Dreaming of getting paid to create? A bachelor’s degree in art and design could open the door to a multitude of rewarding careers in the art and design field. While many people associate art degrees with traditional careers such as painting or sculpture, the truth is that the field is much broader and more diverse than many realize.
Graduates with art and design degrees can pursue careers in fields ranging from advertising and teaching to architecture and interior design. In this article, we will explore some of the many career paths available to those with a degree in art and design and how to make the most of your education to launch a successful career in this exciting and ever-evolving field.
What Can I Do with a Degree in Art and Design?
A degree in art and design can prepare you for a rewarding career in a multitude of roles and industries. Some positions that require a degree in art and design include:
- Graphic designer
- Creative director
- User experience designer
- User interface designer
- Production artist
- Product developer
- Multimedia artist
- Computer animator
Many art and design careers offer flexible employment options. You could work for a company that sells your services to others, provide in-house art work for a company, or you could work on a freelance basis for your own clients’ design needs. Additionally, a degree in art and design combined with real-world experience may qualify you to teach others in a postsecondary institution or other settings.
Why Should Your Pursue a Career in Art and Design?
The single most prevalent reason students choose a career in art and design is creative fulfillment. If you are passionate about creating, pursuing a degree in this field gives you the opportunity to explore and develop your creative skills. Creating art can be a deeply fulfilling and an enjoyable activity that brings you a sense of joy and purpose.
Although creative fulfillment is often the driving force behind the decision to pursue a degree in art and design, there are also practical considerations. Beyond creativity, a career in art and design requires excellent communication, technical knowledge, business acumen, and problem-solving ability.
Marketing and other industries that combine technology and art are growing rapidly, meaning job security looks good for students who choose this path. Additionally, a degree in art and design translates well to many positions and settings, making it a versatile degree. It can help you develop your personal and artistic voice, hone in on your your critical thinking and analytical skills, and improve your understanding of yourself and the world around you. Finally, a career in art and design gives you the chance to make a difference in the world - contributing to the cultural landscape, making an impact on society, challenging assumptions, inspiring others, and making the world a more beautiful place.
What Does the Art Industry Look Like?
The art industry is a diverse and evolving field that encompasses a wide range of creative activities and disciplines, including:
- The art market - the buying and selling of art like paintings, photographs, sculptures, and other art forms.
- Museums and galleries - platforms to exhibit and promote art.
- Art education - training and support for aspiring artists and designers within primary, secondary, and postsecondary institutions, as well as in independent learning environments.
- Creative industries - design, advertising, fashion, music, film, and publishing.
- Art therapy - the application of art to promote healing and well-being.
New graduates looking for art and design degree jobs might start in any one of these branches of the art industry.
What is Digital Art Design?
Digital art and design involve using technology to create and manipulate visual art and designs. This can include tools and technologies, like Adobe Photoshop, Illustrator, or InDesign, as well as various forms of media, like websites, magazines, brochures, flyers, or social media campaigns.
End products that can result from work in digital art and design include:
- Beautiful, user-friendly websites
- TV advertisements that evoke emotion and action
- Effective print pieces-such as brochures, flyers, and business cards
- Creative social media content that drives conversions
There are digital art and design jobs in every industry, from marketing agencies to finance, healthcare, and academia.
Career Options in Art and Design
Earning your bachelor’s degree in art and design can open a world of career opportunities across a multitude of industries. If you’re passionate about health equity, for example, many healthcare systems hire graphic designers, marketing specialists, UX designers, and more. Moreover,
if you want the variation that comes from serving clients across all industries, working in a marketing, advertising, or website design firm can give you that experience.
Let’s discuss just a few of the career options available to graduates with a degree in art and design:
Graphic designers create visual concepts by hand or often using software programs – in order to communicate ideas that educate, inform, inspire, and captivate consumers. Businesses and individuals might hire a graphic designer to create their logo, establish their color palette, design their website from a visual perspective, or mockup their digital or print marketing materials. Graphic designers can serve a company’s external or internal graphic design needs or work as freelancers.
