Do You Really Need a Degree to Become a Professional Crafter?

Former First Lady of the USA, Eleanor Roosevelt once said: “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” Whether you dream of becoming the next Jacquie Aiche or want to revolutionize the American home through your interior design ideas, a successful career in crafting might very well be within your reach. Teenagers with an interest in crafting and manufacturing are, however, often very unsure of the route they want to take career-wise. Countless questions arise, such as the relevance of a university degree, which can leave the young crafter feeling very overwhelmed and second-guessing his career choice. Luckily a few basic guidelines will go a long way in enabling young people to make the right decisions to ensure the best possible future outcomes.

What educational qualifications are required?
High school classes including shop, art and home economics can all teach future crafters a range of basic skills upon which they can build future career choices. While most universities and colleges in the USA offer varying qualifications in terms of crafting, a degree is by no means a prerequisite for a career in crafts. A bachelor degree can, however, be of benefit as it enables a student to gain experience in working with a variety of techniques and materials, thus expanding their work portfolios.

Most tertiary qualifications include a number of business-related subjects such as finance and marketing that can be extremely beneficial for any student wanting to run his/her own business later in life. Craft artists will also benefit extensively from being apprenticed to a master craftsman. Seeing first-hand how various techniques are employed to craft an item is absolutely invaluable and cannot be taught during any theoretical lesson.

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What are the career prospects like for a crafter?
Many crafters start out working for an organization, slowly learning all the tricks of the trade before taking a leap of faith and opting to start their own small business. Crafters that are self-employed have to work extremely hard to establish a sound reputation for themselves which, in turn, will help them to establish a solid customer base.

Inspiration and experience can luckily be obtained in many ways. The internet is inundated with information and ideas pertaining to crafts that could sell well, either online, from an actual shop, or both. Pinterest, in particular, showcases countless images that an avid crafter can draw inspiration from, permitting current concepts to be improved upon or to give birth to new, innovative ideas. If you have innovative ideas that will appeal to a niche market, and if your manufacturing process is sound, you will be able to attract and retain an impressive clientele.

Being a professional crafter can be a very rewarding career, both financially and in terms of giving you a sense of purpose. There are countless opportunities available to the professional crafter, both online and within their communities. There truly is no right or wrong way to go about forging a career for yourself. As long as you conduct a fair amount of research into the options available to you and make well-educated decisions you are bound to be a success.

Photo Credit: Clem Onojeghuo