General Visual & Performing Arts
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General Visual & Performing Arts Overview

If you enjoy creating something that allows you to connect to your audience, either through your voice, movement, designs, or images, consider a degree in Visual and Performing Arts.

Students who major in this field have a passion for the arts. They are creative and like to provide an audience with visual, auditory, and kinesthetic stimulation. Classes in topics such as drawing, painting, dance, sculpting, acting, foreign language, graphic design, photography and more allow students to develop and improve their skill in the arts.

You may choose to focus on either general Visual and Performing Arts or concentrate on Digital Arts.

Required Skills

Students who pursue a degree in Visual and Performing Arts typically already have a passion and talent for their artistic field. They are creative and provide innovative works or performances that are unique and thought provoking. Interpersonal and communication skills are necessary in this field because you will be required to work with other artists, gallery owners, fellow performers, and the general public. These skills will also help you in selling or marketing your work.

Many artists and other professionals in the performing arts support themselves with additional jobs while they work on their art. Dancers, singers, actors and other types of artistic occupations also vary between full and part time. Those who are lucky enough to become part of a company will work full time often with irregular hours for practices and performances.

Depending on the area you decide to go into, formal schooling may not be necessary. Some people decide to pursue only an associate's degree. However, other areas of specialization require at least a bachelor's degree. It is best to look into the career you want to pursue to ensure you are meeting all requirements.


Visual and Performing Arts graduates are employed at in a variety of artistic careers. Graduates have pursued careers as artists, curators, fashion designers, producers, choreographers, musicians, and designers. Some graduates are working for companies, while others have started their own business or are self-employed.

The Visual and Performing Arts field is made up of multiple specializations each growing at an average to slower than average rate. This can be a very competitive field, especially for full time positions.

Students with a degree in Visual and Performing Arts earn an average starting salary of $36,974 and mid-career salary of $57,296.

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Example Careers

Here is a small sample of the careers that a degree in General Visual & Performing Arts might open up.

Art Directors
Art, Drama, and Music Teachers, Postsecondary
Artists and Related Workers, All Other
Craft Artists
Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators
Graphic Designers
Multimedia Artists and Animators
Salary data is estimated by College Factual using 2013 data provided by PayScale.
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