According to the American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (2006), the term career refers to "the general course or progression of one's working life or one's professional achievements". Professional development of individuals through the acquisition of relevant knowledge and skills is essential to succeed in life.
United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (2001) found out that people consider training in the fastest growing jobs in the economy to increase their earnings and pave a way for further education. Personally, I chose to pursue associate degree in arts. The decision was based on the premise that the field of study one chooses directly impacts on the kinds of careers and vocations they will get involved in future.
There are a variety of career opportunities for a liberal arts graduate. These include interior design, animation, creative consultants, marketing and advertising executives, copy-writers, cartoon artist, cinema producer, cinematographer, clothing designer, digital graphic designer, digital photographer, fashion designer, television actor, visual communication designer and field reporters.
Training in liberal arts has prepared me to join the job industry particularly for the entry-level positions. I have gained a strong foundation for further study in addition to the skills and knowledge applicable in diverse work environments. The exposure to numerous fascinating fields such as literature, religion, humanities, philosophy and the natural science has prepared me to work in a dynamic environment. Employers find it useful to train new hires in specialized skills on the job than specialized skills which may limit value in the long run (Koltai, 1984). Some skills such as critical thinking, problem solving, analytical skills, and communication are inevitable in any work environment regardless of the nature of the job.
Interior design as a career deals with decorating interior spaces and therefore involves choosing a style and color palette, furnishings, floor and window coverings, artwork and lighting Training in graphic design, decoration and design, fabrics or art history provides a pathway to a career in interior design. Indeed, it is one of the emerging lucrative careers today.
Fine artists, including painters, sculptors, and illustrators create original artwork using a variety of media and techniques. As a Multimedia artist and animator I can create special effects, animation, or other visual images on film, on video, or with computers or other electronic media. However, studies in computer applications are essential in this area.
As noted earlier, associate degrees in arts may lead to employment as assistants in a variety of fields. It is easy to secure job as an administrative assistant in any company. There is room for professional development in this field as more experience leads to work assisting company executives and the pay rate may hike accordingly.
Studies have also prepared me for a career to be an artist. As an artist, I can convey ideas thoughts and feelings through visual representations. This requires a lot of imagination in order to convey information to the audience. In most conventional or freelance employment, the artist's duties include dealing with clients, organization of the final product's layout and working with writers, marketing departments or editors.
In conclusion, associate degree in arts provides divergent career opportunities for graduates. However, continuous professional development is necessary to acquire qualifications and competence for career advancement.