The Arts Majors Are Fine

Stop worrying about students getting unusable arts bachelor’s degrees. It turns out that getting a degree in the arts is plenty practical. According to an article by Dan Berrett in USA Today:

Conventional wisdom has long held that pursuing a career in the arts is a likely ticket to a life of perennial unhappiness, hunger and unemployment. But the opposite appears to be true — graduates of arts programs are likely to find jobs and satisfaction… according to a new national survey of more than 13,000 alumni of 154 different arts programs.

A large majority of respondents (92 percent) who want to work say they are currently working. More than half (57 percent) either are working as professional artists (41 percent) or have done so in the past (16 percent).

Granted, the graduates aren’t exactly rich. The median salary for American artists in general was only $34,800 a year.

According to the survey many graduates of art programs are very satisfied with their jobs, thought not at all happy with their incomes.

Then again, low incomes aren’t necessarily a problem. Of course they won’t get rich with a degree like that but why should this be cause for concern?

Most people aren’t rich. Being not rich is actually very normal.

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Daniel Luzer

Daniel Luzer is the news editor at Governing Magazine and former web editor of the Washington Monthly. Find him on Twitter: @Daniel_Luzer