Top 20 Best Majors for Creative People

An image of a journal for our ranking of Top 20 Degrees for Creative People

Now more than ever, creative people are being “creative” with their career paths. We’ve seen a decline in print media opportunities. But we also see a world fueled by creativity and innovation. This is good news for a creative person.

Creative jobs are out there if you know where to look. Industries, of all kinds, hire individuals with creative skills. Companies need wordsmiths and storytellers, graphic designers and art directors. If you consider yourself a creative person, these 20 degrees offer unique and rewarding careers.

Here’s a look at the top 20 best majors for creative people.

Image of a journalist for our list of 20 majors for creatives

1. Journalism

Journalism programs have changed over the last decade. There is less focus on print journalism and more on visual communication. Students have moved from fact-checking, interviewing, and research to graphic design and social media. They master technology used to provide journalistic success in this constantly changing field.

Journalists of today use visual elements to convey stories. Programs prepare students with technical skills they can use in investigative journalism. But programs also focus on developing the creative process. Journalism programs offer concentrations for creatives to explore their passions. Popular concentrations in journalism include:

  • Broadcast and digital journalism
  • Convergent media
  • News and features
  • Sports and media

Journalism majors can also develop creative skills in digital marketing and communication. Classes on editing and social media can help give you an edge over other candidates when applying for creative jobs. Candidates with the best job prospects have visual communication experience and strong writing skills.

Career paths for journalism graduates include editor and journalist roles. But you can also qualify for jobs as PR consultants, technical writers, and photographers.

Top Programs for Journalism

University of Massachusetts
University of North Carolina

2. Theater or Dramatic Arts

A degree in theatre can seem like a niche area of study. But it is more than playwright and acting. Programs offer a wide range of liberal arts courses and intensives focusing on dramatic arts. A theater program can give you the creative career you’re looking for. Here’s how.

Theater and dramatic arts courses cover many different topics. From classical theater to comedy, you can take courses that interest you and promote a creative career. You take both performance and production classes. Performance means students must audition for roles in different forms of dramatic arts. You can focus on areas of interest.

You can also focus on the business side of arts, taking classes in digital marketing or visual communication. Some theater majors pick up a minor in another area of arts. From graphic design to web development, you can choose a minor that complements your studies. Your combined degree can lead to many different creative jobs.

Top Programs for Theater

The New School
USC School of Dramatic Arts

3. Graphic Design

Graphic designers create visual content for a variety of media. They create advertisements, packaging, logos, and websites. They also do art for layouts in magazines and digital publications. To work in graphic design, you need specific technical skills. But you also need an eye for visual communication.

A graphic designer creates images and designs layouts. You learn how to do this in a graphic design program. Graphic design programs teach you how to use computer software and applications for digital creation. They also help you develop your creative process. When you graduate from a graphic design degree program, you can qualify for jobs in all kinds of businesses and industries. These include:

  • Advertising agencies
  • Education
  • Healthcare
  • Retail
  • Trades
  • Web design

A graphic designer can find creative jobs in any industry where visual elements and web design are important aspects of success.

Top Programs for Graphic Design

Kent State University
Savannah College of Art and Design

4. Game Design

Game design is a $200 billion industry that has captured the attention of all ages. Its rapid growth has increased demand for individuals with creative skills. Companies hiring game designers look for creative majors with skills in many different areas.

One of the best majors for creative types and top creative degrees that pay well is game design. The industry offers creative jobs for people with effective communication skills and strong writing skills. They want their designers to have more than creative degrees. They want candidates with a mix of technical and creative skills.

Game design programs give you the skills you need for success in creative fields. You learn how to create characters and storylines. You learn how to create websites for gaming platforms. Your classroom learning also teaches you about animations and other creative visual elements.

But to qualify for creative jobs in game design, you must have a minimum of a bachelor’s degree.

