Survey of Arts Management

Course blog for American University PERF-570, Fall 2014

Is an arts degree worth the expense?

This article gives an assessment of a research study called “Arts Report Back” done by BFAMFAPhD.  The author talks about the imprecise nature of the data collected on arts professionals, and also emphasizes the debt to work ratio for those who graduate with an arts degree which leads many artists to work outside their field of study.  The overall tone, is kind of depressing, but interesting.  He also mentions the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP)’s report: “Making it Work: The Education and Employment of Recent Arts Graduates” at the end as a comparison.

So, as students in an arts management program, I’m curious to know what you think about this assessment.  Do you think the author is being nearsighted or is their validity to the arguments?


About Jenni

My name is Jenni. I am a writer, dreamer, and theatre enthusiast. I love life. I love to travel. I love to laugh. And I think life is beautiful. Follow my Twitter: @imRoseNCrantz

3 comments on “Is an arts degree worth the expense?

  1. trishayoung
    October 24, 2014

    I am curious how many people who seek art degrees actually intent to pursue careers as professional artists. Unless it’s a technical or trade career people rarely ask you what you majored in in college which would open the door for people to spend that time doing something they love before jumping into the workforce. This might be a factor in why there are so many working outside of their field of study.

  2. laurenelizabethdickel
    October 24, 2014

    I think many many people who majored in the arts are working other jobs, because they simply cannot make a living to support their career in the arts. The prestigious schools in the United States that train performing arts and visual artists cost extreme amounts of money, and places like Juilliard, are slow to give out financial aid because they can always find someone who will pay. It is really a messed up system. The arts are devalued and because the US government provides so little support for the cultural sector, maintaing a stable and successful life as an artists becomes almost impossible at times. If you did end up training at a prestigious school, you will need to pay back the money you needed to attend it ( unless of course you had a wealthy benefactor)…

    Anyway, I am done ranting 🙂 BUT I very seriously believe that this country needs a cultural/ arts make over! We can’t keep training artists and not providing sustainable Jobs for them!

  3. qfloyd
    October 24, 2014

    Many people who have an arts degree work in other industries not because there are no arts jobs but because the arts provides a set of creative skills that other majors don’t/can’t provide. I don’t believe that arts majors specifically want to enter the arts as a career but there are so many attributes that one can acquire similar to business school leaders in the arts.

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This entry was posted on October 22, 2014 by .
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