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As technology has improved and online education became a more realistic idea, it seemed only obvious that art should be one of the subjects that schools first decided to bring online. Fast forward to the present and there are dozens of schools that offer online art degree programs and online art certifications to students who are passionate about art but don’t have the time or the resources to study it in a traditional classroom.

Of course there is nothing wrong with choosing the traditional approach to learning and attending an accredited art school, but everyone has their own approach to learning and there are more opportunities to study the art of your choice online. Whether it is an online fine arts degree program, an online graphic design degree program, or an online fashion design degree program, you have the opportunity to study what you are passionate about, at your own pace, from the comfort of your own home, if you so choose.

As distance learning has become more popular, its effectiveness has improved as well. The days when online schooling was considered an easier path to a degree are gone. Most of today’s online art degree programs boast accomplished and experienced instructors, rigorous curriculums, and additional online resources that support and aid the student as they work towards a degree.

Choosing An Online Art Degree Program

When choosing an online school to get your online art certification or degree, the first and most important step is to ensure that the school you are choosing is accredited. Although there have been numerous crackdowns in the space, diploma mills are still plentiful, and they won’t hesitate to take your money without giving you the education you deserve. If you want to cover all your bases, make sure the schools you are considering are accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design or the Council for Higher Education Accreditation.

Make sure to look for these two accrediting bodies in particular, because accreditation mills can be just as prevalent as degree mills, and a school may say it is accredited when it has really just been rubber-stamped by one of dozens of accreditation mills. Once you have ensured that the schools you are interested in are accredited, you will want to do additional research. Most reputable online art degree programs will have admissions counselors who will answer all of your questions. Use these people as a key resource.

Ask them about the quality of the instructors at in the program and ask them about the type of art courses they will be taking. Even if your student already knows they want to study fine art, you should be looking for a school that offers a diverse and comprehensive art curriculum so that the student receives a well-rounded education.

Finally, just like if you were looking at traditional art schools, you should do your research about how successful the school’s graduates have been in the working world. Ask the admissions counselor about career resources available and see if they have any available data about the percentage of graduates who have found jobs in their respective fields. In some instances, potential employers prefer students with degrees from online schools because it means they already have the skill-set in place to work in an increasingly digital world.

Online Art Course Types

In most cases, there are four types of online art degrees you can achieve. The two most common degrees that students choose are the associate’s degree – which typically takes two years to complete – and the bachelor’s degree – which typically takes four years to complete. Almost every art school that features an online degree program offers an associate’s degree and a bachelor’s degree. In addition, some community colleges with online art degree programs will offer a two-year associate’s degree in certain art subjects.

The two less common online art degrees are the master’s degree and the doctorate degree. These degrees are complex, difficult, and advanced, and because of this, they are far rarer, especially in the online space. The online master’s degree takes an additional two years to complete and is usually only available to students who have already earned a bachelor’s degree.

The online doctorate degree can take anywhere from three to seven years to complete depending on the program and is usually only available to students who have already completed the online master’s program. All four of these online degrees are excellent options, each one is available through most online art degree programs, and each one is designed to give the students a leg up in the job search. But the rule of thumb is that the more advanced the degree, the more opportunities that are available to you.