Top Programs for Game Design

Full Sail University
Southern New Hampshire University

5. Creative Writing

Creative writing programs dive deep into the creative process of writing. A creative writing degree program teaches students how to investigate literature and create original stories. This type of program helps students improve their craft and develop talent. The skills you gain can help you succeed in creative careers.

But what makes creative writing one of the best degrees for creative minds? Versatility!

Writing programs help you develop effective communication skills. You also gain writing skills you can take into different creative fields. Since you spend much of your time analyzing classic and modern literature, you hone your critical thinking skills. But you also learn about the writing process and how it relates to real world projects.

Top Programs for Creative Writing

University of Iowa
University of Massachusetts

Image of a landscape architect for our list of top majors for creatives

6. Landscape Architecture

Over the last few years, the landscape architect field has grown and changed. Because of this, it has become one of the best degrees for creative people who love working outdoors. But with climate change and a strain on resources, the field has evolved.

Today’s bachelor degree in landscape architecture program focuses on sustainability and balance. Students learn how to solve problems in the field by applying problem-solving and technical skills. In this program, you learn everything from architecture to environment constraints. You also study the technology used in the field.

But not all landscape programs are equal. Look for schools accredited by the Landscape Accreditation Board to ensure program quality. And to get a job right out of college, make sure you intern or work a summer job that puts your skills to the test. Employers favor candidates with experience.

Top Programs for Architecture Landscape

Academy of Art University

University of Virginia

7. English

English is one of the top college majors for creative minds. A bachelor’s degree in English gives students a complete understanding of grammar and literature. But it also teaches you about writing and analysis. It is one of those creative degrees that are also versatile.

Courses vary by program, but most include writing and literature. Some English programs cover writing courses for different creative fields. Writing topics covered in an English program include:

  • Contemporary fiction
  • English composition
  • Nonfiction writing
  • Technical writing

Some programs offer certificates and concentrations in niche creative fields like investigative journalism and publishing. With an English degree you can qualify for different roles. From an advertising manager to author, an English degree can open doors to many creative fields.

Top Programs for English

The University of Memphis
University of Washington

8. Entrepreneurship

The business world needs data-driven, analytical minds. But it also needs creatives. These are innovative people with a unique process for creating. They mix business with innovation, and we refer to them as entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurship programs teach creative marketing and product innovation. Since the creative process is key to success in business, entrepreneurship programs emphasize it. Courses cover topics such as:

  • Digital marketing
  • Marketing
  • Risk management
  • Visual communication
  • Web and application technology

If you’re bent toward business and innovation, but also creative, consider creative degrees like entrepreneurship.

Top Programs for Entrepreneurship

North Carolina State University

Western Carolina University

9. Architecture

One of the top majors for creative people is architecture. Most programs are graduate degrees. You don’t find an abundance of bachelor’s degree programs, but master’s degrees are out there.

In an architecture program, you get to create. You work with existing designs and come up with new ones. Architects create functional living spaces and eye-pleasing structures. The program teaches you how to work with cutting-edge technology and use innovative tools.

Aspiring architects take courses like:

  • 3D CAD fundamentals
  • Smart urban infrastructures
  • Software design and architecture
  • Sustainable development

The time it takes to complete a master’s program in architecture varies. But most take two to five years to finish.

Top Programs for Architecture

University of Maryland
University of Michigan

10. Advertising

Advertising is a creative field. Advertising agencies employ both creatives and business professionals. Because of this, advertising is one of the top creative college majors.

In an advertising program, students learn how to market and promote goods and services. You study promotion and brand management. You also examine consumer behavior and learn what it takes for customers to purchase products. Advertising majors spend time researching, analyzing, and studying the market.

There are many different career paths in advertising. With a bachelor’s or master’s degree you can qualify for jobs as:

  • Advertising manager
  • Advertising sales representative
  • Digital marketing expert
  • Film and video editor
  • Graphic designer
  • Marketing manager
  • Social media coordinator

But advertising agencies aren’t the only option for employment. Any business or organization with an advertising department can have job openings for those with an advertising degree. You can also go into business for yourself.

