Assessing the Degrees for Art Students

by Rob Sutter
Every student that majors in a particular subject will, more or less, have the same end goal in mind. To put it simply, they want to be recognized with degrees. These are indicators of not only the work that they have completed, up until that point, but the experience that not everyone will be able to boast. However, it's important to note that not all art degrees are the same. Depending on the time that art school students are willing to put forth, some degrees may be more reputable than others.

The minimal degree that art students can attain is known as a certificate. Essentially, a certificate entails anywhere from 9 to 30 credits spanning across various subjects. For those who aren't heavily committed to their education - whether for reasons related to family, work, or what have you - a certificate is perfect because it shows that there has been a certain level of work completed. While certificates are fine for particular jobs, their range is more limited compared to other options. Go with a certificate only if you know that a certain field is one you want to become involved in.

A degree that is a level above a certificate, a diploma calls for a greater number of credits. Typically, a diploma entails around 30 to 75 credits. While diplomas are built to lead to specific jobs, they are usually viewed as more credible compared to certificates. To illustrate this point, let's say that a graduate from one of the many art schools in Florida applies for a particular job. It wouldn't be unfair to say that an Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale grad with a diploma will gain said job over a certificate holder.

As one can imagine, an associate degree is a level above a diploma and it is one that most students will desire at the onset. In order for an associate degree to be attained, a student must complete two years, at least, of classes in college. In most cases, an associate degree can lead to even greater accolades, provided students have the desire to attain them. This is where a bachelor degree may be earned, following at least an added two years of education. From what I have seen, most full-time jobs in art require students to have their bachelors, since they are viewed as the more dependable indicators of excellence. To put it simply, an associate can lead into a bachelor degree. The transition is made even easier when credits stand the chance of being transferred from one campus to another.

Viewed as the top tier degree that any art student can attain, a master degree is a clear sign of an expert in any given field. Essentially, once a student attains his or her bachelor degree from any campus, the possibility of going for a master degree is open. Of course, in order for this to be done, an extra one to two years of school has to be fulfilled. This is the most challenging degree, not only from an academic standpoint but in many respects. If you are willing to sacrifice time and, just as importantly, put forth even greater amounts of effort, the likelihood of earning a master degree is very good.

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