It’s one thing to go to an art school to broaden your knowledge on the type of art you are passionate about, it’s another thing to complete – whether a bachelor or a masters degree in fine arts in Nigeria– and know what to do with the expertise you’ve garnered.

Or perhaps, you are just in the process of making a choice on what art course program to study, whichever side of the divide you fall, it will be of utmost usefulness for you to know what kind of potential jobs you can dabble in with an art degree after graduating from an art school.

However, it’s possible that you already have an expansive idea of what to do with your degree in fine arts, but you can keep reading, who knows? You may even find more useful suggestions here.

Fine art sculpture
You can study sculpture as one of the degrees in Fine Arts. Photo Credit: Unsplash

What art programs are available?

For you to prepare and equip yourself ahead with an understanding of what different jobs are out there and the one you might fit into, it is advisable you familiarize yourself with the diverse types of art course degrees that are within art programs.

Fine Arts Degree

Fine art degree falls into two categories; visual arts and performance arts. However, the majority of the degrees within these categories will most likely be found in arts education and being awarded in either a bachelor (BFA degree) or master in fine arts (MFA degree).

Given that the aim of you studying Fine art program in the first place is develop a wide set of practical and creative skills that will help you gain valuable experience, here are popular areas of specialization you can get employed in after studying art:

  • Digital Media
  • Sculpture
  • Printmaking
  • Ceramics
  • Art and design
  • Studio arts
  • Architecture
  • Drawing and Painting

Film Degrees

The same degree title, dubbed to any of the art courses above is the same title you earn with either masters or bachelors of arts degree tittle. The only difference will be the subject titles, and the types of jobs you will fit in will also likely be different.

In case you might be interested in art programs that fall under film and film production, you are likely to study in one of the various art schools that mainly focus on film and the hands-on skills needed for production.

Whether you want to graduate from a film school or study liberal arts education, below are the arts major you will probably come across:

  • Film and television production
  • Game art
  • Visual culture
  • Photography
  • Computer animation
  • Digital arts

Find the best art classes near me here.

performance art
Performance art is one of the two main categories of Fine Art. Photo Credit: Unsplash

What you should know about the History of Art

If you are interested in the history of art, lucky you! You don’t need to go through much hassle to look for an art school because you will find many universities that offer art history as one of their programs – even without giving any specific bachelors or masters degree in art.

Design Degrees you will find

On the same pedestal with visual art degrees, you will find many art programs and art courses in Lagos that are focused on design. As it is with degrees in Fine arts and film schools, students of design degrees also earn baccalaureate or master of fine arts degree.

Degree Programs in Art and Design

Students who attend Universities of arts and study courses that cut across visual arts and physical or digital composition are naturally awarded a fine arts degree in art and design. That being said, the career potential of a graduate of this degree is usually geared towards establishing their own retail shops, become an art/creative director in an advertising or creative agency, or work as a freelancer designing creatives for brands. Students who graduate with design degrees are mostly graduate and undergraduate degrees in fine arts (BFA and MFA).

Popular programs you will likely be enrolled in if you get admitted to art and design university include:

  • Graphic Design
  • Metalsmithing
  • Jewellery Making
  • Printmaking
  • Illustration

Architecture Degrees

This may come as a surprise to some people who have never thought of an architect as an artist or a fine art artist, that architecture is actually a huge part when it comes to studying any form of art history. As a matter of fact, a lot of the activities in the history of art have been instrumental in the way we build our cities.

Ordinarily, an associate degree in architecture can prepare you for an entry-level job, however, most employers will request a minimum of a bachelor degree if you are an associate in arts. Unlike other degree awards we mentioned above, an undergraduate of a graduate degree in architecture is usually awarded as Bachelor of Science (BS). But this is largely dependent on the focus of your area of study.

Here are some of the most rampant architecture degrees you can study as an art program below:

  • Building science
  • Architectural theory
  • Design computation
  • Environmental architecture and sustainability

Here are art jobs you can apply for

As if it's not frustrating enough that attaining a university degree is getting expensive by the day, it incurs much financial burden on young students, particularly budding artists.

