Art, Design, and Performance

Area

Performing

  • Stage
  • Television
  • Radio

  • Motion Picture
  • Video

Employers

  • Community theaters
  • Regional theaters
  • Commercial theaters
  • Summer stock theaters
  • Dinner theaters
  • Children’s theaters
  • Repertory companies

  • University theater groups
  • Touring companies
  • Industrial shows
  • Show groups
  • Amusement and theme parks
  • Television/film studios

  • Radio Stations
  • Nightclubs
  • Cabarets
  • Cruise lines
  • Acting conservatories
  • Public or community programs

Strategies

  • Participate in acting workshops, courses, and seminars to get advice and experience and to make contacts with others in the field.
  • Join unions, (e.g., Actors Equity Union, or actors’ guilds to stay abreast of opportunities and developments in the field).
  • Get as much acting experience as possible. Perform in school productions, community theater, summer stock, etc. to hone acting skills.
  • Pursue training through acting conservatories or mentoring from a drama coach.
  • Develop a wide range of skills, such as singing, dancing, or acrobatics to be more versatile.
  • Gain related experience by working in a college radio or television station.
  • Consider getting modeling experience.
  • Learn a foreign language and train with a dialect coach.
  • Prepare a professional resume that lists your acting experience. Have your resume attached to or printed on the reverse side of an 8″ x 10″ photograph of yourself.
  • Be prepared to make the rounds. Distribute your resume to numerous agencies and offices. Follow up with several personal visits.
  • Secure an agent or manager to help find jobs.
  • Be aware that more opportunities exist in large cities such as New York and Los Angeles.
  • Learn about the entertainment industry as a whole.
  • Take courses on entertainment law, business, management, etc.
  • An extensive network of contacts is essential. Get to know people working in your field and related areas.
  • Consider whether you want to pursue acting as a full-time job or as an avocational interest.

Area

Directing

  • Direction
  • Technical direction
  • Casting

  • Set design
  • Stage management
  • Production

  • Dialect coaching
  • Dramaturgy
  • Support staff

Employers

  • Theaters of varying types
  • Television and motion picture studios

  • Video production companies
  • Other performance venues

Strategies

  • Seek formal training and experience in acting first.
  • Develop leadership skills through participation in campus and community organizations.
  • Gain both directing and technical experience by participating in college productions. Seek technical experiences in local theaters.
  • Participate in the Director’s Guild Training Program.
  • Volunteer with directors in local theaters to become familiar with the environment. Serving as an assistant is a great way to get started in this area.
  • Experience with fund-raising is important. Volunteer to do this with local theaters and arts councils.
  • Learn what types of permits and insurance are needed to film or perform in certain areas.

Area

Behind the Scenes

  • Stage management
  • Stage direction
  • Set design/construction
  • Costume design

  • Hair/Make-up
  • Special effects
  • Wardrobe
  • Prop management

  • Broadcast technology
  • Rigging
  • Electrical work
  • Carpentry/Scenic artistry

Employers

  • Community theaters
  • Regional theaters
  • Commercial theaters
  • Summer stock theaters
  • Dinner theaters
  • Children’s theaters

  • Repertory companies
  • University theater groups
  • Touring companies
  • Industrial shows
  • Show groups
  • Amusement and theme parks

  • Television/film studios
  • Radio stations
  • Nightclubs
  • Cabarets
  • Cruise lines
  • Acting conservatories
  • Public or community programs

Strategies

  • Learn to work well on a team.
  • Develop a sense of artistry and creativity.
  • Become involved in the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees (IATSE). This organization can give you information about becoming an apprentice as well as help you make valuable contacts.
  • Get experience. Offer your services to school and local theaters.
  • Read industry magazines and books to learn about your area.
  • For sound design: Become familiar with computer technology as digital sound effects and electronic music replace traditional means of sound design.
  • Take courses in computers, math, and physics.
  • For costume design: Supplement your program with courses in art history and fashion design.
  • For set design: Take courses in architecture and design.
  • Learn about different eras in history in order to recreate on stage. A basic knowledge of history and architecture is helpful.

Area

Writing

  • Scriptwriting
  • Playwriting

  • Screenwriting
  • Journalism

  • Publicity (press agents)
  • Research

Employers

  • Theaters
  • Television/film studios
  • Television stations

  • Radio stations
  • Video production companies
  • Magazines

  • Newspapers
  • Freelance

Strategies

  • Take courses in English and journalism to hone writing skills.
  • Review plays, movies, and TV shows for school or local newspaper.
  • Get as much writing experience as possible. Write for the college newspaper, enter playwriting contests, etc.
  • See many different productions and shows. Read a variety of scripts to see how they are developed.
  • Gain experience as a freelance writer or editor in other employment settings.
  • Learn how to shoot film because screenwriters will typically “shoot script” in which a synopsis of a story is prepared so directors can make recommendations.
  • Theatrical press agents publicize and promote theatrical productions. They write press releases and arrange press conferences and other media events. Take courses in related areas such as public relations, advertising, and business to prepare for this field.
  • Reporters spend time on the set absorbing everything. They interview actors as well as craftspeople.
  • Researchers gather information for movie writers.
  • They may also track down photographs or historical documents to make the film more authentic.

Area

Business

  • Producing
  • Management
  • Agents
  • Marketing and advertising

  • Fundraising and development
  • Coordination of volunteers
  • Administration of arts programs

 

  • Box office sales
  • Promotions
  • Patron services

Employers

  • Theaters
  • Arts councils
  • Television/film studios
  • Broadway

  • Road company productions
  • Regional theaters
  • Stock productions
  • Dinner theaters

  • Cabarets
  • Talent agencies
  • Advertising agencies
  • Art museums

Strategies

  • Secretarial/clerical positions in theaters and studios are often stepping-stones to other positions and a good way to make contacts.
  • Gain undergraduate training in business, public relations, communications, advertising, and theater.
  • Complete an internship in area of interest.
  • Develop skills in leadership, negotiation, budgeting, and fundraising.
  • Get as much experience on the college and local level as possible to develop a strong resume.

Area

Education

  • Private instruction
  • Teaching

  • Research
  • Self-enrichment teaching

Employers

  • Public and private schools, K-12
  • Colleges and universities

  • Performing arts centers
  • Various types of theater

  • Freelance
  • Self-employed

Strategies

  • For K-12, obtain certification for the state in which you wish to teach. Obtain dual certification for more teaching opportunities.
  • Get experience in various areas of theater and working with young people.
  • Obtain a graduate degree to teach on the college level.
  • Develop one or two areas of expertise within theater arts.
  • Join the National Association of Dramatic and Speech Arts or the Association for Theater in Higher Education.

General Information

  • Complete an internship or an apprenticeship with a local theater. Participate in summer stock. Gain as much experience as possible.
  • Network: Talk with people working in the field to find out about jobs and opportunities. Join professional groups to make contacts.
  • Read newspapers and periodicals related to theater to keep up with new developments. Read the “trades”–magazines and newspapers that report events in the entertainment industry. Read the “Theater” section of daily newspapers to find out about upcoming productions.
  • Join a relevant union or guild to be eligible for work assignments.
  • Get involved with productions any way you can to get your foot in the door. Be prepared to do various tasks assigned by stage managers or producers.
  • Volunteer with fundraising efforts for the arts.
  • Be aware of scams. Check out the legitimacy of agencies and companies before paying any fees.
  • Relocate to a metropolitan area where more opportunities exist.
  • A career in the arts takes patience, dedication, and luck!  Take advantage of unexpected opportunities!
  • Have a back-up plan. Understand that actors and directors may face frequent and long periods of unemployment. Develop skills that qualify you for other jobs while you wait for opportunities. Consider pairing theater with another career interest or major to open up more career possibilities.  Many actors work in theater management or production.
  • Theater helps students develop verbal and written communication, public speaking, and teamwork skills. These transferable skills are valued by many types of employers. In particular, positions in sales, marketing, management, and public relations may be open to students with theater degrees.  Learn how to discuss and demonstrate these skills in interviews.
  • There are many ways to be involved in theater arts while working in another career field if you choose not to pursue theater as your way to make a living.

