How to Choose A Suitable Subject?

Art & Design - How to Choose A Suitable Subject?

Article : Ian Tsang          Edited : Konrede Limited           Date : April 2019

An extensive range of art & design courses are offered by various institutes across the world. Popular subjects may include architecture, fine art, fashion design, graphic design, animation, product design, interior design and more. High schoolers have so many options with courses being offered, hence facing one common problem: how to choose a suitable subject to study in tertiary education?

Most parents are concerned about their children’s career prospects after graduation, but children’s interests might be overlooked. As an Asian’s traditional trait, a lot of the parents wish their children to work in professional industries which are widely recognised, such as doctors and lawyers to secure level of income. Other than popular occupations such as architect and interior designer, a lot of parents are not aware of art & design offers diversified career paths and has many applications in the business world. For example, in order to promote and communicate effectively, most organisations would need to work closely with graphic designers and illustrators.

Before students decide which art & design subject to study, they need to know their interests, strengths and weaknesses, what to expect at work and etc. It is essential that they plan ahead since they are competing with millions of students globally. For example, a popular fashion course in a top UK art school may only accept 7% of its applicants, a similar course in the USA is a bit more lenient, accepting 14% of its applicants. Passion is most sustainable motivation and it can inspire one to pursue further in an area, because it makes the learning process more interesting and it is easier to achieve satisfaction this way, hence never choose a subject that you absolutely hate. Satisfaction can boost an individual’s confidence and help strengthening his/ her believes. However, applicants must read the course syllabus carefully before applying and consider their possible career paths. They should also know that they might have a chance working in a different field from what they study.

Personality can greatly affect an artist’s career path and being creative is the top criterion. There is no shortcut to success, listen to more opinions from various parties before selecting a subject, which may include teachers, relatives and friends. Decide after analysing these factors critically. Also, it is important to step out of the comfort zone, experiment and discover more about oneself. This does not limit to experiment in art & design only, since the process of creation is often inspired by various elements in daily life. A challenging attitude encourages artists to think out of the box, accept new ideas and to learn continuously. 

Timing is also important. In the recent years Hong Kong has many major on-going art projects and they will need people to manage and to run in the near future. These infrastructures provide excellent foundations to artists, however Hong Kong needs to train more local talents in order to make most out of these facilities. This includes encouraging young talents to take art & design as their career paths, provide more opportunities to local creative organisations to develop. As a result, this will alter the public’s perception of art & design and starting to accept it as a reputable industry.  This cannot be done overnight but there are local artists working hard towards this goal.