A new survey and report find that most art students will follow an entrepreneurial route (or rather self-employed) at some point after graduation. Is entrepreneurship in the curriculum at most art programs? From Dan Berrett at Inside Higher Education.
The survey results also painted a picture of artists as highly entrepreneurial: more than 6 in 10 were self-employed, and 14 percent had founded their own company. Bill Barrett, executive director of the Association of Independent Colleges of Art and Design, said he was impressed by how many alumni had started their own businesses, “especially since we’re always told that our nation depends on developing more creative, innovative entrepreneurs.” Barrett added that he was also pleased that the results upended many widely held assumptions about artists. “SNAAP demonstrates that arts alumni enjoy roughly the same levels of employment, and satisfaction with their education and their careers, as other college graduates,” he said.
At the same time, very few professional artists reported being happy with their income — from a low of zero craft artists to a high of 29 percent of art directors. For artists in general, the median salary was $34,800 according to 2003-5 data collected by the National Endowment for the Arts full-time artists earned more, but still about 15 percent less than other professionals. Only one-third of professional artists surveyed by SNAAP said they were satisfied with their level of job security. Still, nearly half 47 percent said they were very satisfied with opportunities to be creative in their work. An even larger share 64 percent of arts graduates who became teachers reported high levels of satisfaction.