The study of art opens many opportunities, professionally and personally.

With a major in art, communication, or digital media arts, Valpo graduates can work in large or small organizations; for businesses, governments, or nonprofits; or independently as freelancers and entrepreneurs. A major from the CVA department can also be combined with expertise in psychology, education, business, or literature — students can double-major or pursue a minor to broaden their skills.

Even students who enroll in CVA courses for the purpose of personal enjoyment and with no vocational plans will find that they develop transferrable skills that are useful in many career paths.

CVA students develop skills that are useful in a wide variety of careers and industries. For example, they:

  • Communicate ideas, thoughts, and feelings with a variety of materials and media
  • Develop a heightened sense of beauty, rhythm, and style
  • Develop intuition and innovation
  • Understand and extract ideas to generate visual concepts
  • Organize and give attention to detail
  • Become familiar with graphics and database systems
  • Master art and communication skills using computer-based technology
  • Develop an ability to teach, assess, plan, and evaluate
  • Develop an ability to compete in a changing market that is exciting, glamorous, and highly competitive

A CVA bachelor’s degree, coupled with talent and creative ability, is usually sufficient to enter this field. A portfolio of work samples is an asset. Most graduates enter this field on a trainee level and work their way up as their talents become evident.

  • Animator
  • Antiques dealer
  • Architectural conservator
  • Architectural model builder
  • Art administrator/director
  • Art advisor/consultant
  • Art buyer
  • Art conservator
  • Art critic
  • Art dealer
  • Art educator/teacher
  • Art historian
  • Art therapist
  • Artist’s agent
  • Cartoonist
  • Cinematographer
  • Courtroom sketcher
  • Curator
  • Designer
  • Display artist
  • Filmmaker
  • Graphic designer
  • Illustrator
  • Journalist
  • Media specialist
  • Photographer
  • Photo editor
  • Producer
  • Set designer
  • Webpage designer

In addition to independent work majors from the CVA department may find employment in:

  • Advertising agencies
  • Art galleries
  • Design studios
  • Graphic arts firms
  • Greeting card firms
  • Magazines
  • Museums
  • Newspapers
  • Photography studios
  • Print shops
  • Publishers
  • Schools
  • Summer camps
  • Theaters
  • TV and film companies
  • Web design firms

Graduate schooling can develop students’ talents and make them more competitive in the job market or equip them for particular careers in art therapy or museum curation. This study can also lead to better salaries: according to the NACE Salary Survey, January 2013, master’s degree candidates’ average annual salary offers were $45,300, compared to $33,800 for candidates with a bachelor’s degree.

In recent years, Valpo students have either attended or been accepted to graduate programs at the following institutions:

  • School of the Art Institute of Chicago
  • University of Chicago
  • California Institute of the Arts
  • Indiana University
  • University of Maryland
  • Stanford University
  • Bard College
  • Iowa State University
  • University of Michigan
  • Rochester Institute of Technology
  • Pratt Institute of Art

American Association of Advertising Agencies

The AAAA is the national trade association of the advertising agency business. The AAAA acts as the industry’s spokesperson with government, media, and the public sector. Many clients and several agency search consultants include AAAA membership as a credential in their initial screening process. Site has a link to an advertising jobs site.

American Association of Museums

Enhancing the ability of museums to serve the public interest. Site includes a museum careers page.

Art Job Online

National listing of jobs, internships, fellowships, and other employment opportunities in the arts.


A gathering point for networked resources on art and architecture. The content is diverse and includes pointers to web resources as well as original materials submitted by librarians, artists, and art historians.

Graphic Arts Guild

Promotes and protects the economic interest of its members. It is committed to improving conditions for all creators of graphic art and raising standards for the entire industry. Site includes a job leads page.

Occupational Outlook Handbook

The Bureau of Labor Statistics compiles information about various occupations, including the nature of the work, the job outlook, the earnings, and other relevant information.