The Arts and Business: What Can I Do After College?

Executive Director, Career and Alumni Success, Savannah College of Art and Design

Mar   2013



Art and design students--any students, really--listen up! A university insider shares her insights for the upcoming job search and how you can position yourself for career success so you're sitting pretty on graduation day.

Since the economic downturn began, many companies have laid off workers or gone out of business; it can be a scary time for graduates thinking about finding work after college. 

The good news is the job market for art and design professionals is strong. An art or design degree can prepare you to thrive in this economy. According to economics professor Todd Gabe and others in “The Creative Class and the Crisis,” individuals with degrees in art and design, entertainment, digital media, fashion, architecture, and more have a lower chance of being unemployed than those in service-based and blue-collar jobs.

Your education will prepare you, but there is much more you can and should do to be competitive. At SCAD and other universities, employers regularly visit to look for prospective employees, and students should meet with as many potential employers as possible.

Your college’s career center is there to help you find that first dream job. Meet with your career advisor for coaching and to perfect your professional readiness.  These experts will help you construct strong cover letters, résumés, and portfolios and hone your interview skills. If your school has on-campus recruitment, ask your advisor who’s coming to campus and get on their interview list.

If your college or university offers a public speaking or presentation class, take it! These classes will teach you to be comfortable presenting yourself and working in front of an audience, both of which will pay off while interviewing and throughout your career.

Work collaboratively with business when you have the chance as this experience will expose you to the pace and culture of business, while enabling you to make valuable connections. Through our Collaborative Learning Center, we work with businesses, brands, and organizations to create opportunities for students to research and solve challenging problems with their own unique design approach.

Your peers will be some of your best business connections when you graduate, so try to expand your circle by joining clubs, collaborating on projects, and getting to know as many of your classmates as possible. In the years to come, they will be invaluable connections, whether you’re looking to make a move, you need a freelance resource, or you want to collaborate. 

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