Relationships Between Art Education and the Workplace

ECU Author/Contributor (non-ECU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Jamie Lynn Moore (Creator)
East Carolina University (ECU )
Web Site:
Cynthia Bickley-Green

Abstract: This study undertakes the challenging and imperative task of making connections and finding trends between what art education teaches and how these skills abilities and thinking patterns translate into the workplace. The arts traditionally viewed as "special" or "extra" subjects in the school system are not only teaching students important aesthetic skills but also enabling students to learn and apply significant 21st century proficiencies needed and desired in the current and future workforce. Evidences of how art education enhances workplace readiness for a competitive global market are necessary to justify the arts in school and bring awareness to the community school board members leaders and policy makers. Many studies have been conducted exploring what art education teaches the importance of art on student learning and development and skills needed for attaining jobs in a variety of enterprises. After reviewing these studies to gain insight on past and current research findings relationships between art education learned skills and abilities student achievement the workforce and the development of a thriving community were noted. A voluntary survey was distributed to the most successful businesses in Wake County identified by the Wake County Chamber of Commerce to reveal connections between individuals' art experiences and career choices and needs. Data collected was then organized analyzed and interpreted by the researcher. This study goes beyond the traditional research focus and attempts to weave all of these elements together and create a comprehensive overview eliciting how individuals' art education influenced their selection and preparation for their chosen profession and what relationships can be made between art education and the workplace. The outcomes of the study revealed several significant conclusions. According to the results of the survey art education experiences teach a variety of skills and abilities that are used often in many creative and non-creative industries. The majority of participants were involved in industries considered non-creative such as accounting/finance administration construction and real estate and indicated that creative aptitudes and 21st century skills were needed for their work. Visual imagery proved to be a major component of the workforce regardless of level or position within a company however participants had to rely on their pre-employment art experiences as only two respondents received art or design training within their company. In conclusion this study found immense data proving the need for high quality art experiences in order to prepare students for the workplace. 

Additional Information

Date: 2012
Art education, 21st Century Skills, Art Advocacy, Art Occupations, Art Skills and Abilities, Creative Economies
Art--Study and teaching
Life skills
Academic achievement

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