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Get Creative with Applied Arts and Design

Where can a degree in applied arts and design take you? Graduates working in the field can be found in the world’s top fashion houses, Fortune 500 companies, respected architectural firms, and more.

Pursuing a degree in applied arts and design can be a smart way to combine your artistic ability with training for a potentially lucrative career. While no educational program can guarantee such a career, hiring managers typically prefer or require education when reviewing potential applicants.

Training Beyond Fine Arts

Unlike training strictly in fine arts, applied arts and design courses can provide students with a mix of artistic and technical knowledge that can be used in today’s competitive design careers. Graduates may start their own businesses, work on their own as freelancers, or join established companies. The flexibility of an applied arts and design degree draws many to the industry, and you traditionally need a strong portfolio to stand out among the crowd.

Popular Applied Arts and Design Careers
Entering an applied arts and design education means specializing in the field of your choice. Check out some of the most popular fields for applied arts and design majors, with 2007 salary information from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Fashion Designers: These talented artists create the styles we wear every day. About a quarter of all fashion designers are self-employed. An education can give you essential knowledge of textiles, ornamentation, fashion trends, and more.

Graphic Designers: From Fortune 500 companies to local shops, businesses usually trust trained graphic designers to create a�� fresh, interesting look. About a quarter are self employed, and may work on multiple projects at once, building experience and professional contacts. Career training typically combines artistic basics with popular graphic design computer programs.

Interior Designers: Multimillion-dollar homes, public spaces like libraries and hospitals, and private industry spaces benefit from the work of interior designers. Over a quarter of all interior designers are self-employed, and many work for specialized design services. Education takes a technical turn, often including computer-aided design.

Benefits of a College Education
The design world can be highly competitive, and hiring managers often prefer or require formal education in the form of a college degree or certificate. Beyond the benefits of that piece of paper, training in applied arts and design means getting a chance to explore different areas of design, learning your own strengths and weaknesses as you build your creative portfolio.

Publish date: September 19, 2008