A Certificate in Art... does that help my career?

So, you’ve got the college brochures in front of you, their glossy pages full of images of culturally and ethnically diverse friends beckoning you to join them. But there’s something holding you back. It might be the price, the desire to stay close to home, or that nagging question, “How much will an art certificate really help my job prospects?”

The answer to that is: It depends. If you’re hoping to become a Dentist or Engineer, then an art certificate won’t do tons for you besides making you really, really skilled at your favorite artistic hobby. But let’s go with the assumption that you want an art career; in that case, a certificate in art can help you out.

The first thing to know is there are about as many different types of art certificates as there are forms of artistic expression. You can get a certificate in art business if you want to manage a gallery, appraise artwork, or start an importing business. Even if you decide you want to make art, there are various options to look into.

For example, you can get a certificate in fine art, which is stuff like painting, drawing, or sculpting, or you can focus on graphic art and use computers to design the next great masterpiece. The list goes on and on—there are certificates in art therapy, art and philosophy, art and museum studies, and art history, among many others.

When looking into getting a certificate, you should know this can open some doors while also leaving others shut. Certificates take less time than traditional four-year degrees and tend to cost less money, but they also carry less weight with employers when it comes time to apply for jobs. However, no matter where you are, if you make solid connections and have real talent, it doesn’t matter how long you’ve been in the classroom—you’ll go far in the art world.

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