Area

Buying/Purchasing

  • Product development

  • Planning and allocation

 

  • Global sourcing

 

Employers

  • Discount stores
  • Department stores
  • Mass merchants

  • Specialty stores: grocery, clothing, electronics, health and personal care, sporting goods, building materials and garden supply, furniture and home furnishings, etc.

  • Online retailers

Strategies

  • Obtain sales and retail experience through part-time jobs and internships.
  • Supplement curriculum with business courses as some employers prefer it and others require it.
  • Develop organizational skills and attention to detail to monitor inventory and compare products, prices, and markets.
  • Forecasting skills are expected as buyers select merchandise that may sell six months later.
  • Acquire analytical and mathematical skills to operate within a budget and to evaluate sales data including competitors’.
  • Build excellent interpersonal and communication skills for negotiating with vendors. Prepare to work under pressure and exhibit good judgment and decisiveness.
  • Be prepared to travel frequently in order to visit fashion and trade shows and industry conferences to search for new merchandise.  Overtime is generally required.
  • Expect to work with overseas suppliers. Knowledge of languages, customs, and cultures will be helpful.
  • Exhibit a competitive drive with the understanding that a buyer’s goal is to beat the sales and profit records of the previous year.
  • Be prepared to begin as a buyer trainee. Training periods can range from 1 to 5 years.

Area

Management/Administration

  • Corporate
  • Regional
  • Store

  • Store assistant
  • Store department

Employers

  • Discount stores
  • Department stores
  • Mass merchants

  • Specialty stores: grocery, clothing, electronics, health and personal care, sporting goods, building materials and garden supply, furniture and home furnishings, etc.

  • Online retailers

Strategies

  • Seek retail experience through internships or part-time jobs.
  • Get involved in student organizations and pursue leadership roles.
  • Be prepared to start in entry-level management trainee positions.
  • Learn to work well on a team and to motivate and   direct others. Managers may be expected to train, evaluate, and coach junior team members.
  • Develop quick decision-making, problem solving, and communication skills to assist customers, manage employees, monitor promotions and sales goals, and work with buyers.
  • Exhibit excellent organizational skills which are necessary to oversee the daily operations of a store or a department.
  • Plan to work long and irregular hours, including holidays, especially during peak sales times.

Area

Sales

  • Retail
  • Industrial
  • Wholesale
  • Direct marketing

  • Consumer product
  • Financial services
  • Insurance
  • Real estate

  • Advertising
  • E-commerce
  • Customer service

Employers

  • Discount stores
  • Department stores
  • Mass merchants
  • Specialty stores: grocery, clothing, electronics, health and personal care, sporting goods, building materials and garden supply, furniture and home furnishings, etc.

  • Online retailers
  • Call centers
  • Consumer product companies
  • Service organizations (estate planning, fundraising)
  • Non-profit organizations

  • Manufacturers
  • Financial companies
  • Insurance companies
  • Print and electronic media outlets

Strategies

  • Obtain a part-time job or internship in sales to gain experience as these positions are often stepping stones to higher-level positions.
  • Demonstrate initiative, persistence, and competitive drive. Some positions require employees to reach sales quotas under pressure.
  • Learn to communicate effectively with a wide-range of people. Take additional courses in interpersonal, public, and persuasive communication.
  • Exhibit a commitment to customer satisfaction.
  • Seek knowledge of trends in loss prevention and the processes for handling security risks as you will likely receive training in these areas.
  • Prove extensive knowledge of merchandise for sale.
  • Expect to work evenings, weekends, and holidays during peak times.

Area

Human Resources

  • Recruiting/Staffing
  • Compensation
  • Benefits
  • Orientation/Training

  • Safety/Health
  • Employee relations
  • Employee services
  • Organizational development

Employers

  • Discount stores
  • Department stores
  • Mass merchants

  • Specialty stores: grocery, clothing, electronics, health and personal care, sporting goods, building materials and garden supply, furniture and home furnishings, etc.
  • Online retailers

Strategies

  • Supplement degree program with classes in psychology, sociology, and human resource development.
  • Gain relevant experience through internships.
  • Acquire strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Learn to solve problems creatively and resolve conflicts.
  • Develop strong computer skills as many human resource systems are automated.
  • Join the Society of Human Resource Management and other related professional associations.
  • Seek endorsements such as the Professional       Human Resource Certification (PHR).
  • Earn a master’s degree in human resource management for career advancement.

Area

Visual Merchandising

  • Space planning

Employers

  • Discount stores
  • Department stores
  • Mass merchants

  • Specialty stores: grocery, clothing, electronics, health and personal care, sporting goods, building materials and garden supply, furniture and home furnishings, etc.

Strategies

  • Demonstrate creativity and knowledge of design concepts (lighting, color, etc.) to highlight products and increase sales.
  • Knowledge of fashion and sales trends is required.
  • Seek retail sales experience and plan to shadow or intern with a visual merchandiser.
  • Supplement degree with courses on buying behavior, consumer psychology, interior design, art, fashion design, and interior decorating.
  • Develop mechanical aptitude to set up displays, build props and adjust lighting. Expect to lift and carry merchandise, use ladders, and be comfortable with heights.
  • Plan to work flexible hours, including mornings, evenings, and weekends. Travel to multiple locations may be required.

Area

Independent Sales

  •  Sales
  • Consulting

Employers

  • Self-employed

  • Companies that utilize independent consultants:  Mary Kay Cosmetics, Avon, Stella & Dot, Thirty-One, Pampered Chef

Strategies

  • Exhibit entrepreneurial spirit, self-discipline, and perseverance, all of which are keys to success.
  • Develop an excellent knowledge of and belief in a particular product or service.
  • Supplement program with courses in accounting and advertising.
  • Obtain extensive sales and business experience by working for a company or retailer in a related product area before launching a small business.
  • Build relationships with potential investors and customers.

Area

Non-Store Retailing

  • E-commerce

Direct Marketing:
Paper and electronic catalogs
Door-to-door solicitation/sales

Employers

  • Online retailers
  • Home shopping networks
  • Advertising agencies

  • Magazine, newspaper, book publishing companies
  • Internet marketing companies

Strategies

  • Develop strong technical and communication skills.
  • Supplement  program with courses in marketing, advertising, or communications.
  • Obtain sales experience through a retail or telemarketing position.

