TIFFANY CULLEN Outreach Editor
Art students seem to have the most to fear from the declining job market, more so than traditional liberal arts students. Despite that, applications to art colleges around the country have increased over the past few years.
The increase in applications in art colleges is not unlike other increased interest in fields like journalism, medicine and law.
With the economy in the shape it’s in, many parents fear for the future of their children’s careers if they attend an art college.
However, most top art colleges now see a 65 to 81 percent rate of employment six months after graduation. SCAD’s employment rate for graduates working in their filed or enrolled in graduate school reached 81 percent in 2008.
“I think students might be choosing art colleges right now for economic reasons. Art and design students acquire skills that are directly applicable to jobs, most in industries that are still hiring,” Dean of the Office of Career Services Sue Hinkin said.
Yale School of Art Associate Dean Samuel Messer told the Yale Daily News, “As the economy tanks, young people seek refuge in institutes of higher learning. The obvious reason: students are willing to shoulder the cost of loans instead of unemployment.”
Whatever the reasons, students are flocking to art colleges for undergraduate as well as graduate studies.
Tuition to top art colleges range from $27,765 at SCAD to $32,858 at the Rhode Island School of Design. At traditional liberal art colleges like Purdue and Amherst, tuition costs range from $32,490 to $37,640.
Many students from liberal art colleges are turning to art colleges for their graduate studies. Students like arts administration graduate student Jake Meyer turned to SCAD after attending a traditional liberal arts college for his undergraduate degree.
While some students may regret their career choice, college pick or the tuition that it brings, others are excited to pursue their dreams.
Professional writing graduate student Courtney Ware said, “I chose an art college for my graduate studies because I wanted specialized study to improve my craft. I also knew that I would finish SCAD with a portfolio of work [writing samples] to use in my job search.”
To combat the economic fall having such a great impact on graduates and their search for jobs, art colleges like Corcoran and liberal art colleges like Columbia University’s Graduate School of Journalism are now adding business and self-promotion courses similar to SCAD’s existing courses.
Even though the job market has declined greatly, the skills acquired by SCAD students enables them to find good jobs.