Contrary to what some might assume, especially given the current job market, University of Notre Dame Studio Art, Art History and Design majors have demonstrated consistently high rates of placement after graduation. Parents may wonder whether knowledge of Medieval Art or an ability to wield a brush or a chisel may narrow one’s future options too much. The record shows otherwise. For example, Notre Dame’s Career Center data tells us that in 2010 all reporting graduating seniors in Studio Art and Art History had gone on to full employment, graduate school or service programs. Design graduates also had extremely high placement and over the last couple of years have also reported an average starting salary of about $40,000. Across each of these programs we are proud to say that we have witnessed excellent and various outcomes over many years.
The scope of our students’ post-graduation destinations is wide. While many of our students work within the arts and culture industries (which remain a vital part of the nation’s economy, generating more than $160 billion in economic activity every year), other students use their visual arts education to take them along other career paths. Our Art Historians have gone on to graduate school and law school; they have become account executives, investment bankers, and tax consultants; they have also become doctors, dentists and veterinarians (further options may be found here). Similarly our Studio Art students have gone on to graduate school and have become teachers and practicing artists; they have gone on to law school and medical school; they have pursued many service options. Our Design students have gone into industry and into an array of design firms and consultancies; they have pursued careers in marketing, the media, and even professional sports. Whether it be teaching, doing mission work, designing for an architectural firm or moving on to law school, our alumni have found themselves pursuing their professional goals in places from New York to Uganda, from L.A. to Italy; their worlds opened by their majors in Studio Art, in Art History, and in Design.