Do What You Love (And Make Money Doing It) With These 6 In-Demand Degrees

Can you really earn a comfortable living pursuing your creative passion? Absolutely. Digital arts schools like The Centre for Arts and Technology in Kelowna, British Columbia, and many others across North America offer practical arts and technology degrees for ambitious, upwardly mobile creatives looking to make their mark — and earn real money in the process.

Group of students throwing their grad caps in the air

Let’s take a look at six in-demand degrees for creative professionals.

1. Architecture

If you’re allergic to study, architecture probably isn’t the degree for you. A bachelor’s degree in architecture generally takes five years to complete, after which graduates complete three-year internships before officially setting off on their own. The rewards of seeing your study through and becoming a full-fledged architect are hard to ignore, though. Starting salaries are well above the median, the work environment is predictable and controlled, and job growth is looking peppy through the middle of the next decade.

2. Animation

Do you have a passion for bringing creative ideas to life? Consider completing an animation degree or certificate. Most animators specialize in 2D or 3D animation, but you’re free to do both if you have the time. Employment prospects are impressive, and compensation generous, in both areas.

3. Environmental Engineering

Convinced that your passion for solving complex engineering challenges isn’t compatible with your earth-friendly ideals? Think again. Environmental engineers bring the mathematical firepower of the engineering discipline to some of the world’s most pressing problems — using the power of science and creative thought to devise solutions that make the world a better place. Oh, and they make out well: after completing the typical five-year degree program, environmental engineers can expect to earn upwards of $80,000 per year.

4. Urban Planning

Not sure a math-heavy engineering program is right for you? Urban planners get to exercise their creative muscles without crunching too many numbers. (Sure, some light arithmetic and algebra may be required, but that’s what calculators are for!) Plus, urban design is a great field for self-professed do-gooders who recognize that a thoughtfully designed built environment is crucial to humanity’s sustainable, low-impact future.

The one drawback: urban planners generally need master’s degrees to compete for the choicest consulting jobs.

Woman taking picture after graduating with master's degree

5. Web Design

Web designers are the workhorses of the digital economy. That’s not meant to be a slight — this discipline, which barely existed two decades ago, has grown so rapidly precisely because it’s so integral to modern life. That web design and development require more than their fair share of creativity is simply the cherry on top.

6. Graphic Design

Web design involves some graphic work, but the real magic happens at the graphic design table. Graphic designers work on a host of non-web page applications, too, from video games to advertising collateral. If you’ve got a knack for visual communication and a facility with high-wattage software, this is the discipline for you.

Final Thoughts: Don’t Compromise Your Passion!

If it’s not already quite clear, there’s no need to compromise your passion to make a buck. These six disciplines all allow ambitious professionals to live out their creative dreams while earning comfortable salaries. Really, what more could you ask for? Of course, these careers don’t make themselves. It’s up to you to take the next step, whether that means enrolling in a degree or certificate program, or making the rounds on the hiring circuit.

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