Turning your passion into your profession: the future

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Guest correspondence


Photo courtesy of Ringling College.

As an institution, our mission is not just to educate our students with the essential skills needed for their degrees, but to prepare and empower them in their professional careers from day one. This is how they will become the leaders of tomorrow.

Last October, we began a series of columns showcasing the various degree programs offered at Ringling College of Art and Design and how we are preparing our students to succeed as the creative leaders of tomorrow. We know from numerous studies and reports (including Deloitte’s recent in-depth report on the creative economy) that the creative industries are likely to be key drivers of long-term economic growth. The Deloitte study notes that as we begin to emerge from three years of pandemic-induced downturn, trends show that the creative economy could grow by up to 40% by 2030.

What does that mean? In short, the talented art and design graduates of Ringling College will be in greater demand than ever and, moreover, they will be essential to the success of our future global economy.

Ringling College prepares its students – in all majors – for this transformative evolution in art and design.

To be counted among the industry trendsetters and to best prepare our students to work and lead in the creative industries of today and tomorrow, Ringling College has added a variety of programs in recent years. years, including a bachelor’s degree program in visual studies, a virtual Reality Development BFA program – the first of its kind at any college of art and design in the world – and a BFA Entertainment Design, focusing on built environments themes. We also continue to rank highly competitively around the world in our other specialties including illustration, game art, graphic design, motion design and our currently ranked #1 computer animation program. ° 1 in the world.

An ever-expanding campus, coupled with state-of-the-art technology, provides students with the tools to prepare for this exciting future. Our beautiful Alfred R. Goldstein Library, powerful computer labs with the latest on-campus software, the Richard and Barbara Basch Center for Visual Arts, with its creative spaces for printmaking, glassblowing, woodworking, typography and photography, and Ringling College Studio Labs, with two 8,400 square foot soundstages and a post-production facility, all offer students an unparalleled opportunity to step into the future today.

And let’s not forget the Sarasota Museum of Art. An extension of the Ringling College of Art and Design, the museum, housed in the redeveloped Sarasota High School building, features contemporary exhibits by emerging artists, showcasing the art of our time. It is truly a dynamic “living laboratory” for contemporary art and education for Ringling College students, residents and visitors.

People often ask me, “Larry, what are students able to do with an art and design degree?” Is it really worth it?” My answer has always been, and is even more adamant today when I say, “Yes! It’s really worth it! In fact, it could well be one of most valuable degrees to hold in the near future.

The reason? Because there are no limits to what students can do with these degrees. It is evident that our graduates continue to animate award-winning films, exhibit works in world-class museums and galleries and design spaces, experiences and digital assets experienced by millions of users every day, but our graduates are also business leaders, entrepreneurs, creative directors and CEOs. They work for the CIA, General Motors, with sports teams, non-profit organizations, in the medical industry and in technology industries like Google and Amazon. The opportunities are limitless.

As President of Ringling College for 23 years, it’s easy for me to see why Ringling College graduates leave school so well prepared to turn their creative passion into a lifelong profession. It is my hope and goal, on behalf of everyone at the institution, to help others see the undeniable value of an education at Ringling College.

While we hope the skills our graduates bring with them will prove invaluable on their journey, it’s important to remember that it all starts with pursuing that singular passion, that thing in our lives that simply won’t be denied. Ultimately, this is what leads to success.

dr. larry thompson is president of Ringling College of Art & Design.

Photo courtesy of Ringling College.

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