What Careers Are Available With a Master’s in Fine Arts?

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Art has always been your passion, so in spite of what everyone says about never finding a job, you have decided to go ahead and get a master's in fine arts. Will you find a job? Despite the gloom and doom picture painted by many, MFA graduates are doing quite well in finding jobs. A 2011 study showed that the unemployment rate for graduates with a master's in fine arts was just 5% and that their median salary is $50,000.

As you graduate with your fine arts degree, one of the first career decisions is whether to become a practitioner or manager. As a practitioner, you'll actually ‘perform' your art whereas as a manager, you work within the field, but will be supporting other performers. With a little creativity, which is your specialty, there are many careers you can pursue with your MFA degree. Here are some ideas for both options in careers for MFA graduates in writing, acting and art.

MFA in Writing

As a performing writer, you can establish a career in advertising agencies, local newspapers and magazines, or even start your own freelance writing business. Surprisingly, technical writing jobs offer outlets for creativity and the pay is quite lucrative. As a managing writer, you can establish a career with a publisher or literary agent. Teaching is also an option. Depending on your state's requirements, you may be able to teach at the elementary, middle school, high school or higher education level. Establishing a career teaching college courses in creative writing requires experience, as well as publications, so a good starting point would be to join as an adjunct faculty.

MFA in Acting

Performing actors generally want to act, and though Broadway or Hollywood may be a later step in your career path, you can begin your career by performing in community theater groups or conducting theater workshops for children and aspiring actors. As a managing actor, there are more career options including teaching and directing school plays or even working in administration in a college theater department. You might also consider a career as a private acting coach or public speaking instructor for corporations.

MFA in Art

Artists have a wider range of performance possibilities. You could consider a career doing design work for ad agencies, marketing departments and small non-profit organizations or companies. You could even start your own graphic design firm. As a manager of your art, teaching offers opportunities at all levels, as does working in local art galleries. If you have graphic design skills, you can build a freelance business designing and sending work to clients remotely.

As a graduate with a master's in fine arts, you offer more than many other master's degree graduates. You come to the workplace with creative skills that have been coached, practiced and honed. Not only are these skills desired by employers in all fields, they also give you an edge in carving out a career where you can exercise and enjoy your true passion.