Art at WGU
While an art degree can be a great educational foundation for an art-based career, a business degree could actually be a better option. Painting, sculpture, graphic design, and other artistic skills are crucial to hone if you want to be an artist, and for those who want to pursue those pathways, an art program may be the best choice. But students who have a creative focus also need to know how to market and sell their work, which is why a business degree can be an important addition to an artist’s educational background. Additionally, those who want to pursue other artistic careers like being a curator or gallery owner likely need curriculum that is focused on helping them enhance the other areas where they will need more technical skills. The business degrees at WGU are online programs geared to helping students like you gain the skills required to build the business side of your artistic endeavors, with the credentials and know-how you need to turn your passion into a profession. Learn more about the ideal business degree options that can help support your artistic and creative background.
According to LinkedIn, there are over 250,000 art jobs up for grabs across the United States, including roles such as Digital Artist, Story Artist, Art Producer, Art Department Consultant, and many others. Pursuing a future in art-focused careers requires business skills, especially if you want to utilize your passion for art in a different way, such as opening and managing a gallery. If you want to become an artist or have an art-based career, sometimes a business degree can be very beneficial to your future. An undergraduate degree in business or an art degree could be the right fit—it completely depends on your specific career goals.
An undergraduate degree in business management can be a great option for students who want to advance their career in art. This kind of undergraduate program will give you a great overview of all things related to business, giving you important skills that can help you turn your passion into a solid career. Coursework in this type of program covers a wide variety of topics that can be extremely helpful for you, including financial accounting and management, spreadsheets, economics, and more.
It doesn’t matter if you’re planning on being a freelance artist and selling your artwork or opening your own business—you’ll need to understand fundamentals such as how to set up an LLC, learn accounting and more. Getting a business management degree can help artists like you learn about each of the different areas of business and how they all work together. This is important for artists, as you can learn valuable skills such as how to run your business and work with professional partners.
Some of the courses in this degree program include:
- Best Practices in Management: Projects, Staffing, Scheduling, and Budgeting
- Fundamentals for Success in Business
- Finance Skills for Managers
- Concepts in Marketing, Sales, and Customer Contact
- Innovative and Strategic Thinking
- Emotional and Cultural Intelligence
An undergraduate degree in marketing can also be extremely helpful for art students who want to learn how to get the word out about their offerings. A marketing degree program offers a comprehensive overview of traditional marketing and concepts, with a background in digital and emerging methods, and skills in customer-focused strategies. Learning about sales, promotion, and management can be valuable for you when you’re a working artist in a crowded marketplace, as you can gain a greater understanding of consumer behavior, sales management, branding, content creation, communication, and more.
Getting a marketing degree can be crucial for artists like you who really want to make an impact with their artwork and stand out from the crowd. By learning to develop strategies for getting the word out about your work and learning the fundamentals of brand management and event management, you could advance your career. You could also leverage your degree by pursuing a marketing career where you can utilize your creativity, graphic design, and artwork in a professional or corporate setting.
Some of the courses in this degree program include:
- Marketing analytics
- Sales management
- Project management
- Global marketing
- Strategic thinking
When you choose art as your career path, that path can take you many different places. You can apply your skills digitally, you can run your own gallery and acquire the work of other artists, or you could take on a role as a department manager at a creative firm. A business or marketing degree can be vital to helping you start your own art-related business or pursue a different kind of career path related to art.
What Does a Professional Artist Do?
A professional artist works within their medium to create new pieces of art that provoke a feeling or reaction from the viewer. This can be done across a variety of mediums, from sculpture to painting, photography to graphic design, or even glassblowing and drawing.
What Does an Illustrator Do?
An illustrator creates artwork that connects to another aspect of a project, usually descriptive text. For example, illustrators can create artwork for a children’s book, where the imagery matches the prose on the page.
What Does a Graphic Designer Do?
Usually by using computer software, a graphic designer creates visual representations of ideas or concepts that connect to their intended audience. Graphic design can happen through advertising, marketing brochures, magazines, and more.
What Does an Art Director Do?
Art directors are in charge of an entire design staff, including graphic designers and in some cases, illustrators. In a marketing or advertising firm, an art director manages all the visual aspects of a media or advertising campaign. They can also work in publishing, where they manage layouts and ensure they mesh with the intended design.
What Does a Marketer Do?
Marketers are in charge of promoting products and services using strategies based on trends and market insights. This can encompass brands, products and services, corporate entities, or any organization that has a public face. Ultimately, a marketer’s efforts lead to company profit.
What Does an Art Collector Do?
Art collectors focus on curating select pieces of art—usually from famous or up-and-coming artists—to sell to other collectors. An art collector may collaborate on design for public or private spaces by procuring and providing art for purchase and display.
As you’re considering which degree can help you pursue your art career, it’s important to know why a WGU business or marketing degree is better than degrees at other educational institutions. WGU is a solid option for students like you because:
- You’ll get low, flat-rate tuition, so you're charged the same amount per six-month term, regardless of how many classes you take.
- You’ll get competency-based education, so you can accelerate your program and graduate faster—which also saves you money.
- You’ll get affordable tuition, which is even more affordable and accessible through our scholarships and financial aid programs.
- You’ll get career-focused coursework, so the skills you learn are meaningful and will translate directly to your work post-graduation.
95% of employers said that WGU graduates were prepared for their jobs.
96% of employers said they would hire another WGU graduate.
98% of employers said WGU graduates met or exceeded expectations.
Source: 2020 Harris Poll survey of 300 employers
Both a business management and marketing bachelor's degree at WGU can prepare you for a future career in art. Choosing either degree is a great alternative to an arts program and can make sure you have training and credentials that will help you succeed.
Marketing – B.S. Business Administration
For those who want to lead brands and steer consumer markets:...
For those who want to lead brands and steer...
For those who want to lead brands and steer consumer markets:
- Time: 67% of graduates finish within 36 months.
- Tuition and fees: $3,720 per 6-month term.
Some careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:
- Marketing and PR manager
- Director of marketing and communications
- Director of publications
- Customer intelligence manager
- Marketing sales manager
Marketing is a creative and exciting field—and one where an undergraduate degree will open better opportunities.
Business Management – B.S. Business Administration
Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:...
Hone your business acumen and garner added...
Hone your business acumen and garner added respect:
- Time: 68% of graduates finish within 36 months.
- Tuition and fees: $3,720 per 6-month term.
Sample careers and jobs this business degree will prepare you for:
- Account executive
- Business analyst
- Program manager
- Director or senior director
- Vice president
This online degree program is an excellent choice for kick-starting your organizational management career.
Frequently Asked Questions About an Arts Career
You can get a variety of jobs with an art degree, including roles such as illustrator, photographer, or graphic designer. But if you want to advance and stabilize your career, it’s helpful to get a bachelor’s degree in business or marketing so you can apply it to your art by knowing how to brand your skills and create a sustainable business.
A degree in art can help you develop and hone your skills, while helping you build a community and work with the tools that support your specific focus. However, a degree in business or marketing can help you create career longevity and expand your skillset beyond the traditional confines of art.
Education of any kind is never a waste of money and there are valuable skills you can learn and connections you can make in art school. But to really create career security and longevity, you should consider an alternative degree that can provide you with a stronger background or foundation to build your brand from, such as a business or marketing degree.
Art is an excellent career choice. Being creative is the highest form of self-expression and getting to share that gift with the world is a great joy. But it’s important to make sure you have a strong educational foundation in a partnering degree program such as business or marketing, so you can create career stability and longevity.