Visual and Performing Arts, General

What is a Degree in Visual and Performing Arts, General?

Visual and performing arts educational programs are designed to prepare students to become professionals in any one of a wide variety of performing arts, including dance, music, or theatre. Students can also pursue study in studio-visual arts such as drawing, painting, printmaking, photography, and more.  Studying the visual and performing arts in general means that the students will gain a general knowledge of a vast array of artistic styles.

As a part of the visual arts study, students will likely learn to create artwork in a variety of forms and media.  Two dimensional art (such as painting and drawing), three dimensional art (such as sculpting and metalworking), and computer art (such as animation and graphic design) could all be involved in the study of the visual arts. Students would also study performance genres like theatre, dance, and music.  Various forms of dance (such as ballet or hip hop) and varieties of theatre will also be studied.

There are some visual and performing arts programs that are available online, but because these arts require practice the majority of programs are available in traditional, on-campus settings.  That way, students can practice their art in a studio, theatre, or music hall, where their particular art is best created and performed.  The few online college classes available for the visual and performing arts typically focus on artistic theory rather than application.

Certificates, associate's degrees, bachelor's degrees, master's degrees, and doctorate degrees are all available visual and performing arts programs.  Some programs, particularly more advanced degrees, often have specific focuses to enhance the students’ understanding of one particular aspect of the visual and performing arts.

Career Opportunities for Visual and Performing Arts, General

Students with an education in visual and performing arts could pursue a variety of different careers, including work as a:

  • fine artist
  • actor
  • advertising creator
  • cartoonist and animator
  • graphic designer
  • dancer

Many of the careers available to someone with an education in the visual and performing arts are highly competitive due to the large number of highly creative people pursuing work in related fields.  The majority of fine artists are self-employed.  Some artists, actors, and dancers that can attain popularity can make a great deal of money, though many struggle to find consistent work.  Most of these occupations are projected to grow at about the same pace as the average occupation over the next few years, and breaking through to the highest paying jobs will likely continue to be difficult.

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