Directory of Art and Design Schools

Know what to look for in an arts and design school

When applying to a program in any industry it's important to consider your future goals. Rarely is this more important than in the art and design world. Courses and programs range from several weeks of focused technical learning to several years of broad training that can include a variety of art and design techniques, as well as a basic liberal arts education. Request information packages from trade schools or colleges that interest you.

Where do you go from here?

Ask yourself what you see yourself doing in the years following graduation. Do you want to join a large advertising or marketing firm where you'll earn a steady paycheck and work standard hours? Or do you want to take a chance and try to make a go of the art business on your own?

If you're a risk taker with an entrepreneurial spirit, enrolling in the right art or design school can be very helpful. You'll want to find a school that not only offers technical training, but business and computer skills, as well as courses on dealing with private citizen or business clients. A good college or university degree program will allow you to pick and choose some of the courses you want. If you would rather enroll in a certificate program, you might want to take a business course separately.

Getting hired

Some artists and designers aim for jobs with certain companies or in certain industries. If that is where you're headed, check with each educational institutions to see if they are affiliated or otherwise keep in contact with businesses in the industry. Some courses include a work placement component. If you play your cards right you may end up finding your first job through the placement you earned in school.

Questions to consider

  • Does the program offer training or expertise in the art or design field you want to enter?
  • Does the school cater to your learning style? Some people learn better with hands-on training while others prefer instruction and theory.
  • Will you earn a degree or certificate? Get the level of education that will get you the job you want. Find out what you'll need by talking to employers in the industry.