Best Value Colleges for Art Careers

If you’ve always dreamed of a job that lets you use your creativity, but are discouraged by the fear of becoming a starving artist, pay close attention to the following College ROI rankings.

Find out exactly what you should be paid
RankSchool Name20 Year Net ROI
Total 4 Year Cost
Graduation Rate
Typical Years to Graduate
Average Loan Amount
Rank:1School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$773,000Total 4 Year Cost:$118,000Graduation Rate:92%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$31,200
Rank:2School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$771,000Total 4 Year Cost:$301,000Graduation Rate:93%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$28,600
Rank:3School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$745,000Total 4 Year Cost:$296,000Graduation Rate:72%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$23,700
Rank:4School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$643,000Total 4 Year Cost:$303,000Graduation Rate:96%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$35,500
Rank:5School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$629,000Total 4 Year Cost:$116,000Graduation Rate:85%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$24,100
Rank:6School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$629,000Total 4 Year Cost:$187,000Graduation Rate:38%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$28,100
Rank:7School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$615,000Total 4 Year Cost:$160,000Graduation Rate:93%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$28,800
Rank:8School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$602,000Total 4 Year Cost:$125,000Graduation Rate:69%Typical Years to Graduate:4Average Loan Amount:$24,300
Rank:9School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$600,000Total 4 Year Cost:$112,000Graduation Rate:82%Typical Years to Graduate:-Average Loan Amount:$28,300
Rank:10School Name:20 Year Net ROI:$592,000Total 4 Year Cost:$118,000Graduation Rate:69%Typical Years to Graduate:5Average Loan Amount:$21,400

Our Best Schools For Art Jobs category incorporates everything from art directors, to audio and video technicians, to copywriters to graphic designers. By using Payscale data to find out which art schools provide the best ROI, you can study a subject you love and still find a way to pay back your student loans and eat more than Top Ramen every night.

A school that seems to perennially excel in any and all areas of study, including fine art, the University of California, Berkeley (“Cal”) often comes in near the top of Payscale’s College ROI Report when it comes to earning a degree in the arts. Notable UC Berkeley alums who went on to a have successful career in the arts include actor Chris Pine (“Star Trek”), musician Susanna Hoffs (The Bangles), and legendary actor Gregory Peck (“To Kill a Mockingbird”, “Roman Holiday” and “Moby Dick”).

If you live for Fashion Week and have always dreamed of having your creations appear in the pages of Vogue, then The Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) in New York City, may be the best school for you. Despite the fact that fashion jobs are some of the hardest arts jobs to come by and that fashion is a competitive field, FIT alumni who go on to work in their chosen field often see a solid return on their educational investment. Most people don’t know that the Fashion Institute of Technology is a public school, which may explain how it keeps costs down for students. Reem Acra, Nina Garcia, Nanette Lepore and Calvin Klein all attended FIT.

These days, pursuing a career in the arts requires more than just raw talent if you want to be able to pay your bills. Most art jobs now require some technological know-how, whether it’s familiarity with the software used in graphic design, video production or fashion, or a little knowledge of computer programming and coding. You can absolutely have a successful career in the arts, but before you choose that professional path, it’s imperative that you learn complementary skills and do your research to find out which art schools provide their alumni with the best return on investment.