Top Programs for Advertising

Boston University

Temple University

Image of communication instructor for our list of 20 majors for creatives

11. Communication

Communication is a broad field with several career paths for creatives. Companies hire communication majors to provide written and oral communication on their behalf. In many ways, they are the mouth piece of the company.

Effective communicators are creative. In communication programs, you learn how to develop and deliver communication through various media. You work on improving your verbal and writing skills. You also hone effective communication skills. Courses offered in this program cover topics such as:

  • Marketing and brand management
  • Public speaking
  • Speech
  • Storytelling through communication

There are many different roles you can take after college. Some communication majors pursue jobs as editors, interpreters, professors, and writers.

Top Programs for Communication

Arizona State University

University of Cincinnati

12. Instructional Design

Students wanting to pursue careers in instructional design look for creative programs that combine skill and innovation. Programs teach both technical skills and creativity.

In this type of program, you study instruction and curriculum design. You also learn different training systems and platforms that instructional designers use on the job. Required courses cover topics like:

  • Curriculum development
  • Design analysis
  • Functional and aesthetic structures
  • Instructional design

Most graduates find career opportunities in education. Many go to graduate school where they combine their undergraduate work with advanced instruction. A degree in instructional design can open doors to administration jobs or creative work in different industries.

Top Programs for Instructional Design

North Carolina Central University

Western Governor’s University

13. Marketing

Marketing is a good degree for creative people. Whether it’s a comedic Super Bowl commercial or a viral video post, marketers work behind the scenes of these projects. Creative ideas and planning help companies sell products.

Marketing degrees teach a wide range of subjects such as:

  • Consumer behavior
  • Digital design
  • Social media marketing
  • Visual communication

Some programs teach niche courses that allow students to tailor their marketing degree toward an area of interest. Examples of electives and concentrations include graphic design and web development. Graduates of a marketing program can qualify for creative jobs. Roles include:

  • Advertising and promotions managers
  • Fashion designers
  • Fundraising and PR managers
  • Game designers
  • Sales executives
  • Technical writers

Top Programs for Marketing

University of Maryland Global Campus

University of Minnesota

14. Film Studies

Film studies programs are a good option for creatives interested in visual media. Majoring in film teaches you how to interpret and analyze media from different perspectives. The major can also help you explore unique career opportunities.

In film studies, students look at technical and visual perspectives. They also study culture. The program prepares students for entry-level careers in film, TV, media, and cinematography. Curriculum focuses on developing critical thinking skills and technical analysis. Courses cover topics like:

  • Film story analysis
  • Intro to production
  • Visual storytelling for screenwriters
  • Writing the short film

Coursework involves film and media from various time periods and genres. It applies an interdisciplinary perspective that implements social science concepts.

Top Programs for Film Studies

New York University

University of Southern California

Image of a fashion designer for our list of 20 best majors for creatives

15. Fashion Design

Are you a creative person with a passion for fashion design? A fashion design degree program opens up career opportunities to work in the fashion industry.

The fashion industry looks for creative talent and sharp business skills. That’s why fashion design is a good major for students with an eye for fashion and business sense. But since the fashion industry is competitive, students should also have ambition and perseverance. If this sounds like you, consider earning a fashion design degree.

Accredited programs open doors to different career opportunities. You can work as a(n):

  • Art director of a fashion magazine
  • Costume designer
  • Clothing designer

You can also qualify for jobs in industrial design or interior design. Some fashion design majors earn a concentration in another design subject. Popular concentrations include interior design, fashion business management, or marketing.

Top Programs for Fashion Designers

Marymount University
North Carolina State University

16. English Literature

An undergraduate degree in literature is a good choice for creatives. It teaches students how to analyze and interpret both classic and modern works. It also prepares students for careers in a range of industries.

