On this journey of things you should do by 30 I want to give you a little life advice and you can do with it as you wish. A college degree doesn't gaurantee you a job, years ago it was very different not everyone went to college so a degree was something 'special' for lack of other words. Today a bachelors degree is just barely a step above a high school diploma, now don't take that the wrong way because a college degree is absolutely something you need and something I want my daughter to get. Without it your path is a dead end so what am I trying to tell you? You need to be more than a piece of paper and 4 years of college. You need to jump off that paper with experience, drive and ambition.
Obviously, you need to get a degree that is employable which means you need to pick a path that is realistic but that doesn't mean you can't be what you want to be. You may have to go at it from another angle that is pratical and realistic without giving up your passion. Here is an example: Julie wants to be a fashion designer but the odds of becoming a fashion designer are not great not impossible but not pratical. No one should give up their passion she just might have to go at in a different angle. She could get a degree in CAD design which is in demand with companies from clothing lines to architecture while keeping some of her creative passion and pays the bills while she keeps designing clothes for maybe her own line some day. Another option that would keep inline with her passion for fashion is to get a degree to be a buyer which would give her contacts and relationships with people that might be able to get her fashion designs in front of the right people. There are several other avenues to go but you get the point.
I was talking to my attorney a couple of weeks ago, he is younger and just starting to get to that point where he is gaining some ground. I actually like him, he is a good person with a promising future. Well we were talking about his wife who got a degree in Art History and had a hard time finding a job, I am pretty sure she went back to get her masters. Again she ran into the same situation she just couldn't find a job in that field and I am sure out of frustration she learned that although she loved art it just wasn't a field that she could get into. You really need to live in the right area, know the right people and maybe have wealthy parents that are avid art collectors that can get you into a gallery. Long story short she went back to school and went in a completely different direction, she became an attorney. There were other options though that other art lovers can look into that keeps them in that general area of their passion albeit not overly lucrative.
Art Teacher, although with budget cuts a lot of these types of classes are being cut from the curriculum so maybe a college professor would be better
Art Therapy, I have a friend who's sister did art therapy. It's not a job that pays well but I am sure it can be very rewarding. It is becoming a form of therapy that is being used for several different situations from rape survivors to people suffering from bipolar or other physchological disorders. You would need to investigate and maybe get a phsychology degree with a minor in Art.
Design, Home Design and look into becoming an art buyer for corporations, museums or private collectors. I imagine you would need a buisness degree of some kind again do some research maybe contact someone that does this and ask for career advice
This is the best advice I can give you and I tell my daughter and step daughters on a regular basis, Intern intern and intern all through out college. Be involved with your schools fashion shows or art shows and get work your way up to being on the 'board'. Work on charity events and again work your way up to being on the board. Intern at buisness' that are in the field you want to be in and start at the bottom. Yes, I know you are working for free but you can work your way up. I don't care if you are cleaning bathrooms as long as you are in the right company because as you clean those bathrooms with no complaints they are watching, they are deciding if you have a good work ethic. Dress for the job you want, dress appropriate becuase people are watching and making snap decissions on who you are and where you can go. Show up on time with a smile on your face, always look to for opportunities to get noticed so volounteer to do tasks no one else wants and do those jobs to your best ability, don't half ass it.
Pratical job experience to put on your resume it sets you apart from other applicants that just have a degree
It shows you have ambition along with a having good work ethic
References, you get professional references from people that are in the field you want to go into
Connections, it's true cliche but true. It is all about who you know, they can get you in front of the right people, put you in the right circles and help advise/mentor you
Swallow your pride and get a low level job at a company you want to work at. If you want to restore old paintings or put together exhibits at a museum or gallery get a job as a cashier at the Art Museum. There is nothing wrong with working your way up, I am not sure when college grads started to think that they didn't have to work in the wharehouse as a laborer but it is something that people did even 30 years ago when a degree was coveted. You are not that special, that 4 years you spent going to a few classes and drinking draft beer out of a red solo cup does not mean you get a corner office with your name on the door. Yes you need a degree to get a foot in the door but it won't get you that office with a view for that you need to work your way up. You need to prove that you have a good work ethic and you have to earn your stripes.
Picking your degree is a very important decission and should be investigated because this is your first big step in getting a career. It is good to have dreams and you should never give up on them not even when you are 40. Making adjustments and being pratical are a big part of being an adult it may not be as sexy as your lofty ideals but is a necessary evil. Think outside of the box and look into other possible avenues that will allow you to follow your passion but in a marketable way. Working as an intern, charity events and college events are a great way to help you find what you are interested in as well as finding out what you are good at. Take these 4 years of college to be more then a piece of paper. Since you don't have to pay bills it is the perfect time to work for free or very little in order to gain pratical work experience. If you haven't figured this out you will, you can't get the job without experience but you can't get experience if you can't get the job and interning is that experience! I read an interview about Rachel Zoe where she was giving career advice and her number one advice was to intern, to even intern at several different places. She talked about how she did that and how those internships were not glamourus but they gave her connections. As The Stones taught us, you can't always get what you want but if you try sometimes you just might find you get what you need.