Is bachelor of arts worth it?

I know that there is so many similar topics, but it’s a big deal : education process and so on.
I’ve recently started a full time course on art school which is “three dimensional design” in the UK.
I have such mixed feelings about it, I can’t even tell.
I thought they will mesh up some crafting stuff ( I really wanted to learn sculpting in reality) and 3d design - but the second aspect will be treated very poorly. Nothing besides basic modelling… Rhino as a base software, I have heard that they have cinema 4d somewhere but I don’t know, nothing on the computer from September. They promised me interior stuff this semester!
And now I really don’t know what to do, I could have make the research first but I thought I’ll have strength to do something to school and do things on my own at the same time…
The bechelor of arts is worth it? Nobody from my course had even touched 3d software, when I consider myself intermediate/advanced. And I’m not that young… I think I’ve wasted enough time. Please, be gentle with me,

Drop it. Study for a real job and do art on your free time. Art degrees mean nothing if you have nothing to show for it.

Or do it the crazy way. Lock yourself in a room and work non-stop for a year.

Worst thing is if you finish art school and you get no job and then when you look for a different job they will ask you about your art stuff. People are retarded if they think you are artsy. You’d be be labeled in a very bad way.


As someone who has a BA, I would not recommend it, you’ll waste time and money which would be better spent learning outside of a university course. The fact that no one from your course has ever touched 3D software should be your first warning sign. Of course the BA itself, the degree, means nothing, no one will ever ask you about it and you will barely mention it to anyone. There’s so much stuff on YouTube and plenty of good books, you can learn a lot from doing it yourself or working with someone who’s into the same thing. I view getting a degree as a huge waste of time and a financial debt, I’m specifically talking about these arts degree subjects, not science, law, history or engineering, those are the traditional subjects that Universities built their reputations on.

1 Like

So I think there are three issues here. One is the quality of the school you are attending. That has nothing directly to do with should you get a BA or not. So if you can, try to separate these two concepts, it might help.

The second, is the need for the degree as a career move, being an artist. And wanting to work in 3D or in any form of the arts for that matter.

And the final issue is of course how much material is available to study outside of the university, paid and free.

To the first issue. I think if you are going to spend time and money, try to get into a school with as good of a traditional arts program as you can find. And use that time to explore traditional art along side your studies in 3D. If you can qualify and afford it, try to get into a reputable University. And take advantage of immersing yourself in a competitive and creative environment with other artists. You won’t regret it. And take advantage of all of the facilities the university provides. In short the quality of the university and the quality of the instruction. Don’t waste your time and money.

To the second issue. No you won’t need a degree to get a job in most of the areas of arts. However, there are a number of positions in the job world that require you have a degree - of any kind - in some cases. And while it might sound good on paper, there is also the chance that getting steady work as an artist is not as easy as you had hoped. As you grow older and your interests change, you might find that supporting yourself with other work outside of the arts is something that will not only come in handy, but might just be the thing to bring you stability and happiness. You never know. Your future is ahead of you. Don’t cut your future options down now. There may be things you can’t see now. Teaching perhaps? You just can’t fully predict the future always.

To the third issue. No matter what you do, you will be making use of information outside the university. They won’t be able to keep up with current trends. Don’t expect them to. And have your own incentive.

EDIT: And as a finaly note. While many people will downplay the need or not to attend a school - as I have done many times - it is easy to forget what that environment brings to your portfolio in the end.

At the end of all of this you will be presenting your work to an employer. Or a potential client.

How many people really have the discipline and the foresight to seek out a good study program that is well rounded and forces you to do things you would not otherwise do on your own? On your own, there is nothing forcing you to improve on areas you might be weak in. But more specifically, things you will naturally shy away from.

I would say it would be fairly obvious to me, looking at a portfolio from an artist who locked themselves up in a room for 3 years, and an artist who went to a University. There always seems to be a certain diversity in the latter. They were forced out of their comfort zone. And it shows.

If there is anything a University brings to the table, it is an environment that more or less forces you to get out of your comfort zone and explore things. And also being with a group of other artists. Seeing their work, being inspired directly, taking with them and socializing.

I look back at my days in music school. And I see these things as completely invaluable. There is no way I would have had these experiences without it. It informs who you are in many ways when you grow older. Just my experience.


world of commercial media = revolving door.

Unless you love jumping on board for little pay and short term.

I agree with what has been said… learn a real job and make your way into things from a hobby project on the side and build a “seriously kick arse portfolio”

1 Like

If you need a degree or not depends on what kind of art you do and how you want to work, I think. If it’s pure art then maybe it’s not that important but if you do design it can be of more importance. It surely also depends on which country you want to work in and how big the company is. Big companys will more often look for someone with a degree than a small company. If you want to work as a freelance then you don’t need a degree at all.
I have a MFA from a highly recommended industrial design school and I would never work where I work today without my degree. At this studio all employee have a degree in design. I don’t work that much with design anymore as I migrated to do what I love most and that is visualization and animation, but still within a design studio.
Don’t forget the fun part of going in school and have the time to really dig deep in to any subject that interest you. The idea that you have unlimited of time and can combine a normal job with studying art and make a great portfolio is not recommended, if you want to have any kind of life besides work.

Note: You should do some serious research about the schools first, because it can be a big difference between the really good ones and the bad ones.

Do you need a degree to do great art? NO!
Do you need a degree to get a job? No, but sometimes yes.

