A big obstacle for a student who wishes to study the arts is the widely held belief that a degree in the visual and performing arts (VPA) will not lead to ‘real’ employment. In fact, just the opposite is true. One need only witness the emergence of iPods, “green fashion”, sustainability design, iPhones and Nintendo Switch Systems to see that proponents of the “Creative Economy” have made some pretty accurate predictions. The look, feel and eco-friendliness of a product, as well as its social and cultural adaptability, are often as important to consumers as what it does. And, as has been the case throughout history, art is a shared experience and thriving cultural centers mean thriving communities.
To produce such products, teamwork between individuals with different backgrounds, such as engineering and graphics design, contributes to what makes an arts-based degree marketable. For the committed student an arts-based education is often quite rewarding, both in terms of employment as well as job satisfaction.
The VPA niche in college admissions is an area that few students, parents and high school counselors know how to navigate. Artistic-minded students and their families must learn how to research and select the right fit college and prepare for the rigors of completing an arts-based college application. Here are some critical guidelines:
An excellent way for students and parents to get to know VPA colleges is attending the National Association of College Admission Counselors’ VPA college fair, held each year in October.