Graduates of the Visual and Media Arts program possess knowledge, experience, and unique skills that are highly desirable and transferable, enabling them to seek employment in career fields both within and outside of the fine arts. Art degrees can lead to future work opportunities in a gallery, non-profit cultural organization, or museum.
You might find your passion in a career as an art teacher, teaching art to elementary school, middle school, or high school students. You might find yourself in the corporate world, designing advertising or websites as an art designer or studio artist. Perhaps you will decide to nurture your creative side, working as a creative artist in any one of several fields, from publishing to education to management to media and advertising. Or you might find yourself attending graduate school to become an art educator, art historian or practicing studio artist. Here is a list of potential careers, in and outside of the fine arts, for those trained in art education, art history, film and video production, photography, or studio art.
Art Education (Art Ed.) graduates are prepared to teach in public and private schools, work in community arts and museum education programs, pursue graduate work and university teaching. Here are some possible career titles for the Art Ed. major:
- Primary/ elementary teacher
- Secondary/ middle/ high school art teacher
- Art curriculum developer
- Museum art educator
- Arts and cultural planner
- Arts administrator
- Workshop consultant
Art Historians can work in art conservation, art therapy, museums or galleries, archive and library services, arts administration, pursue graduate work and/or university teaching. Here are some possible career opportunities for Art History majors:
- Art critic/ journalist
- Art researcher
- Museum curator
- Curatorial assistant
- Arts editor/ writer
- Gallery manager
- Museum administrator
Film & Video Production
Film & Video Production graduates find a wide range of professional employment locally, nationally, and internationally.
- Documentary and independent film producer
- Major motion picture producer
- Animation and multimedia
- Commercial production and post-production
- National, local, and community media television stations
- Advertising agencies
- Corporate media production
- School systems
Photography graduates are prepared to:
- Apply their expertise in museums and galleries.
- Work creatively in commercial advertising and portrait studios.
- Produce compelling work as photojournalists and editorial photographers.
- Begin careers as professional artists.
- Combine a knowledge of digital media with another field for a variety of interests and functions.
Studio Art majors develop careers as an independent artist or designer, can work in galleries, arts organizations, and museums, pursue graduate work and/or university teaching. Below is a list of possible career opportunities for Studio Art majors:
- Freelance artist/ entrepreneur
- Jewelry designer
- Painter (portrait artist)/ mural artist
- Printmaker/screen printer
- Sculptor/ digital 3D modeler
- Graphic Designer
- Logo & Branding Designer
- Freelance illustrator
- Time-based artist
- Gallery owner/assistant/ director/ curator
- Exhibition planner/ coordinator
- Prop designer/ fabricator
- Window Display Designer
- Pattern Designer (wallpapers, carpets, etc.)
- Concept Artist
- User Interface Designer
- Web Designer
- Layout Designer
- Cartoonist/ graphic novelist
- Community-based artist
Alumni Career Placement
Our alumni go on to pursue a wide variety of career opportunities. From community focused organizations, to building their own business, to taking positions in art direction, design, manufacturing, and art production.
Click here for more information on Visual and Media Arts Alumni.
Career Prospects in Visual and Media Arts
Here are some clippings about a career in Visual and Media Arts:
- "Historian Occupational Handbook", Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dec. 2016
- "Film and Video Editors Occupational Handbook", Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dec. 2016
- "Graphic Design Occupational Handbook", Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dec. 2015
- "Multimedia Artists and Animators Occupational Handbook", Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dec. 2016
- "Art and Design Occupational Handbook", Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dec. 2015
- "Photography Occupational Handbook", Bureau of Labor Statistics, Dec. 2016
- "A Fine-Arts Degree May Be a Better Choice Than You Think", Wall Street Journal, Nov. 2013.
GVSU Career Services
Career Services at Grand Valley State University provides students with resources to choose their individual career path. They also offer frequent workshops and programs to help majors in all fields to prepare for life after graduation.