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What’s a BFA worth?

How likely will you work as an artist with a BFA? A 2014 study by BFAMFAPhd, Artists Report Back: A National Study on the Lives of Arts Graduates and Working Artists, shows that more US art graduates work in art-related fields but only eight percent make a living as artists. This means, out of two million US art graduates 10 percent earn a living as an artist. The statistics get even more specific depending on your major. But, isn’t art a practical major that promotes employability? It most certainly does. Through the Fine Arts program, you learn a variety of skills like critical thinking, resourcefulness, and communication that are unquestionably beneficial for success later in your career.

But, do you need an art degree to work as a living artist? Surprisingly, 40 percent of working artists don’t have a degree at all and only 16 percent of working artists do have an arts-degree. It’s hard to accept the facts that an art degree isn’t necessary to work as an artist. So, what’s a BFA worth to you?

See the full report by BFAMFAPhd here


  1. Casey Chen wrote:

    It’s interesting to see numbers and studies behind this, but because they keep calling them “working artists,” I wonder how they define “artists.” I personally like to separate designers and artists so I wonder how much this does include designers, if at all.

    Thursday, February 23, 2017 at 7:37 pm | Permalink
  2. Emily Krause wrote:

    Casey, if you take a look at the study in the link you can see how they define artists(many groups). the post I said you can specify the search by inputting your field of study. Designers are included in the visual and performing arts category, so yes they are included. There is a more specific infographic there(first link).

    Friday, February 24, 2017 at 2:25 pm | Permalink