The labour market outcomes of Australian Creative Arts degree holders

Phil Lewis, Jee Young LEE

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The number of university places in Creative Arts degrees has risen at a much faster rate than for other degree programs. This represents a big increase in investment in Creative Arts education. This is despite the previous evidence that in 2006 for most Creative Arts graduates the degree was not a financially worthwhile investment. Since then a number of important changes have occurred affecting the graduate labour market which might have been expected to make investment in Creative Arts education even less profitable. This paper examines the careers of those having bachelor’s degrees in Creative Arts in 2016. In particular the monetary returns from these degrees under a range of assumptions are calculated. The results show that for
the average person, the returns to these degrees are positive although the private rate of return compares unfavourably with most alternative degrees. Potential reasons for this turnaround and implications are discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-42
Number of pages22
JournalAustralian Journal of Labour Economics
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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