General Information

  • The retail industry is the nation’s largest industry sector employer.
  • Obtain retail experience through summer jobs, part-time jobs, or internships.
  • Computer knowledge is crucial. Become familiar with software and technology related to sales, distribution, and inventory tracking such as JDA.
  • Join student branches of professional retailing associations. Read their publications and attend their meetings to stay abreast of changing trends in the field, (i.e., content) “shopper marketing.”
  • Maintain up-to-date knowledge of trends in retail through industry publications.  Attend professional conferences.
  • Be prepared to work holidays and weekends, typically the busiest times for retailers.
  • Consider developing proficiency in second or third languages to increase marketability.
  • Contact stores or markets of interest. Inquire about management training programs.
  • Most retailers promote from within the organization; therefore, management trainee programs or sales associate positions are a good way to begin.
  • Supplement program with courses in marketing, accounting, and communications.
  • A degree in Retail/Merchandising may qualify one for career opportunities in areas of business outside of retail including marketing, finance, insurance, banking, management, etc. Determine an area of interest and build relevant skills and experiences.

Area

Thank you to staff at Belmont University Career Services for creating this resource. Its format varies slightly from other titles in the series.

  • Music publishing/Administration
  • Accounting/Finance/Royalty management
  • Business management
  • A&R (Artists and Repertoire)/Talent scouting
  • Song plugging
  • Songwriting
  • Radio/Concert promotions
  • Radio
  • Artist management/Development
  • Digital marketing/New media/Social media
  • Marketing

  • Merchandise design/Production/Sales
  • Tour management/Road management
  • Venue management
  • Booking
  • Publicity/Styling
  • Public relations/Media relations
  • Event planning/ Sponsorships/Festivals
  • Personal/Executive assistance
  • Copyright management
  • Entertainment law

  • Music licensing
  • Music supervision
  • Recording studio management
  • Audio engineering
  • Audio/Sound design
  • Broadcast audio
  • Music journalism/Film and TV writer
  • Record/Video/TV production
  • Stage design and management
  • Lighting design

Employers

  • Music publishing firms
  • Business management firms
  • Booking agencies
  • Performance rights organizations
  • Record labels
  • Artist management firms
  • Licensing firms
  • Professional sports teams

  • Event management firms
  • Corporate marketing/advertising agencies
  • Entertainment venues
  • Talent agencies
  • Radio/TV stations
  • Entertainment law firms
  • Entertainment magazines
  • Nonprofit organizations

  • Theatres (e.g., Broadway, off-Broadway, local)
  • Music studios
  • Audio equipment manufacturers/dealers
  • TV and film production studios
  • Video game designers/producers
  • Independent/Freelance work

Strategies

  • Volunteer for industry events and non-profit benefits.
  • Complete and excel in entertainment internships.
  • Work for a campus or local radio station.
  • Manage a local band/artist.
  • Gain experience by working at a local venue.
  • Take courses in marketing, accounting, finance, communications, entrepreneurship, public relations, management, and others related to entertainment.
  • Increase digital marketing and technology skills by taking additional courses in graphic design and web design.
  • Promote campus events online through digital marketing and social media.
  • Produce a local band or artist’s record.
  • Engage with booking agencies through talent buying for campus concerts.
  • Get involved with campus student activity boards or student unions.
  • Work in an audio equipment rental/sales store to learn more about equipment and maintaining it.
  • Conduct informational interviews with people in jobs of interest, and build a strong network of contacts.
  • Organize songwriting sessions with other students.
  • Join local entertainment organizations.
  • Acquire sales experience inside or outside of the industry.
  • Find sponsors for campus events or benefits.
  • Write blogs/articles/press releases for school publications, events, and student organizations.

Area

Education

  • Teaching
  • Research
  • Private lessons

Employers

  • K-12 schools, public and private
  • Colleges and universities
  • Conservatories

  • Daycare centers
  • Recreation centers
  • Children’s music programs:  franchises, local

  • Studios
  • Self-employed (private instructor)

Strategies

  • Acquire teaching certificate for public school teaching. Learn about requirements by state.
  • Earn a graduate degree to teach in higher education. Specialize in an area such as music theory, composition, music history, etc.
  • Performance skill on one instrument or voice is required.
  • Gain experience working with children through volunteer or part-time work experiences.
  • Join the National Association for Music Education as a collegiate member.
  • Develop business relationships with schools and/or music stores to increase client base.

Area

Performance

  • Instrumental
  • Vocal

Employers

  • Orchestras:
    • Philharmonic, symphony, and chamber
  • Armed Forces bands and orchestras
  • Small ensembles
  • Rock or jazz groups
  • Dance bands

  • Concert soloist
  • Clubs and restaurants
  • Church choirs
  • Community choral groups
  • Opera companies
  • Musical theaters

  • Ballet productions
  • Recording industry
  • Radio, television, and motion picture industries
  • Cruise lines
  • Amusement parks

Strategies

  • Develop musical talent and skill.
  • Obtain formal training to acquire necessary skills, knowledge, and ability to interpret music.
  • Demonstrate ambition and showmanship.
  • Join campus bands and choruses, church choirs, and other performing acts.
  • Seek competitions, apprenticeship programs, and workshops to gain experience and recognition.
  • Be aware of and participate in open mic nights.
  • Auditions are generally required to join bands or get jobs.
  • Create a demo recording to submit agents or music companies.
  • Be willing to move to a large city with more opportunities such as New York City, Los Angeles, Nashville, Las Vegas, or Chicago.
  • Network with people in the industry to learn about potential jobs.
  • Opportunities are very limited. Most performers have other careers.

Area

Conducting

  • Directing
  • Planning

  • Leading
  • Musician Selection

Employers

  • Orchestras:
    • Philharmonic, symphony, and chamber
  • Armed Forces bands and orchestras
  • Various bands

  • Choirs
  • Choral groups
  • Opera companies
  • Musical theater companies

Strategies

  • Develop superior musicianship and leadership.
  • Acquire extensive experience in performing groups.
  • Develop advanced site-reading skills.
  • Learn other languages such as French, German, Latin, and Italian.
  • Gain acceptance into a conductor-training program or related apprenticeship.
  • Opportunities are extremely limited.

Area

Composing / Arranging

  • Composing
  • Arranging

Employers

  • Self-employed
  • Record companies
  • Publishers
  • Muzak

  • Motion picture and television industries
  • Production companies
  • Orchestras:
    • Philharmonic, symphony, and chamber

  • Opera companies
  • Musical theater groups
  • Ballet troupes
  • Broadway

Strategies

  • Knowledge of composition, harmony, arranging, and theory are important.
  • Skill on one or more instruments and voice are necessary. Play an instrument in a professional arena.
  • Become familiar with all types of music productions.
  • Learn how to use electronic instruments and synthesizers.
  • Develop computer and desktop publishing expertise.
  • Attend music conferences and workshops.
  • Seek grants and awards through foundations (e.g., National Endowment of the Arts).
  • Very few musicians earn living through composing.

Area

Music Libraries

  • Services to faculty, students, patrons
  • Reference
  • Circulation
  • Collection development
  • Research

  • Technical services:
    • Acquisitions
    • Cataloging
    • System automation
    • Indexing/Abstracting
    • Archives

Employers

  • Colleges and universities
  • Conservatories
  • Public libraries

  • Radio and television stations
  • Motion picture studios

Strategies

  • Develop computer and research skills.
  • Gain thorough knowledge of music and musicology.
  • Earn a master’s degree in library/information science.
  • Work in a campus or public library to gain relevant experience.
  • Develop good organizational and technology skills.
  • Learn to understand foreign languages, particularly Italian, Latin, German, and French.
  • Join the Music Library Association.

