We live in a digital world driven by data and technology. But rather than eliminate the need for fine arts and liberal arts majors, these innovations have helped shine a light on the value of fine art in a digital world.

“Old-school” art and design programs, like those offered at New England College, remain vital because they teach students skills that can transition to digital spaces. What’s more, liberal arts graduates leave college with the soft skills that employers across all industries highly value.

Fine Art in A Digital World

What kind of transferable skills do art majors acquire? The most important involve exposure to the use of art and design techniques in a digital environment, enhancing the quality of what is produced with digital tools. Many traditional artistic approaches work when applied to innovative design methods. Making that application work is something every art student does at New England College.

Students at New England College can choose the BA in Art program or one of our art and design programs. The BA in Art, at our Henniker campus, allows students to develop artistically and study a broader range of subjects while concentrating in Fine Arts (painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture) or Media Arts (photography, graphic design, and video). The art and design programs at our Manchester campus give students immersive study of their chosen craft.

  • Art
  • Ceramics
  • Comic Arts
  • Creative Writing
  • Fine Arts
  • Foundations
  • Game and Digital Media Design
  • Graphic and Communication Design
  • Illustration
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Theatre

New England College encourages all art and design students to take a variety of studio courses and “explore new mediums and consider unfamiliar creative possibilities.”

The Importance of Soft Skills

All art and design majors strengthen the soft skills that help them secure jobs both inside and outside of the art world. These include skills in communication, critical thinking, working with teams, problem-solving, project management, and the ability to work independently.

And students also receive a well-rounded education. From courses in English composition, math, and natural and social sciences to humanities, global perspectives, and art history, New England College’s art design students become informed, thoughtful citizens and artists.

Soft skills and a balanced education can also help students start their own business. About 75% of art graduates are self-employed after graduation, according to the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project. The project also reports that 80% of those who earned a degree in art say that artistic technique is “important to their work.”

What’s more, the thousands of art program alumni surveyed said that while artistic ability ranks as their most important workplace skill, it is followed by critical thinking, creativity, improving with feedback, teamwork, broad knowledge, leadership, and project management.

Technology also allows artists to reach a new audience. In a Pew Research Center study, professionals in the world of art answered questions about technology. They noted that technology allows them to introduce art to a wider audience. One commented that “the digital world is a very populist force, leveling the world between rich and poor, educated and uneducated.”

Art and Design at NEC

New England College has a long history of commitment to the arts, and that commitment has become even stronger. NEC merged with the New Hampshire Institute of Art, establishing the Institute of Art and Design at New England College and expanding academic programs for students across all majors. Dr. Michele Perkins, President of New England College, states that the merger of these two institutions is “an important component of our ongoing and expanding commitment to the liberal arts.”