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“Art” covers a broad range of topics, from landscape architecture to art education, from fashion design to game and interactive media design. In general, arts majors prepare individuals to succeed as creative artists. The first step in choosing what type of art major to pursue is figuring out where you want to end up. Broad categories include fashion/textiles, graphic design, spatial design, 3D product design, digital/multimedia, photography, fine art, and arranging/display. Majoring in art can also translate to organization and people management, such as becoming an Art Therapist, Private Art Instructor, or Artist Agent. Art degrees are offered at every level, and many can be completed online.
The two most popular degree levels are a Bachelor’s in Art or a Bachelor’s in Fine Art — the difference may only be one word, but can mean a lot. A BA is considered a generalist degree in liberal arts education. The general curriculum tends to include the integration of art and design, art history, art and new media, as well as intermediate visual studies.
A BFA, as defined by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), specifies a focus and expertise in one or more artistic mediums. Fine/Studio Arts involves a heavy course load inside of a studio practicing a focalized art.
Options include painting, printmaking, woodwork, sculpture, animation, illustration, and more. Possible career paths for Fine/Studio Arts majors include: Artist, Art Teacher, Art Therapist, Illustrator, Graphic Artist, Art Critic, Cartoonist, Curator, Greeting Card Artists, Sculptor, Painter, Art Gallery Owner. Nationally, the starting salary for a Fine/Studio Art major is $32,000.
Commercial art, sometimes known as advertising art, uses artistic means to promote, narrate, or inform. Color theory, drawing, graphic design, and typography are career uses for commercial art, while the ability to use computer software programs are usually essential in this field.
Graphic design is one of the most popular uses of commercial art and has an entry-level salary of $40,000.
Master or Master of Fine Art
A Master of Art or Master of Fine Art are both options for postgraduate education, as well as doctoral degrees. MAs are typically more scholarly and academic, while MFAs are terminal professional degrees that qualify graduates to teach at the university level. MFAs focus on deepening an artist strengths, whereas a PhD in the Arts often signifies a commitment to academia.
Career options for graduates majoring in the arts include: Craft Artists, Graphic Designers, Fine Artists (Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators), Multimedia Artists, Museum Technicians and Curators, and Archivists.