Many careers in Art and Design are highly competitive and are often challenging fields to enter. While you may struggle to land your dream role immediately, there are many accessible roles in art and design, which are perfect for creative graduates.

Some graduate careers in art and design rely predominantly on creativity and artistic expression; these careers don’t always offer financial and professional stability and hence can feel inaccessible to some, for example, a freelance artist or craft maker. These roles do offer a lot of flexibility and freedom which other roles do not. However, there are many careers in art and design which combine creativity with a variety of technical and practical skills in which you can train and gain experience.

All kinds of organisations need visual images and representations; visual cultures help to relay information, sell things, entice people and present ideas, which means that there are a wide variety of industries hiring graduates with a background in art and design.

This includes Museums, PR, Events management, Web and IT design, Education, Fashion, Gardening and landscape designing, Architecture, Toys and children’s entertainment, writing and publishing, and many more. Two-fifths of graduates from an art school or an art-related degree course will go into employment in a design, art or media role.

Routes into Art and Design

There are lots of different degree courses and apprenticeships, which will lead you down an Art and Design career path.

There are university BA honours courses in History of Art, Music, Drama, Dance, Creative Writing, Cinematics, Design etc. There are also separate institutions called Art Schools which offer more practical creative courses such as Fine art, Sculpture, Painting, Ceramics, Environmental art, Graphic design and Animation.

You may also become an Art and Design graduate via a degree apprenticeship; there are standards including Storyboard artist, Curator, Historic environmental advisor, Creative Industries production manager, Senior Journalist and Bespoke tailor and cutter.

Many people working in creative jobs come from a non-creative background. If you have a science degree or a technology degree, don’t let this put you off applying for jobs in art and design. The skills you will have learnt in your field will help to make you stand out against other applicants, and might be useful for the job. For example, somebody with a degree in IT might find their skills are suited to digital graphic design.

Graduate careers

Here are some of the most popular careers in art and design for graduates. These roles vary widely due to the enormous variety of techniques, skills and styles within art and design. It can be helpful to assess what your other primary skills and interests are to outline what kinds of art and design careers would best suit you.

Graphic Designers

Graphic design is the process of visual communication through the use of illustration, typography and photography. There are many uses of graphic design from logo and branding work, to usability and functionality of websites. In essence, graphic designers use their artistic and design skills to create visual imagery to represent ideas and information thought art.

You make work from an advertising perspective, or a human-emotional view, depending on the creative projects and briefs, and you advise the client on how best to present and design ideas based on this brief.

Interior designers

Interior design is the art and science of curating and designing a space inside a building for optimum safety, comfort and aesthetic pleasure. As an interior designer, you produce plans for layouts, themes and designs of rooms and buildings such as homes, restaurants, hotels, offices etc. Your job is to create a space designed for the correct purpose and hence create the right atmosphere and functions for that purpose. As well as the designer, you are the contact for the tradespeople and contractors of the building, which means you need to have mathematical and practical design skills as well as creativity.

Set and Exhibit Designers

In this role, designers create the backdrop and set to films, theatres, television programmes, exhibitions, museums and art galleries. They generate floor plans, scale drawings and scenery illustrations based on the brief and information provided. Part of this role includes interpreting scripts or passages of texts to visualise what scenery and backgrounds are needed. You may work closes with a museum curator or television director so you can come to a design together that works for the content as well as the aesthetics of the space.

Other arts and design roles include Florist, Fashion Designer, Journalist, Web designer, Artistic Director, Jewellery maker, and many more. For more information on Graduate careers, visit our pages on Fashion, Media or Marketing.