Project #2: Creating a Future

Reference Guide

This is a guide for high school and college students written in Chicago format for my Technical Writing course.


The Creating a Future guide contains all the information a young artist needs to know about declaring a college major. The guide contains summaries of websites that can help you learn about which majors are the best fit for your personality and design style. Many also discuss the career paths one can choose after choosing certain majors, sharing the advantages and disadvantages of each.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says sixty-nine percent of young people attend college; that is nearly three-quarters of the population! This booklet can be used by artistic high school students applying to college, as well as undecided freshman undergraduates or unsatisfied college students who want to change majors. According to the U.S. Department of Education, about thirty percent of college students change their majors; it is clear there is a need for better guidance. The document can also be helpful to parents and educators who would like to offer their students a second opinion.

You should have a ninth-grade reading level or more and have basic computational skills for comparing job salaries. You are expected to know the basics of how to navigate the internet and download files. Recognizing the names and techniques of popular digital arts computer programs is recommended.




N.a. “College Enrollment and Work Activity of Recent High School and College Graduates.” Bureau of Labor Statistics. (accessed September 15, 2018).

N.a. “Beginning College Students Who Change Their Majors.” U.S. Department of Education. (accessed September 15, 2018).


The Princeton Review Career Quiz

The Princeton Review has provided an online quiz of twenty-four questions divided into six sections. These questions relate to each user’s interests in school, work, and everyday life. They can help predict whether an artistic career is right for you, and if so, which kind you should pursue.

Once you are finished, the website shows a tab displaying two headlines: your Interest, or the kinds of activities you like, and Style, or personality type that could help you succeed in certain professions. Both are categorized based on a system of colors. The other tab is called Recommended Careers. It provides links to pages describing different careers, and once you select one, you will see what a day in the life of someone with that job title is like. It explains how the career has changed over time, and how it is expected to change in the future. To the right side of such a page are the majors you might need to obtain that job title. These link to their own explanations.


  • When viewing your results, click the button called Save Career to bookmark it for viewing later.

  • Note that the multimedia icons toward the bottom and to the side of the results are advertisements for other parts of the site.


This page on the PayScale website shows the average salaries of employees with design skills, broken down by each major. Major titles and their salaries are displayed side-by- side. When clicked, each item will take you to a page that shares the most job titles held with that degree and their individual average salaries. Both the pages listing degrees and specific jobs show employees’ reviews and ratings and usual career preparation. They illustrate the breakdown between male and female workers. Job pages are unique, however, by introducing the content with a sliding scale that demonstrates how salaries vary by percentile; near the center is a starred median. The pages show how salaries and job opportunities are expected to increase over time and with location. You may see active job listings meant for those who have already pursued the career. Near the end of a typical page is are charts displaying common career paths, as well as other jobs with similar skill sets that may interest you.


  • PayScale normally displays yearly salaries. If you would like to discover a job’s hourly rate instead, click the highlighted text below the top sliding scale.

  • The middle of each page contains interactive visuals of popular skills that would help one succeed in each career. Select them to see how much more someone with each skill can expect to make.

The Occupational Outlook Handbook

The Occupational Outlook Handbook is located under the Publications tab of America’s Bureau of Labor Statistics website. Like similar sites, it displays categories that link to lists of job titles. When browsing its page above, you will see pictures and brief descriptions of each art-related job—as well as some of the information previously mentioned—to compare them all at a glance. This information is expanded upon in the introduction page of each job. Learn even more about its different aspects by clicking each tab within the handbook. They will also help you learn about what daily life is like in each job and how its salary compares to that of various industries. It connects you to several other sites that help you see how factors such as pay and job outlook vary throughout the United States. One of the last tabs is a detailed list of jobs with similar requirements and activities. To the furthest right tab are external links to similar pages covering your chosen career.


  • If Spanish is your preferred language, press the translator button under the search bar.

  • To its right is a box that will display a ready-to-print version.

  • Salaries and unemployment rates can change significantly in short periods of time. To

    avoid uncertainty, check the page’s Last Modified Date to its bottom left.

  • Beneath the Last Modified Date are social media links if you want to conveniently share

    career information with your friends or family.


This list from Niche will show you the best colleges for art and design, beginning with their top choice. It has been constructed by analyzing data from both the U.S. Department of Education and reviews from the millions of students and professors who visit the site.

