International Journal of Art & Design Education

Ambitions and Destinations: the Careers and Retrospective Views of Art and Design Graduates and Postgraduates

Volume 18.2   1999



This paper firstly examines the available data on the career paths of art and design graduates, and considers to what extent this data is able to represent their success in employment. Much of the national data presents a pessimistic view. Secondly, the methodology and results of the Ambitions and Destinations project are outlined. A postal questionnaire was used to survey all those who had graduated from Birmingham Institute of Art and Design - a cross-section of undergraduate and postgraduate courses 1991Ð1995 inclusive. The career outcomes of the first-degree respondents are compared with those of the postgraduates, including their respective participation in the areas of paid employment, further study, self employment and unemployment. Some of the key points about the career usefulness of courses are presented. Finally, the extent to which the career paths of these BIAD graduates and postgraduates are consistent with those obtained from national data is considered.