Study Shows Arts Eduction and a Life of Poverty Aren’t Necessarily Hand in Hand

For anyone who has ever pursued a degree in the arts, known someone who has or is currently enrolled, or heck, ever had a conversation with anyone about higher education, the conventional wisdom is that an arts degree is, in addition to learning about and understanding art, also a sure fire method of living in poverty from the moment you receive your degree until the day you expire in some miserable hovel (preferably in some dark part of Paris for dramatic effect, if at all possible). However, despite what your parents, friends, or even your high school guidance councilor might have told you, this logic might not be entirely sound. A report released last week (pdf) by the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project, a collaborative effort between the Indiana University Center for Postsecondary Research and Vanderbilt University‘s Curb Center for Art, Enterprise, and Public Policy, has found that a vast majority of the more than 13,000 graduates polled were either employed in arts professions that suited their education and interests, had “done so in the past,” and often found work in the fields of their choosing for their first post-college job. According to Dan Berrett at Inside Higher Ed, there’s also a negative side, in that most responded that they weren’t happy with their income levels and universal career satisfaction wasn’t exactly through the roof, but hey, at least they’re out there making money, right? Now please excuse this writer, as he’s been informed that the daily cleaning of his jet’s leather sofas has just been completed and now he must be off. Thank you English degree from a Big Ten school!