The Educational and Career Experiences of Arts Graduates

​By Amber D. Dumford & Angie L. Miller
Research Analysts, Strategic National Arts Alumni Project
Center for Postsecondary Research
Indiana University School of Education

The Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) has collected three years of data from annual surveys in 2011, 2012, and 2013 to populate its SnaapShot site. The 2013 SnaapShot includes responses from over 92,000 arts graduates from American institutions. The site is used to communicate key research findings to institutions, arts graduates, policy makers, and philanthropists.

The SnaapShot focuses on six major topics:

  • Arts Majors (current occupation, education satisfaction, and gender of respondents by major)
  • Skills (alumni ratings of how important 16 different skills and competencies are to their work life)
  • Locations (a map of the contiguous United States with data about the SNAAP respondent population in each metro area)
  • Degrees (types of credentials earned by respondents, both undergraduate and graduate)
  • Occupations (current occupations, both within and outside the arts, with median incomes)
  • Debt & Earnings (income vs. debt for each degree and education level)

The 2013 SnaapShot does not represent all arts alumni, but rather the responses of graduates from over 150 institutions that have participated in SNAAP. The infographics below reflect Arts Majors and Occupations, respectively.View larger PDF version (opens in new tab).


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Total Comments: 4
Terry posted on 3/13/2015 9:16 AM
This is great, I really like the potential for infographics like this one to convey relationships and messages.
Rachel posted on 3/13/2015 9:43 AM
The information is well organized and the design of the site is clean and easy to use. I especially liked the section on 'Debt and Earnings.' That particular tab brought together a lot of information in minimal space. It can be difficult to measure earnings when using summary statistics - did you only include students reporting full-time employment? We have found that including all student respondents (full-time + part-time) when summarizing employment earnings brings estimates down quite a bit. What programs are you using to create the interactive site?
Elizabeth posted on 3/15/2015 12:46 PM
Excellent interface- very well done! The information leads me to a host of other questions. For the Occupations information, for example, respondents working inside/outside of the arts does not add up to 100%. What might account for this? I think providing a link to further information about the methodology and the limitations of the survey would be helpful.
Angie posted on 4/9/2015 11:47 AM
Thanks for the positive feedback everyone! To answer the specific questions:
1) We ask about income from everyone, regardless of their employment status. Since these are alumni respondents rather than students, only about 4% overall report being unemployed and looking for work.
2) We worked with Conjure (formerly Froeter Design, to develop the interactive graphics. We provide them with the data, and they update the site every year after new data is collected.
3)The Occupations for arts and non-arts adds up to more than 100% because respondents are allowed to select more than one current job. Many people in the arts have multiple jobs in order to generate enough income, so this is reflected in the survey. If you are interested in any of the specific survey items, or additional information about the administration, this can all be found at
Thanks again for the positive comments and interest in our work!

Angie L. Miller, Ph.D.
Assistant Research Scientist
Center for Postsecondary Research
Indiana University Bloomington