5 degree programs for ambitious creatives – do what you love without sacrificing the good life

words Alexa Wang

You’ve always had artistic proclivities, and you love flexing your creative muscles. You want your career to reflect this integral aspect of your identity.

Are you doomed to a life of just scraping by — to live out the “starving artist” trope in real time?

Hardly. In fact, it’s easier than ever for creative people to make a good living doing what they love most. Not just to earn some money and maintain the bare necessities, like food on the table and stable housing, mind you. No — countless creatives today earn good money, and live quite well, without compromising their values.

If you’re still not sure which direction you want your career to take, these six potentially lucrative degree programs could point the way.

1. Web Development

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the market for web developers is red hot. Nearly 150,000 positions are expected to open up over the next decade, creating plenty of opportunity for today’s ascendant coders.

Due in part to the vast size and rapid growth of the web development field, there are for all intents and purposes no practical limitations on the types of work available to developer grads. In other words, as a developer, you’ll have carte blanche to pursue your passion.

2. Studio Production

Studio production is an increasingly in-demand skill set, too. As digital arts schools like Centre for Arts and Technology lead the drive to make first-rate studio producers, creative employers are scrambling to get them on their teams. If you have an ear for what’s next, this could be the degree for you.

3. Digital Filmmaking

Today’s films exist in name only — studio filmmaking is now entirely digital. Whether you’re looking to make it in Hollywood or eager to produce films on a smaller scale, this is one skill set you can’t do without.

4. Animation

Like live-action filmmaking, animation today is nothing like it was during the golden days of flipbooks and story boards. Successful animators are true digital natives who employ powerful technologies to bring beautiful scenes to life. As the line between live action and animation blurs further, it’s virtually certain that demand for degree-holders will increase.

5. Interior Design

Interior design far predates the personal computing revolution, but it’s no less technology-driven these days. Creatives comfortable using CAD and graphic design software will find plenty to love about this field — and plenty of opportunity from real estate developers and landlords eager to differentiate their properties from the pack.

Maybe You Can Have It All

By themselves, these degree programs won’t pave your career path with gold and tinsel. To reach the top of your chosen discipline, you’ll still need to work hard and pour your whole being into your work.

But don’t get ahead of yourself. With so many opportunities for creative people, pessimism is premature. It’s entirely possible that you really can have it all: professional fulfillment, material success, and the comfort that comes with knowing you’re not compromising your values to achieve anything.

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