Creative Passion Can Lead to a Lucrative Career in Art and Design

A picture can be worth far more than a thousand words for those who pursue a degree in art and design. Humans have always been visual creatures, and this trait is on full display in the digital age. Web browsers, social media platforms, and digital broadcast media all vie for our attention along with more traditional print media, and let’s not forget the clever product packaging and actual art that we’re surrounded by as well. Branding and marketing experts are quick to point out the power of a perfectly designed corporate logo, and Steve Jobs is known in some circles as “The Godfather of Fonts,” a nod to his appreciation for calligraphy and typography. A far cry from the stereotypical starving artist, those who pursue a degree in this field can look forward to a variety of lucrative careers – and the projections for art and design estimate that job demand will grow as much as 35 percent in the coming years!

To pursue a career in art and design, you’ll need more than just a good eye. Analytical skills are vital as well, but these should be well-balanced with artistic ability. Also, while graphic design may center on nonverbal communication, it will often be necessary to understand the needs of clients and work with other members of a design team. Therefore, strong communication skills are a must. Another consideration is that design work often includes deadlines and the need to work on multiple projects at the same time, making time management essential.

While there is tremendous flexibility and variety when it comes to careers in art and design, the path to any of these occupations is fairly predictable. These three general steps are a good place to start:

  • Start Now: If you’re a high school student, you’re in the perfect position to begin sharpening your artistic talents while experimenting with theories, concepts, and mediums in a relatively consequence-free environment. Take as many art classes as possible to find out where your strengths lie. Look for ways to publicize your work as well – the school newspaper and drama club always need talented artists. If you’re out of school, no worries: YouTube can introduce you to almost anything, and the same rules apply for local papers and community theater.
  • Build Your Portfolio: A mainstay of the professional artist, portfolios represent a collection of your best work. Much like the art and design industry itself, your portfolio will likely include work done in several different mediums. If you don’t have a lot of professional pieces to highlight, you can supplement with your best design samples. Also, it’s not unusual to focus on quality over quantity at first, so showing your best three or four pieces is fine.
  • Pick a College: A four-year degree is traditional, but this is not the only path to an art and design career. For example, vocational schools will offer graphic design, web design, and user experience design classes that will definitely get your foot in the door. Many two-year schools will have excellent graphic design programs as well, and if spending several hours a day on a campus is prohibitive, there are reputable online degrees that can be earned as well.

With so many options and avenues to choose from, there’s never been a better time to make a career of art and design.



4 schools found

Centura College


Centura College, with campus locations in Virginia, and South Carolina, is dedicated to helping students gain the skills and attitudes necessary to succeed. Drawing from over 30 years of career school...

Colorado Technical University


Since 1965 Colorado Technical University has been proud to educate career focused students to advance their education and help achieve their goals. CTU’s commitment to provide innovative, real-world...

Remington College


Each day at Remington College, we talk to people looking to make a change - people who believe that an education can make a real difference and can lead to new and better opportunities for those who...

Southern New Hampshire University (SNHU)


Southern New Hampshire University is a private, nonprofit, accredited institution with more than 3,000 on-campus students and over 60,000 online students, making us one of the fastest-growing...