field does still hold promise.

Yet based upon life experience I would suggest seeking additional education within related specializations.

Keeping up to speed and current to the changing times will determine how effective you are within this field.

Art Majors : Graphics Design

Graphic Design is one of the more powerful tools that an artist can obtain as an Arts Major. It will arm you with the necessary tools to be competitive with content creation and also in creating art.

While many jobs may require you to create only for the company, it is valuable experience. Networking, relationship building, and advancement is more readily achieved.

While this field does not pay as much traditionally as others, this does not have to be a primary focus. Concept Art is an example of using this tool to help place yourself within a profitable industry.

Consider it as a necessary tool within the toolkit. I would advise placing enough emphasis on this role in order to make it as valuable as possible.

Opportunities For Graphic Design As An Arts Major

The opportunities for Graphic Design is rated as having potential employment at 73%. Know up front that this field has more competition globally.

The purpose for this field is to further prepare and arm an artist who wishes to at some point pursue art. More specifically the pursuit of their personal art. This does not mean it is the best option for security in life.

The one interesting take away from the statistic is that art seems to do better with employment in education than actual production. You will notice this trend continue forward.

Art Majors : Art And General Art Studies

Based upon the changing world and what I have seen there is a disagreement I have with the National Statistic. Nevertheless I will present you their argument, and then offer you my antithesis.

The statistics state that any field within the arts offer more employment opportunities than ever before. In other words the claim is that you can apply most Art Majors to many real world employment options.

This may have been true twenty years ago. Yet times have changed. Allow me to explain.

The beginning fact is that most of these opportunities are within education. The never ending cycle to educate in order to continue more education does not end.

Yet when it meets the world of actual productivity suddenly art hits a wall.

Today due to world events, economies, and social issues you will find employers either outsourcing, seeking specialization of a field, or trimming what is not essential to the core business model.

This specifically was devastating to Arts Entertainment and Media Management within the past decade. The field underwent a shift due to how the world was changing.

I would not advise to take on a general Art Major without having a marketable specialization. A specialization is a safety net.

This may require you to extend your education beyond your initial scope. Why?

If you are truly attempting to make it as an artist you need more tools within your toolkit than others around you. With this comes design, digital arts, applied arts, and I would even consider outside the box classes.

Those classes which would be outside the box could include web development. While not related to art, it most certainly will be related to your personal work and platform.

Opportunities For Art And General Art Studies

National Statistics place potential employment at near 92%. I argue that with this number are many positions focused on education or teaching. This is fine if this is your desired path.

If you are an artist seeking to create a path in art, then more will be needed in your focus.

Art Majors For Games And Media Design

This will cause some argument among many if you take the National Statistics at face value. While games and interactive media design of many formats is one of the largest growing industries, it is rated as among the worst for employment.

Why is this the case? The gaming industry itself is fairly isolated to a handful of big names. Outside of this you have masses of people attempting to break into the industry or join hands with those names.

What does the real world picture look like? Based upon what I can see from those that I know, it can be a difficult field.

I personally am less familiar with specific details when compared to how well I know Media Management and Marketing.

Allow me to share an alternative path using the same concepts and skill sets from the gaming model. If you look at VR and augmented reality, this is without a doubt the future.

The abilities that make games what they are can be found within these next two pioneering fields. If I were an artist looking for a path of this nature then I would seek out the potential in this area.

Opportunities For Art Majors In Games And Media Design

National Statistics rate employment opportunities at near 24%. This though take with a grain of salt. Do specific research to the path you seek to follow and build your major around being flexible to potential alternate paths.

How Should You Focus Your Art Majors?

With the above list I have given, you can see each real world application has its pros and cons. For an artist seeking to make it in the art world, it can be difficult.

Allow me to reinforce this, it is hard.

The safer positions will be within teaching or some kind of educational role. Secondly the next best positions are focused within technological applications to varied degrees.

Lastly becoming a success within art, especially your personal art, is a never ending uphill battle. I do not wish to be discouraging, but this is the present reality.

For the artist, I suggest that you balance your Art Major so that you gain the best of both worlds even if it means taking on greater work loads. Gain the support you need for real world marketability, and also your personal art benefit.

Being armed with more in potential is better than not being armed at all. You are attempting to cram into four years what will be needed to carry you through a lifetime.

Allow me to inform you now, it will not be enough.

Your Art Major Is A Jump Start Program

When you graduate you are proven to have the basics, in theory alone. You will have to prove those theories within the real world by succeeding with them.

Having the paper in your hands means little.

Consider your Art Major as a jump start program. Tailor it to those ends.

It should be designed in such a way to push you into the right direction where you can then develop roots and grow.

Do not accept the tailor made programs a University may offer. Analyze the field you are seeking and then compare and contrast the classes offered.

What is beneficial, what is not?

Does what you are taking give enough flexibility and balance? Does it make you marketable in real world terms? Is it within a growing industry?

Can this help you as an artist promoting your own work? Are you given enough depth within technology to push forward?

All of these questions could apply to anyone. Yet ultimately you must take the responsibility to tailor this system to benefit your life.

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