Career Opportunities with an Art & Design Degree

Unlike a vocational course your Art & Design degree won’t prepare you for any specific career. However, in some ways this makes your degree even more exciting as you’ll have a whole host of job prospects open to you after graduation.

Art & Design graduates have many highly transferrable skills that employers are looking for. It’s important to remember that many employers accept candidates with any degree subject so don’t think you’ll have limited options with an Art & Design degree.

More than 8 in ten Art & Design graduates are employed within six months of graduating with many of the rest going on to full time study or combining work and study.

The majority of graduates work in the art, design, and media industries but if you have an open mind then the world is your oyster. Many jobs may not be directly related to your degree but you’ll find the skills you’ve gained put you at an advantage over other candidates.

What skills will I gain from an Art & Design degree?

Graduates from Art & Design related courses are known for being creative thinkers and problem solvers. You’ll develop many skills during your course, not just art related skills, including:

  • Communication skills (both written and oral)
  • IT literacy – this could include using design software such as Photoshop
  • Teamwork skills
  • Flexibility
  • Independent learning
  • Self-motivation and management
  • Critical awareness
  • Imagination, creativity, resourcefulness
  • Research skills

If you work hard to craft a strong CV whilst you’re still at university then you shouldn’t be at a disadvantage when you graduate.

How can I build a strong CV?

For non-vocational degrees it’s important that you build a strong CV before you graduate so that you have more than academic achievements to show potential employers.

One of the best ways to do this is to volunteer, have a part-time job, or undertake a work experience placement in a relevant industry.

As an Art & Design student you could also take part in exhibitions, shows, and competitions to demonstrate your skills to future employers.

Many Art & Design students also undertake commissions whilst studying to develop their creative skills and earn some extra money.

All of these options will help you to gain commercial awareness and negotiating skills, as well as demonstrating to employers that you have drive, determination, and ambition.

You’ll also find that this helps you to network with people that may offer you a job or be useful to your career later down the line. Networking is an essential part of having a career in a creative industry so try to build useful contacts and keep in touch with anyone that you’ve previously worked with or for.

What career opportunities are there for Art & Design graduates?

Here are some common career opportunities with an Art and Design degree that directly relate to your degree:

  • Artist
  • Illustrator
  • Graphic Designer
  • Fine Artist
  • Textile Designer
  • Fashion Designer
  • Art Therapist
  • Printmaker
  • Community Arts Worker

There are a number of professional organisations that regularly recruit Art & Design students, including Arts Council England, who offer specific roles within their organisations.

Less common career opportunities for Art & Design graduates

There are also a number of exciting career opportunities for graduates of Art & Design that might not be so obvious but the skills you have will greatly help you in your future career.

Less common job opportunities for Art and Design graduates include:

  • Advertising Executive
  • Arts Administrator
  • Museum Curator

Typical industries for Art & Design graduates include media and the internet, PR and marketing, advertising and branding, and teaching and education. Other graduates have combined their love of other with an experience or interest in another industry and gone on to work in business, finance, management role.

What are the postgraduate study options for Art & Design graduates?

Other common route for Art & Design graduates is to continue studying for an MA or other postgraduate qualification.

Further study allows you to develop your technical, vocational, or specialist skills that will help you in your future career.

Common postgraduate courses for Art & Design graduates include:

  • Fashion
  • Advertising
  • Animation
  • Design Management
  • Documentary Making
  • Graphic Branding and Media Design
  • Arts Journalism
  • Games Design
  • Photography and Photojournalism