Arts graduates are plucky

Food for thought from SNAAP Research Director, Steven Tepper, about the 120,000 students graduating this spring with a degree in the arts. The data are based on responses of 65,837 arts alumni from 120 institutions (109 postsecondary institutions and 11 arts high schools) in the United States in 2011 and 2012

From SNAAP DataBrief

Steven J. Tepper, Research Director, Associate Professor of Sociology and Associate Director of the Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy at Vanderbilt; Incoming Dean, Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University

Given the rewards of an artistic career and the opportunity to be creative, most artists, we find, prefer the benefits of working as an artist. According to the General Social Survey, artists are among the happiest professionals – happier than lawyers, financial managers and high school teachers. For many artists, there is very little relationship between satisfaction and the amount of money they earn. For example, SNAAP data show that arts alumni who currently work primarily as dancers or choreographers earn the least of any artists. Yet they are the artists who are the most likely to indicate that they are satisfied with their work; 97% indicated that they were “very” or “somewhat” satisfied overall with their jobs. Read the full article...


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