Overview of Fine Arts Degrees

there is a good chance that you are already somewhat committed to having fine arts as a part of your life in the future. This lesson will review some of the degree options for fine arts programs and investigate types of careers available for fine arts students. Fine arts refers to visual art that is created primarily for beauty and meaning. Examples of fine arts fields are painting, sculpture, drawing, graphics and, recently, many universities are adding theater to their fine arts programs.

As I said earlier, if you are watching this, you probably are already at least somewhat committed to and passionate about a fine arts degree. You probably have a passion for your particular art. And passion is a good thing. But I'm sure you've had others ask you how you intend to support yourself with a degree in fine arts. Their concerns are not unfounded, as there is a relatively high unemployment rate for fine arts students. I hope this lesson helps you see what some of your options will be and gives you more information for making your choice of major.

Fine Arts Majors
Now, one of the most important things to remember about a degree in fine arts is that it is a very competitive program in any university. Most universities will require that you already have established skills in the area of the arts in which you hope to study. A portfolio is a collection of your best work to showcase your current skills. You will need to submit a portfolio with your application to the school. For performing art majors, expect to have to audition for a spot in the program.

The primary degrees available under the fine arts umbrella are:

Film and television
Musical theater
Each area of fine arts is specific, but there are some overlapping courses you should expect to take no matter what field you choose. You will certainly have to complete your school's general education courses. These are courses that cover a wide range of information in many disciplines, normally taken within the first two years of a program. Additional common courses for the arts are courses such as art history and art appreciation. These cover all the arts in general, giving students an understanding of the entire field before they begin to specialize in their chosen area.

Careers in Fine Arts
A 2012 Georgetown University report found that the unemployment rate for fine arts majors is over 12%. While that rate is comparable to a liberal arts degree, it does not account for the many fine arts graduates who are not working within their degree fields.

It is said that artists must suffer for their art, which becomes clear as students begin to try to find work. After completing a fine arts degree, graduates face fierce competition for permanent positions related directly to their degrees. These positions could include:

Artist in an ad agency
Broadway performer
Museum curator

Types of Job Roles Artist (Fine Arts & Commercial Arts)

To pursue a career as an artist, one should have creativity and manual dexterity. There are various artist job profiles that one can target on the basis of their specific interest areas. Following are some of the job profiles for an artist.

Art Directors

They are responsible for the visual style and images in newspapers, magazines, product packaging, and movie and television productions. They oversee the artists and creative workers in an art department and direct them to develop artwork and layouts.

Graphic Artist

They develop graphics and layouts for product illustrations, company logos, and internet websites and are employed in several industries where the need for visually stimulating designs are necessary.


Their job is to draw political, comic, advertising and sports cartoons and to create plots and write captions.


They use their creativity, technical expertise, artistic ability, composition skills and business skills to produce and preserve images that tell a story or record an event.


They create pictures for magazines, books, newspapers and commercial products. They combine hand-drawing and painting with digital media to create complete illustrations.

Jewelry Artists

Jewelry artists make use of their creative and practical skills to design the jewelry. They create or draw designs or models using computer or on paper and meet the expectations of clients by using metal, gems or stones as per their interests.


Their job is to use a variety of techniques to mold and create aesthetically pleasing three-dimensional objects, including carving, shaping clay, chiseling, whittling etc.They cut and carve images out of blocks of wood, plaster or stone.
Tattoo Artists

They use stencils and draw by hand to create original images and text on the skin of their clients. These artists use a variety of styles and colors based on their clients' preferences by using specialized needles.

Employment Sector/Industry for Artist (Fine Arts & Commercial Arts)
There are great employment opportunities for artists in different sectors/ industries which can allows artists to sell their artwork. Some of the top sectors that requires artists are mentioned below:

Publishing houses

Art Studios

Freelance projects

Advertising companies

Fashion houses