Area

Communications (Broadcasting)

  • Music and program direction
  • On air performance
  • Promotion
  • Voice overs

  • Copyright/Clearance administration
  • Music license administration
  • Music editing, production, and composing
  • Sound mixing

  • Post production
  • Research

Employers

  • Radio and television stations
  • Virtual reality sound environments (e.g., Internet sites, software creators)

Strategies

  • Take classes in communications, broadcasting, or journalism.
  • Work at on-campus radio station.
  • Complete an internship at a television or radio station.
  • Develop computer-related skills such as software development and programming.

Area

Behind the Scenes

  • Audio technician
  • Boom operator
  • General director
  • Music video producer
  • Recording engineer
  • Set up

  • Recordist
  • Rerecording mixer
  • Sound engineer
  • Sound technician
  • Sound/Production mixer

  • MIDI engineering
  • Stage manager
  • Transcribing
  • Copyrighting

Employers

  • Local bands
  • Regional bands
  • Production companies

  • Theater groups
  • Orchestras

  • Armed Forces
  • Radio, television, and motion picture industries

Strategies

  • Shadow an individual who is in the music industry in an area of interest.
  • Volunteer in community, school, or church productions.
  • Gain expertise in the areas of musical and technical knowledge, sound board, and sound equipment.
  • Take courses in areas such as broadcasting, engineering, or computer science to learn technical skills.
  • Complete an internship with a recording company or other relevant organization.
  • Research seminars, workshops, and professional associations that could provide useful information or contacts.
  • Check trade journals and association bulletins for possible employment.

Area

Music Industry / Business

See also What Can I Do With a Major in Music Business?

  • Publishing and editing
  • Producing
  • Recording
  • Engineering
  • Administration

  • Manufacturing
  • Talent acquisition
  • Artist/Talent representation
  • Promotion/Media relations
  • Publicity

  • Booking
  • Product management
  • Business management
  • Retail Sales
  • Marketing

Employers

  • Production recording studios (most located in New York City, Los Angeles, and Nashville)

  • Music management groups
  • Agencies

  • Music and record stores
  • Instrument manufacturers

Strategies

  • Complete an internship at a record company.
  • Take business courses to work in management or administration.
  • Journalism, public relations, and communication classes are helpful for work in areas of promotion.
  • Gain sales experience for marketing. Learn to interact well with people and develop persuasion tools.
  • Knowledge of electronics, audio engineering, and recording are required for production.
  • Work or volunteer at a campus or local radio station.
  • Join organizations involved with bringing events and entertainment to campus.
  • Work at a retail record store to learn about the industry.
  • Volunteer to help promote a local or campus band with their promotions and bookings.
  • Gain a broad knowledge of music and the industry.
  • Build a strong network of contacts.
  • Develop skills such as negotiation, assertiveness, the ability to recognize talent, and working under pressure.

Area

Music Therapy

Music therapy is a mental health profession that uses music interventions to accomplish individualized goals. Music is used within a therapeutic relationship to address physical, emotional, cognitive, and social needs of individuals. (adapted from American Music Therapy Association).

Employers

  • Hospitals
  • Special education facilities
  • Mental health centers

  • Nursing homes and senior centers
  • Rehabilitation centers
  • Correctional facilities

  • Private practice
  • Outpatient clinics
  • Schools

Strategies

  • Take courses in psychology, social work, or education.
  • Earn a master’s degree in music therapy and seek certification.  A master’s degree in counseling with experience in expressive arts therapy may also work.
  • Gain experience through volunteer opportunities or summer work in rehabilitation centers, nursing homes, etc.
  • Demonstrate a genuine interest in helping people.
  • Learn to work well with all types of people.
  • Develop a broad array of musical talents.

Area

Miscellaneous

  • Music journalism
  • Law
  • Music analysis

Employers

  • Music-related publications
  • Magazines and newspapers
  • Entertainment or music focused Internet sites

  • Entertainment law firms
  • Production companies

Strategies

  • Take courses in journalism and English.
  • Write articles for the campus newspaper.
  • Prepare for law school and earn a law degree (J.D.)
  • For music analysis:
    • Develop the ability to read and transcribe well.
    • Gain knowledge with use of high tech digital computers to analyze music.
  • Move to a larger city where more opportunities exist.

General Information

  • Majoring in music provides students with a sense of aesthetics and an understanding of human expression valuable to many employers.
  • Develop competencies in business management, computers, marketing, or other areas to broaden range of employment possibilities.
  • Finding positions in the music industry requires a combination of talent, training, connections and some luck. Perseverance is required!
  • Develop a variety of skills. Become “multitalented.”
  • As an undergraduate, gain as much experience as possible, paid or unpaid, through college and local organizations. Seek internships or volunteer positions with relevant organizations.  Audition with local musical groups, choirs, or orchestras.
  • Confidence, personality, a positive attitude, and a love of music are important to success in many arenas of music. Learn basic tools of self-promotion.  Create a YouTube channel and post performance videos.
    Some jobs may require you to join unions or guilds. Research the industry to learn which ones are appropriate.
  • Performers often travel frequently and must be flexible regarding their work schedules.  It is important to consider how this will fit with your work and lifestyle values.
  • Move to a larger city such as Los Angeles, New York, Nashville, or Chicago to find more job opportunities.
  • Conduct information interviews with people who work in the industry.  Attend related professional conferences or events to network.

Area

Design and Planning

  • Urban design
  • Mixed use developments
  • Community and neighborhood design
  • Growth planning
  • Green infrastructure
  • Transportation facilities (e.g., airports, train and bus stations)
  • Streetscapes and transportation corridors
  • Retail development and lifestyle centers
  • Waterfront development
  • Corporate office facilities and campuses

  • Institutional facilities and campuses:
    • Government buildings
    • School and university campuses

    Gardens and residential landscapes

  • Permaculture design
  • Recreational infrastructure:
    • Public parks, park systems
    • Open spaces
    • Playgrounds
    • Greenways, blueways
    • Waterfront parks
    • Golf courses

  • Public gathering places (e.g., plazas, courtyards)
  • Interpretive landscapes (e.g., welcome centers, museums, land art)
  • Memorials and cemeteries
  • Hospitality  (e.g., resorts, hotels, convention facilities)
  • Wildlife refuges
  • Zoological parks

Employers

Private Practice:

  • Landscape architecture firms
  • Multi-disciplinary architecture and engineering (AE) firms
  • Design/Build practice
  • Self-employed

 

Academic Practice:

  • Teach and conduct research in professional programs offered by colleges and universities

Corporate Practice:

  • Private corporations
  • Property development and maintenance:
    • Residential, commercial, and institutional builders
    • Resorts, hotels, amusement parks
    • Golf courses, sports complexes
    • Real estate development companies
    • Hospitals
  • Non-profit organizations:
    • Zoos
    • Cemeteries
    • Arboreta and botanical gardens
  • Industry suppliers
  • Land management trusts
  • Utility companies
  • Resource management interests

Public Practice:

  • Local, state, federal government:
    • Local park departments
    • National Park Service
    • Bureau of Land Management
    • US Army Corps of Engineers
    • Soil Conservation Service
    • Department of Transportation
    • Planning and growth management agencies
  • Transportation authorities: air, rail, water
  • Education facilities and campuses

