Humanities majors made up about 12 percent of recent graduates in the U.S. as of 2012. A much smaller percentage of that group has an art history degree.
Those numbers seem daunting. But a diversified economy still offers plenty of jobs for art history majors.
If you want an art history degree, you have more options than you might realize. Read on to find out more about 5 possible career fields for art history majors.
Not everyone understands the appeal of art. But art is a part of the larger culture that makes life worth living.
Someone who majored in art history can better explain the benefits of art to people who might otherwise be skeptical. Depending on how convincing they are, they might do well as a fundraiser for arts organizations.
Art gives us pleasure. But up-and-coming artists need funding. That’s why fundraising is both one of the toughest and most exhilarating jobs in the art field.
Marketing is like fundraising, except you aren’t asking people for money. Instead you’re asking members of the press to give you attention.
These jobs for art history majors work best if you have some background in communications as well. Perhaps you minored in journalism or something similar.
If you’re going to work in marketing, you can’t be shy. You must be willing to get on the phone and pitch press outlets pieces about your agency or organization.
3. Art Historian
This is what many people think of when they think of jobs in the art history careers. These gigs are hard to find, but they do still exist.
An art history restores old art, but they also put yesterday’s art into a context that today’s audiences can understand.
For instance, a history of art online course can help you understand the conditions that motivated an artist working in 1600. Then you can explain those conditions to modern audiences and bridge the gap between eras.
Books are a form of art, even if they’re made with words in a bound book rather than paint on a canvas. Someone who majored in art history already has many of the necessary skills to work as a librarian.
Librarians need to be critical thinkers. People will come to them with questions about a variety of books, and you’ll need answers.
Art history majors are already used to analyzing works of art from a critical perspective. It’s not much of a jump to analyze books and documents in the same way.
5. Art Consultant
If you’re a consultant, then you’re almost always going to be working on a contract basis. There’s less stability here, at least in the initial years.
But an art consultant job can be rewarding for art history majors who want to help people choose works of art for their homes and businesses.
You’ll work in a wide variety of styles, and on a wide variety of budgets. Every day is a little different when you’re an art consultant.
Using an Art History Degree
If an art history degree interests you, don’t shy away from that impulse. Look at the full range of art history jobs and think about what life might look like after graduation.
A career in art history can nourish both your soul and your bank account. For more tips on helping the latter, bookmark our financial growth category.