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What careers can a degree in Art and Design lead to?

12 Nov, 2018
What careers can a degree in Art and Design lead to?

In short, when it comes to the world of work, there are endless opportunities for Art and Design graduates — both in terms of job roles and industries. Currently, it is estimated the UK creative industries workforce totals just over 2 million.

A variety of specialisms

Within the field of art and design, there are numerous specialisms — many of which are available to study as a specific degree course within some universities. These include Animation, Film Production, Interior Design and Fashion Design to name just a few.

Mariana sitting in front of the camera, in the film studio at university.Mariana Nascimento, from Brazil, chose to study a degree in Film Production at University for the Creative Arts after completing her course at Kings. Now working at one of the biggest and most well-known production companies in Brazil, Gullane, she commented:

"There I work in the development department, which is the part of the film process I have always wanted to work in. So far, I am in the path I was hoping to take on when I decided to work with Film.

Art school is great and will give you the best environment to create and get to know likeminded people. In case of film, more specifically, the British film industry is a reference worldwide and, in my opinion, does really well both commercial and more auteurist films, and that is reflected in the way they will teach you. Plus, the industry is really well established and you have the best resources to create and understand the different fields within."

A range of industries and sectors

Whilst often a specialist degree can forge a path to a career within that specialist field, there are other courses within the realm of art and design which can arguably lead to a wider range of options post-degree.

Emma Charleston screenprinting in an art studio.For example, a degree course in Graphic Design can open up a wealth of opportunities, across a huge variety of industries. Working in the Central Marketing Unit at Kings, graphic designer Emma Charleston designs websites, brochures, and even signage within our schools, yet her skills would be equally as relevant and sought-after working for a travel company, a bank, or even a healthcare provider. Alongside her work at Kings, Emma is also an illustrator who makes and sells her own screenprints, lino cuts and letterpress pieces, as well as producing commissioned illustrations for clients.

Working in other artistic capacities

Whilst many graduates choose jobs which allow them to use their art and design skills in a practical sense every day, there are others whose career enables them to work in the world of art and design, but without actively working as an artist or designer. Teaching art, working as a gallery curator, or even as an art therapist would all fall into this category.

Valuable transferrable skills

It's worth bearing in mind too that completing an Art and design degree is widely credited with nurturing all-round problem solving skills, visual analysis, the ability to find creative solutions and make critical judgements, and the capacity to work outside your comfort zone — all of which means that art and design graduates have transferrable skills which are welcomed in a whole range of sectors.

Steve Jobs once commented that the secret to Apple’s success was the fact he had hired artists/ creatives with a passion for technology, rather than simply experts in technology. He is quoted as saying:

"It's in Apple's DNA that technology alone is not enough — it's technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the result that makes our heart sing, and nowhere is that more true than in these post-PC devices."

It is worth noting that Apple's Chief Design Officer, Jonathan Ive, was born and studied in the UK.

Flexible working and freelancing

Certainly, one huge benefit of working in the field of art and design is that very often jobs within it lend themselves to freelance work as well as contracted employment. This can offer much more freedom and flexibility than other disciplines, and also enables people to take their skills all over the world if they wish.

The illustration above shows some of the many interesting, skilled and sought after jobs which Art and Design students can consider in the world of today.

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