A Degree In Fine Arts

Pro tip: Don’t borrow money to get one:

Among the 4,000 colleges and universities in the federal database, the Creative Center in Omaha, Neb., a for-profit school that offers a three-year bachelor’s in fine arts, had the highest average debt load, at $52,035. Median pay for graduates of the school with five or fewer years’ experience is $31,400, according to PayScale.com.

“Salaries can be pretty darn high or pretty low” for the school’s graduates, who typically get jobs in graphic arts or advertising, said Creative Center President Ray Dotzler.

You don’t say. Of course, if they could figure that out, they’d have probably majored in economics or business. Interestingly, the majors with the best prospects for paying off debt seem to borrow the least, and vice versa.

4 thoughts on “A Degree In Fine Arts”

  1. Yes, the market in action.

    And you are right. GBC has dozens of students graduating from our programs that go straight to work in the mining industry for $60,000-70,000 a year and no debt, because the mines, desperate for workers, provide the students with internships and scholarships to get the skills the mines need.

    Its also why I selected business as a major instead of astronomy.

  2. Of course, if they could figure that out, they’d have probably majored in economics or business.

    They told me there would be no math.

  3. This story is not precisely correct.

    The website for the Creative Center shows that their three-year BFA in graphic design — commercial art, not “fine art.” The fact that it’s called a BFA does not mean it’s a degree in fine arts, any more than BS means it’s in science or PhD means it’s in philosophy.

    Third-year required courses include advertising, consumer behavior, campaign management, business communication, management across cultures, and introduction to accounting. So, it is quite similar to a business degree.

    1. In other words these are the artists doing commercial work which supposedly have higher incomes yet they still have issues paying their student loans.
      Is it that difficult to go to a job search engine and figure out the median income you are supposed to get once you graduate? I know these are highly variable: I went to study CS as an undergraduate right before the dot com boom. The field was a lot less populated back then. I had several job offers along the way but I always refused them because I wanted to graduate. I could have earned a lot in that time before the bubble burst. But my friends who did it ended up unemployed and with low salary prospects afterwards. The ones who kept their job feared for their job security. When businesses have a lot of applications the diploma you have is a good filter for them to avoid evaluating candidates in personal interviews : something they find highly exhausting to do. In fact they will pay you for referrals. That is how hard it is to differentiate between a good and a terrible worker.

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