What Can You Do With a Degree in Art History?

A love of art both present and past might lead you to a degree in art history. However, you may be wondering what you can accomplish with such a degree, and particularly what sorts of careers you could pursue after completing your studies. Art history classes often provide you with a window on the world because you get to ponder many different times and cultures as you study the art from various periods. The critical thinking and creativity involved in your studies can stand you in good stead as you contemplate career options related to art history.

Teaching the Next Generation

One of the clearest things that you can do with an art history degree is to become a teacher. Passing on your own love of the history of art to the next generation can be a very satisfying career.

How you approach your education will likely depend on whether you want to teach art history in a secondary or college setting. If you want to teach it in a secondary setting, you might need to get an education degree in addition to your specialized work in art history, and of course you will need to look into whatever requirements your state has for getting a teaching license. Not all public schools offer many courses in art history, but some private schools do.

Teaching it at the university level will likely require that you go on to get a master’s degree or even a doctorate. It’s also possible that you might need to study a foreign language, depending on whether or not you specialize in a certain kind of art or art era located in a particular part of the world.

Working in a Museum of Gallery

If you are more interested in working as an art historian in a museum, that’s also another good avenue to explore. Curating, conservation, working as a gallery attendant, or working to help the business element of a gallery are all possible jobs you might prepare for with art history as your base degree.

Other possible jobs might include administrative assisting work for a museum or office management work for an art gallery. The variety of these jobs shows that there are all kinds of ways you can utilize your degree to work in the art world. Again, depending on what sort of work you pursue, you might need to get a higher graduate degree. That will almost certainly be true for jobs in curating, where it is also likely you will need to work some internships while you’re still in school in order to gain needed experience. Conservation work will require some scientific coursework along with art history coursework, and administrative or office work might mean you need to take some business classes even though you are specializing in art history.

Some history students today admit that it can be challenging to find your first job in the field. Really thinking about the types of jobs you want to pursue with a degree in art history and exploring work as an intern can sometimes help you to get a foot in the door.