A college degree can lead to a successful art career

Earning a college degree may be useful for pursing a career in art.
Earning a college degree may be useful for pursing a career in art.

Although formal education is not mandatory for individuals who wish to pursue a career in art, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that it may be difficult for artists to succeed if they do not complete some type of higher education.

Many art-related careers require professionals to have a bachelor's or a master's degree in fine arts. For example, the BLS states that art directors, multimedia artists, animators, medical illustrators and elementary school art teachers typically need at least a bachelor's degree.

Even individuals who wish to become independent artists can benefit from the wide variety of topics they will study while pursing a fine arts degree. These subjects may include art history, studio art and crafts.

Although many individuals hesitate to pursue a degree in art with the stigma that it cannot lead to a successful career, a study from Indiana University shows that this may not be true. According to the research, about 92 percent of artists who were looking for jobs were able to find one soon after graduating. Of these professionals, about 66 percent said their first job was a close match to what they were looking for.