Strategies

  • Landscape architects steward our natural resources through sustainable planning, design, development, and management of our environment, both built and natural. With knowledge in arts, sciences, and technology, landscape architects meet the needs of society through planning design while protecting the environment.
  • Requirements for becoming a landscape architect vary by state and typically include a combination of education, experience, and a passing score on the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE) sponsored by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB).  Some states require additional examinations and some offer paths to licensure without an accredited landscape architecture degree.  Additionally, CLARB also offers certification which can help professionals transfer licenses from state to state.  It is imperative to research your state’s professional guidelines.
  • Most landscape architects earn either an accredited Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) or a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA) which require between four and five years of study.  Or, they earn an accredited Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) in three years after completing undergraduate studies in an allied, or unrelated, field.
  • The Master of Arts in Landscape Architecture (MALA) and Master of Science in Landscape Architecture (MSLA) degrees are appropriate for students seeking career paths that do not require licensure and are appropriate for research positions in the field.
  • Plan to work as an intern or apprentice under the supervision of a licensed landscape architect from one to four years prior to taking the LARE.
  • Pursue part-time work at landscape design firms, garden centers, nurseries or public gardens/parks to gain related experience.
    Prepare to take courses on topics including landscape design, plant sciences, soil sciences, ecology, sustainability, construction technology, and graphic communication methods (analog and digital).   Geographic Information Systems (GIS), model building, and video simulation are also used in the field.
  • Join the student chapters of the American Society of  Landscape Architects (ASLA).
  • Develop strong communication skills for consulting with clients, giving presentations, and collaborating with other professionals including civil engineers, city planners, architects, contractors, etc.
  • Demonstrate creativity, critical thinking, craftsman ship, and time and project management skills for success in the field. Expect to work evenings and weekends as required to meet deadlines.
  • Most landscape architects specialize over time in practice areas within the public or private sectors.

Area

Landscape Restoration and Remediation

  • Wetlands
  • Mined land
  • Forested land

  • Stream corridors
  • Stormwater management

  • Historic landscapes
  • Brownfield remediation and redevelopment

Employers

Private Practice:

  • Landscape architecture firms
  • Multi-disciplinary architecture and engineering (AE) firms
  • Design/Build practice
  • Self-employed

 

Academic Practice:

  • Teach and conduct research in professional programs offered by colleges and universities

Corporate Practice:

  • Private corporations
  • Property development and maintenance:
    • Residential, commercial, and institutional builders
    • Resorts, hotels, amusement parks
    • Golf courses, sports complexes
    • Real estate development companies
    • Hospitals
  • Non-profit organizations:
    • Zoos
    • Cemeteries
    • Arboreta and botanical gardens
  • Industry suppliers
  • Land management trusts
  • Utility companies
  • Resource management interests

Public Practice:

  • Local, state, federal government:
    • Local park departments
    • National Park Service
    • Bureau of Land Management
    • US Army Corps of Engineers
    • Soil Conservation Service
    • Department of Transportation
    • Planning and growth management agencies
  • Transportation authorities: Air, rail, water
  • Education facilities and campuses

Strategies

  • Landscape architects steward our natural resources through sustainable planning, design, development, and management of our environment, both built and natural. With knowledge in arts, sciences, and technology, landscape architects meet the needs of society through planning design while protecting the environment.
  • Requirements for becoming a landscape architect vary by state and typically include a combination of education, experience, and a passing score on the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE) sponsored by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB).  Some states require additional examinations and some offer paths to licensure without an accredited landscape architecture degree.  Additionally, CLARB also offers certification which can help professionals transfer licenses from state to state.  It is imperative to research your state’s professional guidelines.
  • Most landscape architects earn either an accredited Bachelor of Landscape Architecture (BLA) or a Bachelor of Science in Landscape Architecture (BSLA) which require between four and five years of study.  Or, they earn an accredited Master of Landscape Architecture (MLA) in three years after completing undergraduate studies in an allied, or unrelated, field.
  • The Master of Arts in Landscape Architecture (MALA) and Master of Science in Landscape Architecture (MSLA) degrees are appropriate for students seeking career paths that do not require licensure and are appropriate for research positions in the field.
  • Plan to work as an intern or apprentice under the supervision of a licensed landscape architect from one to four years prior to taking the LARE.
  • Pursue part-time work at landscape design firms, garden centers, nurseries or public gardens/parks to gain related experience.
    Prepare to take courses on topics including landscape design, plant sciences, soil sciences, ecology, sustainability, construction technology, and graphic communication methods (analog and digital).   Geographic Information Systems (GIS), model building, and video simulation are also used in the field.
  • Join the student chapters of the American Society of  Landscape Architects (ASLA).
  • Develop strong communication skills for consulting with clients, giving presentations, and collaborating with other professionals including civil engineers, city planners, architects, contractors, etc.
  • Demonstrate creativity, critical thinking, craftsman ship, and time and project management skills for success in the field. Expect to work evenings and weekends as required to meet deadlines.
  • Most landscape architects specialize over time in practice areas within the public or private sectors.

Area

Interior Design

  • Commercial Design:
    • Offices
    • Retail
    • Healthcare:
      • Hospitals and clinics
      • Medical offices
    • Hospitality:
      • Restaurants
      • Bars and clubs
      • Hotels and motels
      • Resorts
      • Theaters

  • Civic:
    • Airports
    • Government facilities
    • Educational institutions
  • Residential design:
    • Single-family houses
    • Apartments
    • Condominiums
  • In-store design

  • Design specialties:
    • Bath
    • Kitchen
    • Lighting
    • Ergonomic design
    • Green design
    • Elder design
  • Renovations
  • Sales/marketing
  • Management
  • Education

Employers

  • Design firms
  • Architecture firms
  • Design divisions of corporations/institutions

  • Carpet manufacturers
  • Furniture and home stores
  • Federal government departments

  • Colleges and universities
  • Self-employed

Strategies

  • Create a portfolio of your work while in school.  Make the most of studio time.
  • Complete an internship to gain relevant experience.
  • Join relevant student organizations and seek leadership roles. Become a student member of the American Society of Interior Designers.
  • After finishing a design degree and gaining required experience, prepare to take the qualifying exam administered by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification.
  • Research state requirements to become certified, registered, or licensed.
  • Learn to understand both the artistic, creative side and the business, technical side of design to assure success in the field.  Study human and environmental interaction.
  • Consider studying abroad to gain multicultural experience.
  • Become familiar with Computer Aided Design (CAD) software.
  • Gain understanding of state and federal building statutes and safety codes.
  • Develop strong communication skills which are important when interacting with clients and writing work proposals.
  • Understand the importance of learning to listen attentively to others and providing excellent customer service.
  • Learn to work well with different types of people including clients, architects, contractors and other service providers.
  • Gain experience working in a fast-paced environment and meeting deadlines. Plan to work on multiple projects at a time.
  • Conduct informational interviews with interior designers in a variety of settings to learn about particular areas of interest.
  • Build a network of contacts, especially if considering freelance work, to keep up with industry trends and build clientele.
  • Interior designers are four times as likely to be self-employed than people in other specialty professions. Most others work in small firms of 1 to 5 employees. (BLS)
  • Earn a graduate degree in design to increase opportunities to work as a university professor.
  • Engage in scholarly research to expand the knowledge base of the profession.

