Online Associate in Fine Arts

Considering a career in graphic design, fashion, painting, printmaking, or photography? An associate degree in fine arts could be the starting point for landing in these disciplines, or a number of other related fields. While earning an associate fine arts degree online, students can gain take both general education and studio courses that would prepare them for continued study at the bachelor's degree level. They can get a taste for a number of different creative fields in the liberal arts.

Why an Associate Degree?

Whether you’re seriously considering a career in the arts, or want to dabble in a few different areas, an online associate degree can be an affordable, flexible way to get started. Students can take first- and second-year art and general education courses that can be put towards a bachelor’s of fine arts degree. Throughout, they can take advantage of a career counselor to lay out a career path. For those considering immediate work as an artist, a degree can also benefit them. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), formal education is rarely require for craft and fine artists, though classes can improve their skills and job prospects.

Inside a Fine Arts Associate Degree Program

An associate degree in fine arts is typically a two-year program. It would consist primarily of studio art courses, as well as general education courses. Students can expect to gain a foundation in art history and practice, with topics in commercial design, such as graphic design, fashion, film, and fine art, including sculpture, painting, and photography. Courses might include basic drawing, color theory, 2D design, 3D design, figure drawing, photography, and printmaking.

When considering an online associate degree in fine arts, one of the key things to consider is access to materials. In addition to art history, studio time is a significant part of the degree. Students may need to obtain paint, canvas, cameras, graphic design programs, or printmaking tools.

What’s Next for Fine Arts Associate Degree Holders?

Graduates of an online fine arts degree are generally prepared for continued study at the bachelor’s degree level. They would have the necessary first- and second-year art and general education courses for a bachelor’s degree in fine arts or bachelor’s of arts degree. Depending on their interests and area of focus, they could continue their training in a fine arts discipline, such as painting, sculpture, printmaking, or design disciplines, such as architecture, graphic design, fashion design, film, or theater support.

Those seeking immediately employment upon graduation might find work in galleries or museums as assistants or docents. They might also work for themselves as artists. This line of work isn’t expected to experience much growth; according to the BLS, the employment of craft and fine artists is expected to grow by 2% from 2014 to 2024, slower than the average for all occupations; median pay for 2014 is $44,400.