Growth Trends for Related Jobs

Do You Need to Get a College Degree to Become a Model?

careertrend article image

Walking the runway and staring into the camera can be more difficult than it looks. In fact, the best models make it look easy. Most careers require that you earn a college degree to demonstrate your skill in the field. Modeling jobs, however, are granted based upon one’s appearance and temperament. While earning a college degree is not a requirement to work as a model, there are a lot of reasons for models to make it part of their career plans.

A Degree is Not a Must

You do not need a college degree to become a model. In its listing of qualifications to become a model, advises prospective models that it is helpful to take courses in art, drama, dance and fashion design.


Even though agencies don’t require you to have a degree, it’s possible to do both. Even if you don’t attend college in New York City or Los Angeles, you can get work from smaller clients and agencies in smaller cities. Best of all, this builds your portfolio in addition to your level of education.


Though it means you will be a little older before you can concentrate on a modeling career, earning a college degree (and getting good grades, of course) proves to prospective employers that you have the maturity necessary to work toward long-term goals. Earning a degree also increases the chances you’ve had life experiences that prevent you from being overwhelmed by the negative side of success.

Improved Decision Making

While most modeling agencies are on the level, there are lots of dishonest people out there hoping to take advantage of people with big dreams. claims that any agency that asks for an up-front fee, for example, is probably not legitimate. Holding a college degree means you have honed critical thinking skills over two or four years, helping you to sniff out the scams.

When You’re Done Modeling

Unfortunately, a high-level modeling career cannot last forever. With a college degree, you’ll have a map for your future. Perhaps you can move behind the camera and use your art degree as a photographer. A fashion-design degree increases the chance of your success as a model-turned-designer.


Ethan Pendleton is a teacher and writer in Columbus, Ohio. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Ohio State University at Marion and teaches writing in various capacities in his community.

Photo Credits