A great portfolio is always a great portfolio whatever degree you have. :slight_smile:


I mostly agree with what Richard said. I have a master degree in arts (it is a bit different in our country master is not postgradual as in most other countries) and I agree that it is not like a standard UNI chase for degree since surely art digree itself is not really that important.
In my opinion you should approach it the different way. It is more about environment, people you meet, athmosphere you absorb than actual stuff you do. Make no mistake I worked my ass off for atelier stuff but in the end it is all up to you and no you won’t be guarantueed well paid job (or job at all) just because you have ART degree. But if you manage to take advantage of possibility to absorb as much as you can from such environment while you keep up a hard work outside of uni aswell you might be able to produce pretty solid portfolio that will help you get the job you want (in case you know what you want:) ).
My last advice is have no fear about wasting your time. I don’t know how old you are but life is not as short as a lot of people claim it to be. You have a ton of time to do many things and sometimes important ones happens in a right moment the one you have been patiently waiting(working) for.


Sorry for beeing that short on reply, but I have atend work :S

  1. You might be lucky to get a job with no degree, but an unfinished degree in your cv will make things a lot worser.
  2. I also recommend to have a failsave career outside of art at hand but this can be planed when you have your degree…
  3. Talk to your mentors how to improve your education, maybe there are ways to improve it
  4. A degree is a must if you plan to find a job outside your country

I have a BFA degree (which sounds like I have a painting degree!) but it got me a well-paying graphic design job eventually; after taking a few crappy jobs along the way. It really depends on what you want to do for a living. Don’t go after some degree that you have no intention of using, like engineering if you don’t want to be an engineer. Study what you know and love and pursue a career in that field. You may not get the job you want right away, but if you have a passion for what you want to do, you’ll be successful.


Thank you for the answers!

I didn’t know that, why do I have mixed feelings about it, and Richard_Culver showed what was the major problem: the quality o education.
It wouldn’t be such a problem for me, if I would find something in it which really built me up, but I can’t see anything.
Even environment here is a mess, all of these people got the offer and accepted it because they couldn’t get anywhere else.
They all don’t know how to do anything in 3d, it is a small group, one tutor asked us. He thought that I just know some basic stuff nothing more.

In job prospects they says that majority of students are self employed and they are doing some crafty stuff - jewellery and ceramics.

I just made a hudge mistake by accepting their offer and going to this school.
The one, and the only positive in this school is that they say that they will help me when I’ll be doing something on my own.
But: I’ll end up being on three etats - my current job, my current course and my current self learning which is too much for me…
But I’m afraid that no matter how good could I be I’ll still be understimated because of lack of degree…

Marketing and advertising… fame?
Not my game, when it comes to art.

Quality of life’s education is perceived only by how much and what one values in life.
No one can help, if person doesn’t thrive by itself.

If they are as bad as some claim, then prove it - show what good is, while not forgetting fact about art… it’s tricky messed up beautiful, sometimes gently horrifying, overall mentally brutal but pleasing personal experience :stuck_out_tongue:

Anywayz, it takes a lifetime – per aspera ad astra.

IMHO, what helps any person best is perseverance - to keep the given word and stand by own choices. Taking falls, accepting defeats, making mistakes and keep moving… even stronger after winning (then is when most start truly failing)

You do it for yourself.
First and biggest mistake is posting about such doubt, leaving own choices to other’s personal opinions - it’s your responsibility, so don’t blame others when the hurt, pain arrives. Because it always does. :angel: :japanese_ogre:

There are no mistakes, just unfinished deeds - unresolved actions.

Always know what courses you are getting into before committing. Good schools will let you talk to faculty, students, and sit in on a class or two so you can see for yourself what’s being taught. If you are intermediate-advanced in subjects being taught then don’t sign up for the intro-beginner programs. If those are prerequisites to those courses see if there is a path for providing other schooling or work experience. Don’t expect self-declarations about how advanced you are to hold much weight.

Part of what employers are looking at is whether a potential employee will stick with the job. An employer doesn’t want to count on or invest in an employee that’s going to jump ship at the first sign of difficulty, or if they don’t get the choice or “exciting” projects right off the bat.

Instructors can make fantastic references, especially for the touchy-feeling stuff that doesn’t carry any professional certifications (P. Eng, for example). These days pretty much anyone can download something off the internet and stuff it in their portfolio. Having a physical person to refer to provides some solid backup to that as well as work and professional ethics.

If you want good solid classic art education you need find a good atelier that provides hardcore training. I doubt that going to a school for modeling or 3d is much important really.

100% True.

I don’t know what country you live in and what is available. But it does sound like you got a rotten deal.

At any rate there are lots of people - in the USA anyway - who pursue degrees while also working. In some cases it is the only way, financially. Some countries/schools offer night classes or alternative, flexible scheduling.

Another thing to consider. To graduate with a degree, usually, there are certain credits you need in general education. You don’t necessarily have to qualify for those credits within the normal school schedule with other students. There might be night classes available or even off-campus solutions. In California there is the Junior College system that a lot of people use to cheaply get most of those credits that can be transferred to a university.

So there might be various creative ways to maybe only attend certain classes in the day time. Art classes, or workshops for example. And then fill in other credits with alternative classes, locations or schedules.

Be creative and try thinking out of the box.

it is not clear what you want to do -sculpting or 3d.within 3d there is archviz,animation as artist/sculptor might very, for job and sustenance what you want to do?if the degree offered by current course is recognized by govt. it maybe(purely for the degree) worthwhile to continue otherwise get out of the course and save years/money in your life.