Art and creativity are inclinations and talents people often assume are simply innate to some individuals but not to others. In truth, great artists practice their craft meticulously, obsessively, in order to learn and improve their skills.

University of Dundee Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design

Pic: University of Dundee Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design

In today’s society, the digital era has made it so that there are new artistic mediums opening up all the time, making the creative industries interesting and exciting to enter.

In addition to digital art and media, however, there is also a place for classical craftsmanship and artistry, in areas such as music, painting, and theatre.

Exciting opportunities abound for those who choose to enter one of these fields, and a degree in a specific medium can only bolster one’s professional prospects.

Holding a degree in whichever creative pursuit you have chosen signals to prospective colleagues and employers that you have mastered the basic skills necessary to be successful at your craft. It also implies that you have a solid foundation in the theory of your field, be it music, creative writing, painting, drawing, or graphic design.

Arts programs also provide artists with a unique opportunity to learn from master’s as they practice their crafts. Students will often be involved in hands-on learning projects and can receive feedback from instructors and mentors in real-time, and can incorporate this learning into their work.

A university program also provides other learning experiences that go beyond the direct course material. Group collaboration, presentation skills, research, all of these will contribute to professional success in the future.

There are many individuals in the world who are talented artists, and a strong portfolio can only be enhanced by holding a prestigious arts degree when seeking to gain an edge over one’s contemporaries.

West Virginia University

Pic: West Virginia University

Many schools also provide opportunities for study abroad, and students can take advantage of these programs and immerse themselves in the artistic traditions and practices of another culture, which can broaden their views and give them a new place from which to draw inspiration.

Because completing a university degree often requires balancing numerous courses and projects at one time, this academic background will demonstrate to employers that you have not only the creative tendencies to be an asset to their companies, but that you can also attend to practical needs and work toward multiple goals at a time.

Additionally, an arts degree in any given field can translate well across several careers. For example, a student who studies music can work toward becoming a professional performance musician, or can go into teaching, be that in a school, as a tutor or as a university professor. Arts degrees provide the academic qualification necessary to be a versatile and employable candidate.

In the case of those who pursue a writing or communications degree, the faculty at top universities often have experience working in the field and can bring that to the classroom. A writing career involves much more than simply being able to construct engaging prose, it is also about knowing the ethical standards and how to navigate the business, be that journalism or another form of publishing. Learning from professionals in the classroom setting can make you a much more savvy job seeker upon graduation.

Those who prefer working on the web can also learn by collaborating with their peers on projects that are truly at the forefront of the arts and creative world. Groundbreaking developments are continuously being made in the digital and graphic design medium, and students can push the limits of the kind of art they are able to create.

The following schools offer some of the top degrees in creative industry mediums, and represent a broad array of specializations and learning opportunities.

WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY, UNITED STATES

Creative arts students will find that West Virginia is a place to nurture and explore their talents, and that the surrounding area will provide them with great artistic inspiration. West Virginia supports a number of artistic mediums. The campus’ Creative Arts Center is home to the WVU College of Creative Arts. It is a modern, well-equipped facility devoted to creative development through instruction, performance and exhibition in Art, Music, and Theatre and Dance. The center features a 1,400 seat concert theatre, which accommodates many College and University productions, in addition to providing premiere performance space for touring productions. Read the full profile…

Edinburgh Napier University

Pic: Edinburgh Napier University

UNIVERSITY OF DUNDEE, DUNCAN OF JORDANSTONE COLLEGE OF ART AND DESIGN, SCOTLAND

Beautiful, unique, stylish Scotland offers creative minds world-class venues for learning and inspiration, and the University of Dundee’s Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design is at the head of the game. Billed as “the Creative Hub at the heart of the University of Dundee, Scotland, leading the way in art and design,” Duncan of Jordanstone (DJCAD) supports an active artistic community. It is an integral part of the University of Dundee. It is ranked as one of the top art institutions in the UK and has an outstanding reputation in both practice and research. Read the full profile…

EDINBURGH NAPIER UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF ARTS AND CREATIVE INDUSTRIES, SCOTLAND

The Edinburgh Napier University School of Arts and Creative Industries has an international reputation as a creative centre where blossoming artists can learn, grow and showcase their talents and skills. Edinburgh Napier provides students with state-of-the art facilities that they can use to practice and perfect their skills. The School of Arts and Creative Industries offers programs in Art Design and Communication, Journalism and Publishing, English and Acting, Music, and Photography and Film. Because of its extensive network of resources, Edinburgh Napier can offer students unique opportunities to pursue their interests and passions in the creative field and help turn those into rewarding careers. Read the full profile…

NORTHERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF ART AND DESIGN, UNITED STATES

The Northern Michigan University College of Arts and Science’s School of Art and Design offers the kind of unique artistic opportunities that allow students to practice all manner of creative pursuits. Beyond the broad categories of art and design, Northern Michigan students can concentrate their interests in a range of subjects. While students are free to explore their tastes and artistic passions, they are also guided by a knowledgable faculty who review and provide feedback on their work. During the third year of an arts program, faculty review student work and progress toward completing studio requirements. Read the full profile…

PURDUE UNIVERSITY, UNITED STATES

Purdue University’s Patti and Rusty Rueff School of Visual and Performing Arts is home to the university’s Art and Design and Theatre departments, as well as its Dance, Music, and Purdue Galleries exhibitions divisions. This a large school, with 800 undergraduate students and 60 enrolled in graduate degree programs. The visual arts school is immersed in the local community, not only as part of the larger university system but also as a cultural center for the surrounding area. In addition to the undergraduate degree program, there are also Master of Arts, Master of Fine Arts, and Ph.D. degree courses offered here.

RAFFLES COLLEGE OF HIGHER EDUCATION, SINGAPORE

The Raffles Design Institute has extensive offering in the realm of creative industries studies. The school offers undergraduate degrees in Design and Visual Communication, with advanced programs in Fashion Design, Multimedia Design, Animation, Product Design, and Commerce. Graduates of RDI go on to achieve great success in their careers and alumni have received numerous awards in filmmaking, fashion design, interior design, jewellery design, product design and visual communication. International students should apply at least three months in advance of the semester beginning to ensure adequate time for making travel and other logistical arrangements. An English program is in place to assist students who are not native speakers and need additional learning to supplement their creative studies.

LIMKOKWING UNIVERSITY OF CREATIVE TECHNOLOGY, MALAYSIA

Limkokwing University of Creative Technology is a highly international school system whose campuses and student body extend across three continents. In addition to the Malaysian locations, Limkokwing campuses can be found in Botswana, Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lesotho, Malaysia, Swaziland and the United Kingdom. There are currently 30,000 students enrolled. Limkokwing offers a number of postgraduate creative programs. These include Master degrees in International Contemporary Art & Design Practice and Digital Film and Television. There are also degree courses in Communication, Communication and Public Relations, and an MBA program in Multimedia Management. Each of these is specifically designed to allow working professionals to pursue advanced degrees while continuing to work in their current fields.

Northern Michigan University

Pic: Northern Michigan University

SAE INSTITUTE, WORLDWIDE

SAE Institute has campuses all over the world, from North and Latin America to Africa to Australia to Europe, Asia and the Middle East, giving students plenty of options for where they would like to base themselves for work and study. The SAE programs will be of greatest interest to those with a bent for visual communication and storytelling. Course offerings include Web Design and Multimedia, Film Making, Games Design, Audio Engineering, Music Business, 3D Animation, and Digital Journalism. These are designed to give students the practical training and resources to stay at the forefront of the media industry.

INTI, MALAYSIA

A private arts and designs school in Malaysia, INTI offers numerous courses that help students hone their visual and graphic design skills. These include Graphic Design, Interior Design, Interactive Multimedia and Animation Design, Industrial Design, Fashion Design and Technology, and Design Management and Innovation. Each program has been constructed to help students build upon already-established skill sets and further their creative and professional goals. Courses provide students with both practical and theoretical learning so they can better approach the creative field of their choosing and look at it from an informed yet innovative perspective.

STAFFORDSHIRE UNIVERSITY FACULTY OF ARTS, MEDIA AND DESIGN, ENGLAND

Staffordshire University’s Faculty of Arts, Media and Design offers a host of programs, degrees and workshops for budding artists and those looking to enhance their skill sets. The broad range of course offerings here include ceramics, music, design, theatre, animation, photography, and broadcast. With numerous venues through which to showcase their work, students grown in an environment in which they can receive constructive feedback from their peers and instructors and therefore improve their technique and their work. Staffordshire also offers distance learning programs so that students can benefit from this world-class education from wherever they are currently based.