General Information

Areas Related to Interior Design

  • Those with training in interior design may pursue the following career fields if they have the right combination of experiences. Some areas may require additional training or graduate degrees. If these areas interest you, take relevant coursework, complete internships, and get involved in related activities to prepare for the fields. For example, someone trained in interior design who wants to work for a design publication should develop strong writing skills, consider minoring in journalism or English, work for a campus or community newspaper, etc.
  • Some related fields are:
    • Set design for stage and screen
    • Lighting design
    • Furniture design
    • Product development
    • Journalism, (e.g. design magazines)
    • Illustration/rendering
    • Computer rendering
    • Facility management
    • Historic preservation
    • Landscape design
    • Floral design
    • Architecture (degree required)
    • Engineering (degree required)

Area

Print Design 

  • Type design
  • Magazine design
  • Newspaper design
  • Book publishing
  • Publication design
  • Brochure/Newsletter design

  • Educational design
  • Cover design:
    • Book, CD, video
  • Label design
  • Publicity pieces

  • Advertising layout
  • Photo editing/photoshop art
  • Illustration
  • Identity design:
    • Logo design
  • Branding

Employers

  • Publishers:
    • Magazine, periodical, book, directory, newspaper, textbook
  • Design firms

  • Advertising agencies
  • Publishing houses
  • Business form companies
  • Publicity firms
  • In-house creative departments

  • Large retail stores
  • Nonprofit organizations
  • Government agencies
  • Universities
  • Self-employed (freelance)

Strategies

  • Graphic designers have a hand in creating countless items, large and small, from posters to identity systems and much more. Research all the niche areas and then gain the tools and technological skills to succeed in that area.
  • Assemble an impressive portfolio of work samples.
  • Complete a related internship to gain relevant experience and to contribute to your portfolio.
  • Work on campus publications in design or layout or find a part-time position with a local publication.
  • Develop excellent communication skills and learn to work well on a team of professionals.
  • Volunteer to create brochures, newsletters or other publications for campus organizations.
  • Develop problem-solving skills, attention to detail and the ability to meet deadlines.
  • Join professional associations as a student member.
  • Become knowledgeable in production and printing processes.
  • Develop broad software application skills in MAC and PC based programs but not at the cost of developing a solid background in design.
  • Participate in local or campus design contests.

Area

Three Dimensional Design 

  • Signage
  • Signage systems
  • Packaging

  • Exhibition design
  • Environmental design
  • Promotional display design

Employers

  • Design firms
  • Product design divisions of large corporations
  • In-house creative departments
  • Advertising agencies

  • Museums and attractions
  • Government agencies
  • Self-employed (freelance)

Strategies

  • Find an internship in a design studio that specializes in 3D design especially for signage, exhibition, promotional display and environmental design which are very specialized.
  • Gain skills in model building and three-dimensional design. Develop a willingness to experiment.
  • Join a related professional association such as the Package Designers Council.
  • Develop excellent computer skills and strong written and oral communication skills.
  • Participate in design contests.

Area

Electronic Media Design / 4D Design

  • Digital
  • Multimedia
  • Film title
  • Television graphics

  • Video games
  • Computer graphics
  • Motion graphics
  • Animation

  • Website design
  • Interactive media
  • Educational design

Employers

  • Film studios
  • Motion picture production firms
  • Television stations
  • Computer systems design firms

  • Video game designers
  • Software firms
  • Video production houses

  • Internet media companies
  • Online publishers
  • Online retailers

Strategies

  • This is a highly specialized area of design that is not widely taught in all design programs. Research programs carefully to find ones that emphasize this area. Consider attending specialized programs in order to learn about television and motion graphics, animation and video game design.
  • Develop excellent computer skills in a variety of platforms and design software.
  • Gain relevant experience through part-time jobs and internships.
  • Volunteer to design the website for a student or local community organization.
  • Work for the campus television station.
  • To work in television and film, consider relocating to areas of the country where the entertainment industry is more prevalent.
  • Stay current with media and cultural trends.
  • Participate in design contests.

Area

Advertising 

  • Creative services
  • Art direction
  • Production
  • Copywriting

  • Corporate identity design
  • Branding
  • Logo design

Employers

  • Advertising agencies
  • In-house creative departments
  • Television
  • Radio

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Business firms

Strategies

  • Supplement curriculum with course work in advertising or business.
  • Complete an internship in an advertising agency.
  • Work on the campus newspaper in the advertising division.
  • Learn to work well in team environments and to communicate your ideas effectively.
  • Develop the ability to meet deadlines and work under pressure.
  • Be prepared to move to larger cities for the most job opportunities.
  • Gain experience with a variety of media.
  • Create a strong portfolio of a work samples.

Area

Education 

  • Higher education:
    • Teaching, part-time instruction, research, administration, student life, library science
  • Secondary:
    • Teaching

Employers

  • Four-year colleges and universities
  • Two-year colleges
  • Public and private high schools

Strategies

  • Master of Fine Arts or doctoral degree is preferred and/or required for full-time professorships.
  • Create a portfolio for faculty review.
  • Consider private consulting or operating a small design studio to complement classroom activities.
  • Earn a master’s degree in college student personnel or information sciences to prepare for positions in those areas.
  • Not all high schools offer graphic design courses/programs.  Be prepared to relocate or advocate for program development.
  • To teach high school, obtain teaching certificate/license.  Requirements for certification/licensure vary by state.  Seek multiple certifications to increase employability.
  • Get involved in student organizations related to the art and design such as Visual Arts Committees.
  • Gain experience through campus leadership positions such as Resident Assistant, Orientation Leader, Peer Mentor and other similar roles.

General Information

  • Carefully research design programs to find one that fits your career goals. Programs vary in terms of the content taught so not all programs will prepare students for all areas of design.
  • Approximately 3 in 10 graphic designers are self-employed. Freelance designers must develop strong abilities in networking, sales and persuasion.
  • Graphic designers work in countless industries on a wide array of projects. Research the field thoroughly to learn about career options and the experiences and skills necessary to work in those areas. Some graphic designers choose to specialize their work while others complete a variety of projects.
  • Be prepared to start entry-level and work you way up the career ladder. Take a first job based on the industry and type of design you desire to work with because work from your first job will comprise your professional portfolio.
  • Some graphic design areas cross in multiple media such as educational design, identity design, information design and systems design.
  • Graphic designers must be able to tolerate criticism and direction in their work, since much of their work involves creating a product for a customer.
  • Graphic designers are typically artistically skilled, imaginative and effective problem-solvers.
  • Develop a solid background in communications theory.
  • Learn to listen effectively to client needs and communicate ideas effectively.
  • Subscribe to and read graphic design materials such as Print, Eye, Communication Arts, Step into Graphics, Griphis, Computer Graphics and Applications and others relevant to your interests.
  • Student design magazines such as CMYK and Creative Convocation solicit student work and have regular competitions. Try to get your work published.
  • Join major design organizations and societies, e.g. The American Institute of Graphic Arts, The Society of Publication Designers, University and College Design Association, New York Directors Club, Society of Illustrators or the Graphic Arts Technical Foundation.
  • Become familiar with as many computer graphics and design software packages such as Quark, Photoshop and Illustrator. Plan to stay up-to-date on new developments in the industry.
  • Continuously keep an updated portfolio containing examples of your best work.  Employers often use a portfolio as a deciding factor in hiring.
  • Successful graphic designers are well-read and in-touch with changing consumer preferences and can react to new trends. Learn about your product and who will use it. A liberal arts education helps designers learn a little about a lot of things. Additionally, graphic designers should develop good research skills, work well on a team and learn a foreign language if working in international design.
  • Graphic design is moving towards a more user/viewer way of thinking that allows the user/viewer to contribute to the design.
  • Many design schools are shifting towards a more activist attitude teaching ethical behavior, green-uses of design and using the power of design to rally people behind causes that affect us all.
  • This field is highly competitive.  Many new jobs will be associated with interactive media.  Consider taking classes in website design and animation to increase marketability.

