The Value of the Fine Arts Degree
Our liberating and demanding academics give graduates an optimistic and deliberate mindset. Their experiences here create an appetite for learning, and instill ambitious thinking so that they excel at creative problem solving. Our faculty stress continual practice and production, individual development, and push an exploratory process that embraces original thought. Students develop a clear voice and identity. And our purposeful and stimulating community means grads are poised to make meaningful and fulfilling contributions in the world. All of this helps ensure a very bright future for our graduates.
Who said educated artists are starving artists? The median salary for those graduating with a Bachelor of Fine Arts is comparable to that of other liberal arts graduates, and slightly higher than psychology majors.
Nationally, 80% of recent fine arts graduates work professionally in arts related fields. Compared to 58% of biology majors, 56% of accounting majors, and 53% of engineering majors.
When asked, 75% of recent fine arts graduates report they are “satisfied” or “highly satisfied” with their career choice. This is higher than the satisfaction of lawyers, accountants, financial managers, and high school teachers!
In 2015, 2.3 million people had primary jobs as artists. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there was a growth of 185,000 artists between 2005-2015. This growth is on par with the growth of the overall labor force.
A substantial number of fine arts grads now work in interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary ways. This means recent grads are now injecting their finely-honed creativity, research, and applied knowledge in a variety of fields.
1. Daniel Grant, A Fine Arts Degree May be a Better Choice Than You Think, The Wall Street Journal, Novemeber 10, 2013
2. From the 2014 Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) report called: Making It Work: The Education and Employment of Recent Arts Graduates. SNAPP is part of the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research.
3. Center for Cultural Innovation for the National Endowment for the Arts, 2016 report.
4. National Endowment for the Art Research Note #103 - June 27, 2011, Artists Employment Projections through 2018. Accessed at arts.gov.