Each college in the list contains a number ranking, star rating, popular review, acceptance rate, net price, and typical SAT score. The Overall Niche Grade, or calculation based on all of these factors, is in the bottom left of each preview. Once you select a college, you’ll see its Niche Grade broken down into several categories, such as academics, diversity, and athletics. The page presents your college’s contact information and website if you want to receive more information directly from them. It shows how the college ranks in categories other than design, such as architecture or information technology. It details the typical academic profile of an entering freshman and a scatter plot that helps you visualize what kind of students were accepted. Next is the average cost by household income, followed by information about professors, students, campus life, most popular majors, and average earnings after college. Last, all student reviews are shown along with similar colleges with comparable reviews.


  • If you don’t want to scroll through to find a section, there is a clickable index of every headline to the left.

  • Near the center of the page is a link to another part of the site called Find College Scholarships. However, these are not always relevant to the college you previously viewed.

  • The box that says Get Custom Online and Mobile Test Prep links to an external site called Magoosh. Use it if you need help raising your SAT or ACT scores.

  • If you reach the bottom of a college’s page and are considering it, click the Add to List button.


If you want to experiment with different activities you might use in a career, Lynda is for you. This webpage is a collection of video tutorials. Some show what it’s like to use a wide range of computer software or traditional artistic media, while others record an expert giving career advice.

There are four main options of videos to choose from. The first are New Releases of the most recent videos. Learning Paths—sets of videos under one title—will let you explore specific careers. Third are Documentaries, which will tell you about specific designers and their techniques. Next are weekly series, more video sets about different subjects, programs, or designers; a new video for each set is released every week.


  • The same course sets are often narrated by both a man and woman, so you can choose either version; both should show up in the search results.

  • Use the search bar at the top of each page if you know exactly what you’re looking for.

  • With the left sidebar, filter your search by topic, software, or author.

  • The number of available course sets and video tutorials is displayed directly above your

    search results.

  • Each search result shows other information you may want to know, such as its narrator

    who is shown to the right of the title. Below is a short description, and beneath that are

    the video or series’ run time, skill level, upload date, and views.

  • After each video in a series is viewed, an eye icon will show up beside its title. Keep this

    in mind when you are returning to a series and would like to start where you left off.

Published Works


Hussian College: Art School Vs. Traditional College: Which One is Right for Me?

Hussian College is a private Pennsylvanian art school; nonetheless, in this article, it takes an unbiased perspective by sharing the pros and cons of art schools and public universities. Public educators offer a broad educational experience. Their students are required to take general education courses and have the chance to transfer to non-art majors within the same school. There are more extracurricular activities—such as fraternities, sororities, and sports teams—than in art schools. However, this also means university students cannot have such an immersive experience in the arts.

As their name suggests, art schools offer only art-related degrees, sometimes specializing even further in areas such as digital design. They charge the most, but students there are able to take courses only directly related to their major. They are also more likely to be hired for artistic careers.


  • To jump to different sections in the article, click one of the links in the Table of Contents under its title.

  • Press the Contact Us tab at the top right if you have any questions after reading.


The International Journal of Art and Design Education

This journal—abbreviated the iJADE—is edited by Jeff Adams and hosted by the Wiley Online Library. It was created by the National Society for Education in Art and Design. The association was founded in 1888, but their journal has been published for the past thirty years. The iJADE publishes articles about many aspects of the visual arts in an educational context. There are both paid and free articles on its platform, sorted by Most Recent and Most Cited tabs. You have the option of viewing each article either online or in printable PDF form. Below them are recent issues of the journal.


  • There are multiple ways to use the search bar on this site. First is the dropdown menu that lets you choose to search in either iJADE or throughout the site. There is also Advanced Search, which searches using multiple terms and custom publication dates. You can search by the citations within papers as well.

  • Notice the multiple useful links to the top right. Click the second to browse a free sample issue, the third to become notified when new articles are uploaded, and the fifth to subscribe to the journal’s news.

  • Select the main About tab to learn more about the organization.


Montash University: Databases by Subject: Art, Design, and Architecture

Montash University is an Australian college that has combined scholarly resources for its Art, Design, and Architecture into an online database. The qualifications and content of linked resources are clearly described so you can better decide which one to choose when viewing a single page. They are sorted into groups based on their importance; within these groups they are organized by alphabetical order.


  • If you have a specific interest in mind, go to the Contents heading to the left and choose from the three separate subjects in the page’s title.

  • Access related parts of the same site below them under Related Sites.

  • To check the Last Updated link, scroll to the bottom left. On the same line you are given

  • an option to download a printer-friendly version of the page.

© 2020 by Lauren Renee Bigelow.