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Fine Arts Graduates’s Job Prospects Worse than School Dropouts, New Study Finds

A new survey of higher education degrees in the US says that fine art is the least valuable subject to specialize in

Carl Spitzweg, The Poor Poet, 1838. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Carl Spitzweg, The Poor Poet, 1838. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Carl Spitzweg, The Poor Poet, 1838. Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

A new report on US college graduates has rather bleak findings for budding fine art students. The study undertaken by personal finance website Bankrate has found that those majoring in ‘miscellaneous fine arts’ (excluding art history, music and drama) faced a 9.1 percent unemployment rate rate. This was the highest of all the 162 subjects surveyed.

As finance blog Zero Hedge helpfully pointed out, the report’s findings puts the unemployment prospects of fine arts graduates below those who have not completed secondary school (in the US, unemployment for high school dropouts sits at 5.7 percent).

Even for the fine arts graduates who do find employment, their average income was still the lowest of all the other subjects (USD$40,855). Fine arts graduates tended to enter professions such as art teaching and illustration, the study said.

The study drew on data obtained from the 2016 US Census Bureau American Community Survey. The findings notes that those graduating with performing arts degrees also fared poorly, coming fourth-last, with an unemployment rate of four percent and an average income of USD$43,996.

As for the most valuable degree? Actuarial science, according to Bankrate, topped the list, with an average income of USD$108,658 and an unemployment rate of 2.3%.

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