Area

Television 

  • Programming
  • Producing
  • Promotion
  • News reporting
  • News producing
  • News videography

  • Sportscasting
  • Weather forecasting
  • Anchoring
  • Editing
  • Directing
  • Casting

  • Research
  • Management
  • Sales
  • Public relations

Employers

  • Major networks
  • Local commercial television stations
  • Public television stations
  • Cable television

  • Private production companies
  • Government
  • Business corporations

Strategies

  • Participate in campus media: student television and cable stations.
  • Seek part-time or volunteer opportunities with independent production companies.
  • Complete practicums at local television stations and internships at local or national TV stations, networks, or cable systems.
  • Join student broadcasting organizations.
  • Develop excellent writing, reporting, researching, and editing skills.
  • Volunteer to announce sporting events on campus or at local high schools.
  • Consider taking courses in political science, economics, sociology, or any applicable field for news broadcasting careers.
  • Read trade publications.
  • Be willing to start in smaller markets and work your way up the ladder. Professionals often move frequently for career advancement.
  • A greater number of opportunities exist in larger cities.
  • Take time to learn another language as being bi-lingual will give you a competitive edge.

Area

Radio

  • News
  • Programming
  • Production
  • Promotion

  • Management
  • Announcing
  • Research
  • Sales

Employers

  • National networks
  • National public radio
  • Digital stations

  • State or regional networks
  • Major, medium, and small market stations
  • Local commercial stations and groups

Strategies

  • Work at the student radio station. Join radio or music organizations on campus.
  • Complete an internship at a station.
  • Announce sporting events for your university.
  • Host music programming for parties and social events.
  • Coordinate, program, and promote musical events.
  • Gain performance experience through music, drama, or public speaking.
  • Create a demonstration tape to be used as a sample of vocal and speaking talent.
  • Enhance public speaking skills by practicing with a handheld recorder.
  • Radio job markets are known to fluctuate, be prepared to weather the changes.

Area

Internet

  • Webcasting
  • Podcasting
  • Web design/development
  • Website maintenance

  • Management
  • Administration
  • Sales and marketing

Employers

  • Internet based companies (e.g., Yahoo or Google)
  • Companies specializing in webcasting services and technology
  • Businesses in a variety of industries
  • Colleges and universities
  • Nonprofit organizations

Strategies

  • Gain expertise in computer and Internet technology.
  • Learn how to design websites.
  • Become familiar with a variety of languages and software packages on various platforms.
  • Seek certifications in networking, website design, or related areas.
  • Volunteer to create or maintain websites for student organizations or local nonprofits.
  • Assist in campus webcasts if possible.

Area

Video Production 

  • Directing
  • Management
  • Production
  • Writing

  • Post-Production/Editing
  • Videography
  • Digital production

Employers

  • Freelance or private video production companies or videographers
  • Large corporations
  • Universities and colleges

  • Post-production companies
  • Professional associations
  • Non-profit organizations

Strategies

  • Obtain entrepreneurial knowledge and experience through starting a small business or taking business courses.
  • Volunteer to do video editing/production for campus videographers or television stations.
  • Gain contacts in the specific industry of interest (e.g., develop relationships with wedding photographers in order to build wedding videography business).
  • Enter video contests.
  • Cultivate artistic talents.

Area

Social Media Management 

  • Strategy
  • Content planning
  • Community management

  • Marketing and promotions
  • Blogging
  • Copy writing

  • Search engine marketing
  • Online customer service
  • Social photography

Employers

  • Public relations firms
  • Marketing agencies
  • Advertising agencies
  • Social media management companies

  • Media outlets
  • Corporations in a variety of industries
  • Web application companies
  • Freelance

Strategies

  • Gain experience with social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter and location- based social media sites, Yelp and Gowalla)
  • Be adept at learning new technology and tools quickly. Stay abreast of industry news.
  • Establish an online presence for yourself, and use it in your job search.
  • Complete an internship in social media.
  • Volunteer to maintain social media for campus organizations.
  • Develop skills important to this field: communication, creativity, relationship building, and project management.
  • Take courses in marketing, journalism, copy writing, and technology.
  • Research an industry of interest to learn about its social media presence.
  • Learn how to effectively manage negative press.

Area

Education 

  • Broadcast management
  • Production
  • Journalism
  • Script writing

  • Mass communications
  • Media arts
  • Digital communication

Employers

  • Colleges and universities
  • Technical schools
  • Public and private high schools

Strategies

  • Obtain a PhD for college and university teaching opportunities.
  • Obtain state teacher certification for high school teaching opportunities. You will need certification to teach additional subjects such as foreign languages, English, theater, social studies, or art.
  • Volunteer to assist local high school students with productions.
  • Actively participate in campus radio, television, or theatrical organizations.

General Information

  • Internships are crucial for breaking into the field of electronic media and broadcasting. Complete several internships if possible.
  • Develop excellent technical and computer skills, especially internet proficiency and knowledge.
  • Seek opportunities for experience in any performance situation such as drama, debate, public speaking, music or athletics in order to demonstrate talent as well as ability to handle pressure.
  • Demonstrate curiosity, confidence, assertiveness, creativity, initiative, organizational skills, competitive spirit, enthusiasm, persistence, and diplomacy.
  • Display appropriate talents for public performance and appearance such as a sense of humor, verbal and written communication skills, imagination, showmanship, and an outgoing personality.
  • Consider shadowing or informational interviewing as a means through which to gain information, develop contacts, build mentoring relationships, and gain entry into a competitive field.
  • Be willing to start at the bottom doing entry level tasks before moving up to larger markets or organizations.
  • Understand that geographic flexibility and a willingness to relocate are important in finding job opportunities.
  • Study all aspects of the industry and stay up-to-date through continuing education or training.
  • Maintain an active professional/personal social media account.
  • Be prepared to work under pressure and meet deadlines.
  • Work environment and schedules will vary. Be flexible, especially in the first years of working.
  • Many journalists work across television, radio, and digital platforms. Gain experience in all three.

Area

Performance and Choreography 

  • Ballet
  • Modern
  • Jazz
  • Tap

  • Hip-hop
  • Theater dance
  • Culturally-specific dance

Employers

  • Performing arts companies:
    • Dance
    • Theatre
    • Opera
    • Touring
  • Broadway
  • Off broadway

  • Self-employed/freelance work
  • Television/Motion picture industries and studios:
    • Television shows
    • Commercials
    • Movies
    • Music videos

  • Amusement and recreation venues:
    • Theme parks
    • Cruise ships
    • Resorts
    • Casinos
    • Restaurants
    • Sporting events

Strategies

  • Begin formal training in classical dance and later move towards a particular style.
  • Join campus and community organizations dedicated to dance.  Volunteer as much as possible.
  • Prepare for professional auditions by participating in dance competitions and enrolling in summer training programs and workshops.
  • Rehearse on a regular basis to stay in top form.
  • Maintain good health and physical stamina.
  • Obtain formal training in vocal performance and drama.
  • Develop a broad understanding of music, literature, history, and other arts to help interpret ideas and feelings in dance.
  • Although completing a college degree is not essential for a career as a professional dancer, it is necessary for many other dance related occupations.
  • Opportunities are limited for full-time work. Many dancers hold other jobs.
  • Understand that dancers may work long and late hours since many rehearsals and productions are in the evenings.
  • Prepare to relocate to areas with higher concentrations of art and dance related employers such as New York City, Boston, Atlanta, Chicago and Los Angeles.
  • For choreography positions, consider the following:
    • Seek formal training and experience in dancing first.
    • Serve as choreographer for local dance schools and camps for student performances on campus.
    • Accumulate years of dance experience to build a professional reputation.
    • Develop expertise in music, costuming, and staging.

