The Economic Rewards of an Australian Creative Arts Degree

Phi Lewis, Jee Young Le


The number of university places in creative arts degrees in Australia has risen at a much fasterrate than for other degree programs. This represents a big increase in investment in creative arts education.
Purpose of this paper is to examine the careers of those having bachelor degrees in creative arts.
Approach mainly consists in estimating the monetary returns from these degrees using population data from the Australian Census under a range of assumptions.
Results show that for the average person, there are little or no monetary incentives to complete these degrees and the private rate of return compares unfavourably with alternative degrees or with returns to financial assets such as the rate of interest.
Policy implications are discussed such as those for university financing and increases in university places.

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