What happens after arts school?

Does majoring in the visual and performing arts doom you to struggle and frustration, waiting for your big break?    A new study confirms some of the conventional wisdom (graduates are not thrilled about their income, and for a few disciplines one of the three top occupations is “food preparation related”) but also contains some encouraging results (92 percent of graduates who chose to stay in the arts currently have jobs in the field, and most are quite satisfied with their education, whether they remain in the arts or not).

The Strategic National Arts Alumni Project was released on May 3, and it surveys more than 13,000 alumni from 154 institutions.  In April, I met one of the lead investigators, Steven J. Tepper from Vanderbilt’s Curb Center, and he mentioned that more students who graduate with arts degrees find jobs within the field than science graduates find jobs in the sciences.  There’s a nifty interactive graphic of the findings here, and an article about the study here.  Food for thought if you’re a parent or student, or just passionate about the arts.