A degree in Art History will give you the ability to extract meaning from visual environments—a skill that can be applied to many job areas.

The study of Art History develops and draws on a range of associated skills:

  • observation and interpretation of visual data
  • the ability to make connections and draw disparate elements together to make a coherent whole
  • manipulating visual information for psychological, emotional and cognitive effect.

It will also develop and extend your natural ability to construct and communicate meaning from almost any visual environment.

Art History graduates also possess a range of generic graduate skills, including:

  • intellectual curiosity
  • mental flexibility
  • research and information-gathering skills
  • ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • organisational ability
  • well-developed communication skills
  • the ability to set realistic goals
  • the desire to achieve.

See the Art History Career View.

Where do art history graduates work?

Art History graduates work in a wide range of careers. Read some profiles of our graduates.

Recent graduates have become:

  • host, curator, collections technician, administrator, publicity/marketing coordinator, researcher, exhibitions coordinator, education officer, public programmes coordinator, events coordinator – even director – of an art gallery or museum
  • conservation assistant for the National Library
  • coordinator for a creative arts organisation
  • cultural affairs information officer in central government
  • administration assistant in a drama school
  • sales manager for a fine arts retailer
  • visual merchandiser or commercial artist.

Other skills and experience

You can add value to your Art History degree by developing additional skills and experience, or associated qualifications, such as:

  • computer skills, including database management and desktop publishing
  • research
  • photography
  • design or education qualifications.

A double major within your degree, for example in Art History and History, Māori Studies or Pacific Studies will be useful for particular careers.

Remember, a Master's degree is valued in the workplace for the level of independent thinking and research skills it demonstrates.

Additional information on possible career options can be found on the University's Careers website.