In a literature program, you study different types of writing. Coursework focuses on literature, but also brings in studies from other disciplines. It is not uncommon to focus on psychology, sociology, and anthropology while reading literature. Because the coursework blends different disciplines, you can qualify for many different career opportunities.

Graduates find work in industries like:

  • Communication
  • Education
  • Entertainment
  • Law

Top Programs in English Literature

University of California Santa Cruz
University of New Hampshire

17. Fine Arts

A fine arts degree can prepare you for careers in art and performance. It can also help you launch a creative writing career. Most programs let students tailor their degree toward a career goal or area of interest because of the many concentrations offered.

Students pursuing a degree in fine arts earn a Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA) degree. Most programs offer concentrations that include studies in:

  • Acting
  • Art education
  • Creative writing
  • Fashion design
  • Photography
  • Printmaking
  • Sculpture
  • Theatre

Graduates of BFA programs can pursue entry-level roles in various careers. They become art directors and graphic designers. They also pursue careers in public relations or web design. The point is that you can do about anything with a fine arts degree.

But most students with a BFA look for creative masters degrees, such as the MFA. With this terminal degree, you can qualify to teach at a college or university.

Top Programs for Fine Arts

Boston University
Rhode Island School of Design

18. Public Relations

A PR degree is a top choice for creatives. Public relations professionals represent and manage a company’s brand, image, and reputation. Their role is important to any business because of the visibility.

Most public relations programs teach students how to communicate with media members. You learn how to draft speeches and write press releases. You also learn how to act as a liaison between the public and your company. To do the job, you need effective communication skills. The industry attracts talented and creative artists and writers with good communication abilities.

Public relations degree programs also offer concentrations in other creative disciplines. You can take courses, or earn a concentration, in advertising, marketing, or another subject. Exposure to other areas can open the door to a unique creative career as a public relations specialist in any field. Required courses in most public relations programs include:

  • Communication writing
  • Digital online media
  • Market research and advertising campaigns
  • Public relations campaigns

Top Programs for Public Relations Degree

Southern New Hampshire University

The University of Texas at Austin

19. Music

Are you passionate about music? Want to turn a hobby into a career? A music degree is a popular choice for creative people.

Music programs draw students from all backgrounds of music. Some play instruments, others sing or compose. Programs help you learn different aspects of songwriting and performance. You also learn the business side of music, studying promotion and marketing.

There are different types of music degrees. Undergraduate programs include:

  • Bachelor of Music Education (BME)
  • Bachelor of Arts in Music (BA)
  • Bachelor of Science in Music (BS)

You can also earn a Bachelor of Music (BM) or Bachelor of Fine Arts (BFA). In undergraduate programs, students take courses that improve their abilities to analyze and appreciate music. Courses include:

  • Applied piano
  • Aural learning
  • Music history
  • Music theory
  • World music

Music majors go on to teach or perform. They can also become creative directors at arts centers. With a music degree you can find work in most creative fields.

Top Programs for Music

Berklee Online
University of Maryland

20. Robotics Engineering

Robotics engineering is a branch of engineering and technology. For STEM-bent creatives, it is a good degree.

Robotics engineering blends different disciplines. It combines computer science and engineering with the utilization of intelligent machines. Robotics engineers create and use these machines. From autonomous vehicles to the exploration of sustainable agriculture, robotics engineers help improve different industries.

Students in robotics engineering are creative. They have a strong background in computers and math, but they also like to create and imagine. The program offers courses that cover topics such as:

  • Electric circuits
  • Engineering economics
  • Logic and design
  • Mechanics of robotic systems,
  • Signal analysis in robotic systems

Bachelor’s degrees in robotics engineering can launch candidates into entry-level positions. But you need a master’s degree to work in advanced roles.

Top Programs for Robotics Engineering

Lake Superior State University
Miami University

Related Resources:

This concludes our list of the top 20 creative degrees.

Brenda Rufener

Julie McCaulley

Carrie Sealey-Morris