Talking about the field of art, choosing to pursue an art degree can be a hassle because of the field's perceived notion of unemployment.

In reality, art jobs can be found anywhere and everywhere. In line with this, it is always a good idea to reach out to the alumni or professors to answer career questions you might have. This will help you understand the many jobs available to you in regard to your degree.

fine art jobs
Art jobs can be found anywhere and everywhere. Photo Credit: Unsplash

Arts Administration

From museums down to NGOs, you can find art administration jobs. It doesn’t matter if you make your own art or not, arts administration has more to do with fostering the movement of art form one place to another.

The more common jobs in this sphere are a collaborated effort with art institutions like libraries, museums, and galleries. If you enjoy working in any these art institutions, you can also find careers like these to be interesting – project management, finance, art history or sustainability

Performing Arts Industry

Performing arts is one of the two major branches of fine arts. So, if you are passionate about dancing, singing, acting or performing, this is the right degree to start building your portfolio. However, depending on what you want to achieve – whether you want to become an actor or a drama professor – your career path will differ.

In the long run, people who should pursue a career in performing arts will essentially be those who find the art of performance rewarding. You should check out theatre arts, music engineering or dance if you are interested in performance art.

In case you have no idea what to do with your degree, do not fret. If you take enough time to prepare, you can possibly land yourself an internship, volunteering opportunities or even a job opportunity of your own interest. At least, it should give you a broader picture of what to expect when it comes to salary and work-life balance from a particular job path.

Art Teacher

One of the most common jobs for artists is teaching, be it you are giving theory-based education courses or you are teaching in creative arts. Though many artists can’t help being pulled to education as a result of their love to impart art on younger generations, it is of importance for artists to plan towards the continuous pursuit of their craft.

If you are interested in teaching, working with children, art institutions globally or developing your own work, you should look into the field of art education.

Exhibition work

Not all artists are open to every aspect of working any form of the vast field of gallery or museum. Some are just solely interested in exhibiting their creations. If this is you want to focus on as well, specializing in the exhibition is a good option for you. This will involve getting your art creations displayed in galleries for sale, collaborations with both private and public museums for your work to be displayed, or just getting your work to appear at local bars or cafes.

It is important to note that artists who are passionate about sharing their art this way don’t rely on this as a sole source of livelihood. Only a few percentages of artists support themselves on their art alone. It is no uncommon to see such type of artist take up a side job in education.

Film Industry

This comprises of people who are specialized in every art of making movies, videos, and shows. It can vary from making blockbuster animation budget to being your own business boss.

As it is, the film industry has witnessed a significant growth to accommodate more a lot more courses than it did before time. This also means employment opportunity in this field keeps expanding, if you have an interest in film jobs, check out jobs in photography, directorial work, computer design, etc.

Applying to An Art Institute

When it comes to applying to an art institute, applications differ between art universities in Nigeria and an art academy in Nigeria. Application to a University will require a UTME score that meets the expectation of the art school you are applying to. Additionally, submitting your portfolio as well could give you an edge to get you admitted and study your choice of program.

If you choose to apply to an art academy instead, UTME is not a pre-requisite for admission. Perhaps, a portfolio will enhance your chances of being admitted to an art academy - but what's most important is that you are highly interested in the choice of art you want to study and build your skill within the time of your study. Also, be sure that the art academy you are applying to is within your budget.

However, the difficult part of your application to a university is usually how to find the right course and university. If you are a prospective student, here are a couple of things to help inform your decision:

If you’ll be able to take an elective or internship.

The cost of tuition and availability of scholarships.

The number of credit hours and coursework involved.



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Olaoluwa is knowledgable on subject matters like toddler nutrition, travel, fitness and digital marketing. Passionate about learning and reading: diverse cultures, fiction, languages, environment and healthy foods. Big fan of Indie Rock!