Arts at Columbia University encompass: 

  • Creative Writing

  • Dance

  • Drama & Theater Arts

  • Visual Arts

Where do Art majors go? Here are some examples of organizations that hired Columbia arts majors in recent years: (insert logos here or a list) 


What fields do Arts majors enter?

A degree in the arts provides knowledge and skills relevant to a wide variety of jobs across the career spectrum, including:

  • Museums and Galleries: Art Direction, Administration, Curatorial, Restoration, Education, Tours
  • Education: Research, Teaching, Administration, Tutoring
  • Media: Criticism, Art Direction, Programming, Illustration, Design
  • Writing: Creative Writing, Journalism, Editing, Technical Writing, Grant and Proposal Writing, Corporate Communications
  • Publishing: Editing, Circulation, Sales, Production
  • Administration: Arts Management, Artistic Direction, Event Planning, Marketing, Art Sales  
  • Performance Art: Directing, Acting, Dancing, Choreography, Musician
  • Commercial Art: Graphic Art, Computer Graphics, Illustration, Advertising, Medical and Scientific Illustration, Animation, Cartoons, Art Direction
  • Fashion, Textile, Interior Design: Fashion Design, Fashion Product Development, Entrepreneurship, Stylists, Management, Buying
  • Fine Art: Painting, Sculpture, Illustration, Printmaking, Weaving, Media and Techniques
  • Theater: Stage Management, Lighting, Sound, Stage Direction, Writing, Choreography, Performance, Producing, Marketing

Use CCE’s Industry Exploration webpages to learn more about these, and other fields.

What do Employers want?

Most of the skills/qualities sought by employers are transferrable and/or soft skills that students can gain through classes, extracurricular activities, internships, volunteer experiences, or part time jobs including:

1. Ability to work in a team structure

2. Ability to make decisions and solve problems

3. Ability to verbally communicate with persons inside and outside the organization

4. Ability to plan, organize, and prioritize work

5. Ability to obtain and process information

6. Ability to analyze quantitative data

7. Technical knowledge related to the job

8. Proficiency with computer software programs

9. Ability to create and/or edit written reports

10. Ability to sell or influence others

Source: National Association of Colleges and Employers, 2015 Job Outlook

Your major can definitely demonstrate relevant coursework and knowledge to a prospective employer, but your studies aren’t the only aspect of your experience that employers are evaluating. They select people who they believe can do the job (have the right skills), want the job (have demonstrated an interest in the field) and are a personality fit for the team and organization.

What value do Arts majors bring?

  • A degree in the arts can help to develop a number of skills and abilities that all employers seek, including the ability to:
  • Think critically, creatively, and objectively
  • Write clearly and effectively across genres
  • Read closely and imaginatively
  • Organize material with attention to detail and a pleasing style
  • Analyze texts for both grammatical and content accuracy
  • Develop creative solutions to unique situations
  • Create aesthetically pleasing and emotionally moving works of art

What if I’m an international student?

For international students at Columbia under student visas, selecting your major can play a significant role if you plan to work in the US after completion of your degree. Optional Practical Training is a work authorization that allows an international student to work in a job directly related to the student‘s major area of study either before or after degree completion. Employer sponsored H1B Visas also have similar strict requirements. Students with more questions about this should visit the International Student & Scholars Office (ISSO) and view CCE’s International Students webpage.