Does an Artist Need a Degree and What Are the Top 5 Places to Get It?

Many creative minds struggle over the idea of getting an education. There are thousands of articles stating that education is necessary only for doctors and engineers.

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They suggest that a person can gain other skills from YouTube videos. Yet, remember that there are two types of education: 

The choice depends on what kind of artist you want to be, what art styles you prefer, and, oddly enough, on your character and capabilities. All these books and courses with loud headlines promising to teach you to draw in 30 days may sound persuasive, yet, not fully true. Yes, they do teach laymen to draw simple flowers or even a human eye by example. Yet, it can hardly be called ultimate art.

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Self-education may take more time and effort. This path also requires self-control and high learning skills. Few people can force themselves to sit and draw the same object or practice scales until they reach perfection.

Art students cannot focus solely on painting or playing music, they still have other disciplines to cover. Often, they need to write papers analyzing various paintings, painting styles, musical instruments, or historical aspects of art. Those who focus more on the art itself choose to buy essays online using online essay service to hire a professional writer. In the end, time is a much more valuable asset for those who have to repeat drawing one and the same picture to hone a skill.

Ambiguity Remains 

To become a professional, one needs to build up a unique skill set. 

Many specialists in IT, for example, are urged to have a higher education – a high-quality base is valued in this area. It is necessary for the formation of a logical way of thinking. Creative professions also prefer people with art degrees. Yet, a diploma is usually not a decisive factor for hiring. Employers judge designers, photographers, and creative writers by their portfolios. 

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It takes little time to type in “do my essay” in Google search. Yet, if we speak about learning the art of poetry, it would be better to use those essays as examples and try writing by example.

An Arts degree has many positive sides to it. Experts from related fields sometimes become producers and managers. A person can work as a UX/UI designer or an artist for several years and then take a leadership position. This is just one of the open paths. If the professional copes with their new responsibilities, then the lack of higher education will not hinder career development.

Too Cool for School


Many young people who want to get into art are wondering about the relevance of higher education. First, look up art-related job offers and analyze the requirements. In most cases, those will be portfolio-based professions that require experience.

Then, answer the questions below:

Few agencies would ask an artist with a great portfolio whether they have a diploma. Yet, it is the educational process that gives useful professional contacts. University also teaches to think critically, which is necessary for creative activity.

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Creativity Is Fashionable

Over the past 40 years, art trends have changed and shifted many times. Video installations, body-, web- and performance arts are just a few examples. It is difficult to say which direction is dominant and which is the creative outsider. Digital marketing, public relations, advertising, event management – these are new art-related professions that have little to do with art degrees. Still, they gain popularity day by day.

Today, a lot of attention is paid to video art. In this case, a diploma is required since the art of creating video content is too complex to learn intuitively.


Participation Is Key

An inborn talent, even combined with education, does not guarantee success in the profession. The ability to present your talent in the most favorable light overpowers the actual skill. 

Van Gogh, for example, had great talent and almost no self-presentation skills. An artist may create a masterpiece, but no one will know about it until they reveal it to the world. Some universities offer self-marketing courses for art graduates. They also arrange exhibitions or help their students exhibit their work during large-scale events. Participation in exhibitions or competitions is one of the opportunities to get good publicity.

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Degree to Disagree

Top art schools often own galleries and teach students how to make their pieces available for art worshipers. The best schools to study art are:

  1. Yale School of Art (New Haven, CT)
  2. California Institute of the Arts (Santa Clarita, CA)
  3. School of Design (Rhode Island, Providence, RI)
  4. School of the Art Institute (Chicago, IL)
  5. Massachusetts College of Art and Design (Boston, MA)

The diploma itself, as a physical document, may not be needed. Yet, knowledge, connections, and social circle do matter.

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