Myths about Arts Degrees

Sadly, there is still an overwhelming amount of stigma surrounding creative studies in this day and age. We’ve all heard the myths and horror stories that come with arts degrees, arts and design, and fine arts degrees. Keep reading for the top Myths of studying towards an arts degree.

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‘You’re studying for an arts degree? Why?’ If you’re thinking about studying for an arts degree or are currently doing one, you’ve heard this line a million times. Sadly, in this day and age, there is still an overwhelming amount of stigma that surrounds creative studies. We’ve all heard the myths and horror stories that come with arts degrees, arts and design, and fine arts degrees. Pretty much any topic that leads on into a creative career is shrouded in doubt and fear.  

Will you have to move back home after you graduate? What career can these degrees lead to? Is it worth it?. Like any life-altering choice, picking a degree to study can seem daunting, but if you’re passionate and dedicated, the rewards will be worth the effort. Creative studies are the perfect environment to envelop yourself with like-minded individuals. You’ll be working with a supportive community that can help you challenge yourself and push you forward in your chosen career path. The most significant step is taking the leap of faith and starting the degree.  

 
MYTH 1: You won’t get a job/career once you graduate!

One of the biggest myths associated with an arts degree is unemployment after you graduate. Or that you end up working in a minimum wage job that has nothing to do with your degree with no future prospects. This is a common misconception that surrounds arts degrees. People don’t understand the skills and knowledge you can obtain through a creative degree and therefore believe job opportunities are limited. That’s not the case, and everyone has that uncertainty when they graduate. Art degrees sometimes take a bit longer to find your feet or narrow down the field you’d like to work within. But when you’re ready, there are so many creative jobs out there. You can also look into internships through sites like nxtstep to gain experience in your chosen field. A dominant aspect of art degrees is transferable skills; learning how to communicate with others and approaching problems with a different mindset are highly sought-after skills in the workforce. 

 
MYTH 2: There’s no money in art-based careers!

We have all heard about the struggling artist: the classic combination of tight funds and limited career opportunities. Waiting around and praying your work gets noticed. However, that’s not how this generation works! If you want something, go after it. There is money to be made in these careers and a lot of it if you work hard enough. The more effort and time you put into something, the better the pay-off will be. It takes time to build yourself up as a respectable figure in any career you choose, and of course, with knowledge and experience comes higher pay. Specialising in a specific topic, like fine arts and graphic design, can open multiple doors for you. Art-based careers can be versatile, exciting, and rewarding. 

 
MYTH 3: You have it or you don’t.

Why take a creative degree? You shouldn’t need to be taught how to be creative. You either have it, or you don’t. Is accounting just addition and subtraction? No. Then an arts degree isn’t just drawing and performing. There are layers to each degree that people can’t see on the surface. University teaches students the ins and outs of how to make it in their chosen career, how to push yourself to stand out, and how to think differently. There are many reasons why you should take an arts degree. The biggest is being passionate about the subject you want to study. University can help nurture that passion, provide an encouraging environment to challenge yourself to achieve higher goals, and help you make connections that you would never have imagined. You will learn new skills and perfect the ones you already have.  

 
MYTH 4: Creative careers aren’t professional.

A lot of people see creative careers as less significant than others, due to the fact they don’t understand the scope of what it entails. Arts degrees are so much more than artists in a studio or novelists and their laptops. Arts degrees can open doors into advertising, teaching, graphic design, psychology, and so much more. These degrees are designed to teach students transferable skills that can be applied to any given career. Every billboard advertisement you see, clothing brand you wear, movie you watch, and museum you visit – has a creative hand adding input. A lot of ‘professionals’ often outsource work to creatives to appeal to the public eye. If you are dedicated to your career, then it’s professional. 

 
MYTH 5: The arts are dying out.

The general public produces an endless demand for creative products so there’s no fear to be had that the arts are dying out. While we might not consume art in the same fashion, due to technology, that doesn’t mean it’s dying out. For example; you can now buy books in paperback/hardback, download them onto kindles or listen through sites like audible. The arts are adapting with the times and certain creative careers are expanding to meet demands. The need for graphic designers is higher than ever. These jobs are still relevant! 

 

So, what can you do with an arts degree? The answers are pretty simple: whatever you choose to do with it. There will always be a demand for creatives, and each individual can offer the industry a new perspective and fresh ideas. There are plenty of jobs available, and every day more are being discovered as the creative industry evolves and grows. Arts degrees also provide an array of transferable skills, which can then be adapted and used in any chosen work field. If you studied towards an arts degree and you are pursuing the life you want, I don't see a downside, do you?

Shannel Milne, Nxtstep Content Writer

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