Think that art school dooms graduates to a life of unemployment? The numbers paint a very different picture.
“Artists can have good careers, earning a middle-class income,” says Anthony Carnevale, director of Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. “And, just as important and maybe more, artists tend to be happy with their choices and lives.”
Not Exactly Starving
A 2011 report from the center found that the unemployment rate in the first two years for those graduating with bachelor of fine arts degree is 7.8%, dropping to 4.5% for those out of school longer. The median income is $42,000.
“Artists’ income is comparable to other liberal-arts majors,” he says. “They do a little better than psychology majors, since counseling and social work is a very low-wage occupation.”
For artists who go on to graduate degrees, the most common of which is the master’s of fine arts, the unemployment rate for recent graduates drops to just under 5%, and their median yearly income increases to roughly $50,000.