Creative directors are responsible for the overall creative direction of a project or campaign in advertising or design fields. In this role, they might develop the creative strategy, work with a team of professionals to deliver on that strategy
, and oversee the production process from start to finish. Creative directors usually work in advertising agencies and design firms, but any organization with a large marketing or design department can employ a creative director.
User Experience (UX) Designer
UX designers are responsible for designing the user experience of a product or service. That is, what will the end user of the product see, and how will they use the product to meet their needs? Without a UX designer, a product can be beautiful but difficult to navigate, reducing the likelihood of adoption by end users. UX designers often work for technology companies, where they focus on user experience for websites, mobile apps, or softwares. Like many other creative professionals, these individuals can also work in design firms or as freelancers.
User Interface (UI) Designer
Like UX designers, UI designers work to deliver a visually appealing and user-friendly product to the end user. However, UI designers focus more on the visual aspects of a project, like the layout, font, and color palette, while UX designers focus more on the user’s experience and interaction with the product. UI designers typically work closely with UX designers. For that reason, they often work in the same settings such as, technology companies, design firms, or as freelancers.
Product Developer and Production Artist
Product developers are responsible for the development that occurs between design and delivery. They often come from engineering, design, or business backgrounds and have a strong understanding of the needs of the client and the end user.
Production artists are responsible for the final execution of a design. They prepare work for digital or print production, review artwork to catch and correct errors, move the product into production, and deliver the final product to the client.
Both roles can be employed by technology companies or design firms. In some cases, they may work as consultants or freelancers.
A multimedia artist combines several forms of media – such as video, music, sound, and animation to create art, tell stories, express emotions, and explore new ideas.
Computer animators use software programs to create video games, animated films, TV shows, and visual effects.
Both multimedia artists and computer animators require a combination of creative and technical skills along with an art or computer science degree. They can work in film, advertising, video game development, or TV.
Art directors oversee the visual aspects of a project, working with a variety of other creative professionals to create and deliver a final product that meets the client’s needs. They might develop the overall concept, work with a team of specialists to develop the final product, manage the project schedule and budget, and oversee the production.
Art professors teach art to students in a postsecondary institution. They have a strong understanding of art history and different forms of art. In most cases, art professors must have a graduate degree or higher.
Marketing specialists develop marketing plans and campaigns to promote a product or service. In many settings, marketing specialists will have technology-driven responsibilities such as maintaining a social media content calendar and managing ad campaigns alongside creative responsibilities such as, designing digital and print advertising for their organization. Marketing specialists can work for any company with a marketing department, for advertising agencies, or as freelancers, selling their services directly to clients looking to elevate their brand’s presence.
Freelance Artist and Designer
Freelance artists create art and designs for clients they’ve independently sourced. These professionals are self-employed and typically do commission work, which means clients hire them to create specific designs or pieces of art. They meet with the client to better understand the request and then they create a final customized product that the client purchases
Because freelance artists and designers work for themselves, they have autonomy over their schedules, their clients, and where and how they work. However, starting your career as a freelancer can be challenging - those with experience are often the most successful. Additionally, freelancers must source their own benefits, including health, dental, and vision insurance, which may serve as a barrier for artists looking to be self-employed or work independently.
Take the Next Step with Lindenwood Online!
If you’re interested in one of these career paths or any of the many other career options in art and design, Lindenwood University's Art and Design degree programs can help you achieve your goals whether you are looking for a bachelor’s or master’s degree. Our program offers a variety of concentrations, including graphic design, illustration, painting, and photography, and is offered on campus or online to fit your schedule’s needs. Experienced faculty, state-of-the-art facilities, scholarships and financial aid options are just a few of the things that make Lindenwood a great choice.
Learn more about the Art and Design programs at Lindenwood University, or request information today!