"At Berkeley I had majored in psychology, later adding Art Practice under my belt as well."
Misleading title. An art degree alone without (self) studying human psychology/behavioral science will not be enough to grok user centered (digital) design. Your psychology background will help you immensely while designing in tech as opposed to an art degree by itself (unless you want to just stick to visual/graphic design). Congrats on the job nonetheless
I disagree entirely. I got a BA in Fine Art (Painting), never studied psychology or behavioural science and eventually wound up as a Product Designer, defining both UX and visual design for apps used by millions of people. Granted my mother is a psychologist, maybe that helped.
Keyword here is "eventually". After you got ton of experience, you ended up as UX designer.
No serious company would hire an Arts graduate as a designer, to design apps as the very first job they got coming out from painters atelier.
No, but they would hire someone with a BA or BFA in Design/Graphic Design. Which is also an art degree.
Sure thing, they would hire such a person to draw illustrations, maybe a logo, etc. Nobody would hire a Graphic designer / Artist to create interaction designs. (We are talking of course, that the person in question isn't multi disciplinary and just by coincidence has Arts degree)
Very unlikely. Most graphic designers straight out of college cannot do UI or UX. Product design is out of their reach. I recently went through hundreds of applicants and interviewed a handful of them, many of them being graphic designers. Their portfolios look nice but once you talk with them, you'll find out they have no clues about UX. I am really disappointed in the lack of quality designers nowadays, but that largely has to do with outdated design education.
Sure, graphic designers can be hired to do marketing and branding, but those are not lasting jobs, they are usually just contract jobs.