Area

Education 

  • Formalized instruction
  • Recreational or self-enrichment instruction

Employers

  • K-12 schools, public and private
  • Colleges and universities
  • Private dance studios and school

  • Conservatories
  • Performing arts camps
  • Community agencies

  • Adult/Continuing education programs
  • Physical fitness centers
  • Recreation centers/clubs

Strategies

  • Acquire a teaching certificate for public school teaching. Learn about requirements by state.
  • Earn a graduate degree to teach in higher education and many conservatories. Specialize in an area such as ballet, modern, jazz, etc.
  • Develop strong communication skills and teaching ability through coursework and campus activities.
  • Gain experience working with children through volunteer or part-time work.
  • Become proficient in many styles and forms of dance.

Area

Administration 

  • Arts management
  • Company management
  • Artistic direction
  • Rehearsal direction

  • Tour management
  • Facilities management
  • Event planning
  • Booking

  • Public relations
  • Marketing
  • Dance accreditation
  • Promotion

Employers

  • Cultural organizations and arts councils
  • Theaters and arts venues
  • Dance companies
  • Dance studios and academies

  • Musical theater production companies
  • Dance festivals
  • National Endowment for the Arts

Strategies

  • Pursue education in arts management, business, or non-profit management.
  • Join organizations that plan and host campus cultural attractions and entertainment events.
  • Develop administrative, leadership and organizational skills.
  • Participate in internships and/or volunteer activities to gain related experience.
  • Learn how to write grants and to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.

Area

Dance/Movement Therapy 

  • Dance therapists work with individuals, couples, families, or groups using both verbal counseling techniques and movement interventions.

Employers

  • Schools and special education settings
  • Nursing homes
  • Rehabilitation facilities
  • Psychiatric and medical hospitals

  • Community mental health agencies
  • Wellness centers
  • Alternative health centers
  • Private practice

Strategies

  • Take courses in psychology, social work, education, or child and family studies along with developing a broad education in dance.
  • A master’s degree in dance/movement therapy, counseling, or psychology and a clinical internship in dance therapy are required. After completion, you hold the Dance Therapist Registered (DTR) designation.
  • Learn to work well with many types of people and develop excellent communication skills.
  • Volunteer in a rehabilitation setting.
  • Join the American Dance Therapy Association.
  • Consider an undergraduate degree in recreation therapy for a wider range of job prospects.

Area

Media 

  • Dance writing
  • Dance criticism
  • Dance history

Employers

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Websites
  • Book publishers

Strategies

  • Develop excellent grammar and writing skills along with knowledge of the history and culture of dance.
  • Write for campus or local newspapers. Create a portfolio of writing samples, especially those that have been published.
  • Seek opportunities for recognition and networking through writing contests and freelance writing submissions.
  • Learn HTML and other computer programs to prepare for online work. This area of journalism is growing while print is declining.
  • Become comfortable working in a deadline-oriented atmosphere.

General Information

  • Because of keen competition in the field, dancers, and choreographers often go through periods of unemployment. Develop other skills that qualify you for alternative work when between dance jobs.
  • Dance is a physically demanding profession; many dancers stop performing in their late thirties and transition to other related fields.
  • Perseverance, self-discipline, and patience are important traits to cultivate along with physical stamina and creative abilities.
  • Learn how to deal with rejection and criticism as these can be common when auditioning for jobs.
  • Join a relevant union or guild to be eligible for work assignments.
  • Internships with dance companies or theater groups can provide experience and networking opportunities. The National Dance Association offers internships and volunteer positions.
  • Some students may pursue the Master of Fine Arts in Dance to further their careers in performance or choreography. Others will earn a Master of Arts to pursue careers in dance history, dance critique, or arts management. The bachelor’s degree can also serve as preparation for a variety of other graduate programs: law and business.
  • Students pursuing a degree in dance may choose to work outside the field of performing arts. Many career areas, such as sales and management, are open to people from nearly any discipline if they have developed transferable skills and sought relevant experience.   Learn how to discuss and demonstrate these skills to potential employers in interviews.
  • Some niche areas exist within the dance industry such as dance notation and reconstruction which is typically done by freelancers or dance professors.

Area

Film Industry 

  • Directing
  • Video and film recording
  • Broadcasting

  • Producing
  • Editing
  • Script writing

  • Photography
  • Sport videography
  • Stage and scene design

Employers

  • Film and video production companies
  • Media companies
  • Government agencies
  • Audio recording studios

  • Broadcasting groups
  • Cable and television stations
  • Communication departments
  • Special effects companies

  • Studio facilities
  • Theatrical production companies
  • Professional and school sport teams

Strategies

  • Specialize in one or more of the following areas: experimental, documentary, and/or narrative film/video production; installation; animation; interactive technologies; new media format; and digital media production and writing.
  • Build connections with potential employers and collaborators.
  • Fulfill first-stage positions and apprenticeships.
  • Obtain postgraduate training.
  • Pursue master’s degree in fine arts.
  • Develop practical film-making skills such as how to operate a camera and edit footage.
  • Attend, volunteer, or submit work to local film festivals.
  • Volunteer to film local sporting events for your school or city sports teams.
  • Pay attention to your local surroundings for good film shooting sites and inspiration.
  • Develop leadership skills and learn how to direct and manage others.
  • Keep up with changing and developing technology to enhance production.
  • Cultivate the ability to visualize a project before its completion.
  • Familiarize yourself with computers and navigating complex technology.

Area

Writing/Editing

  • Creative writing
  • Plays
  • Screenplays

  • Scripts
  • Novels: fiction and nonfiction
  • Poetry

  • Lyrics/Jingle writing
  • Film criticism

Employers

  • Newspapers
  • Magazines
  • Broadcast media companies

  • Television
  • Radio
  • The film industry

  • Online publications
  • Websites
  • Television guides

Strategies

  • Select elective coursework in a particular area of interest.
  • Minor in journalism, English, or psychology in order to gain writing and critical thinking skills.
  • Write for campus publications such as college newspapers, magazines, or departmental or program newsletters.
  • Volunteer to assist or tutor students in a writing center.
  • Gain as much experience as possible through volunteer positions, internships, or part-time jobs.
  • Demonstrate patience and persistence in starting a career in creative writing.
  • Develop and refine collaboration and storytelling skills to communicate effectively.
  • Acquire broad knowledge of the history of film and television to form an historical context and inform story content.
  • Visit your local theatre and write thoughtful critiques and share on a personal or professional blog/social media platform.
  • Write to your local or school newspaper your personal critiques and thoughts on movies and local productions.
    Develop an understanding of social and cultural influences, and how those factors will affect the viewing audience.

Area

Education

  • Teaching
  • Lecturing
  • Research

  • Film librarianship
  • Curating

  • Conservation
  • Archiving

Employers

  • Public and private K-12 schools
  • Colleges and universities

  • Libraries
  • Museums

  • Private learning centers
  • Film archives

Strategies

  • Obtain appropriate state certification for public school teaching. Gain certifications to teach multiple subjects or age groups for increased job opportunities.
  • Maintain a high grade point average and secure strong faculty recommendations for graduate school.
  • Investigate representations of race, gender, sexuality, and disability in contemporary moving image culture.
  • Specialize in film theory and criticism.
  • Earn a master’s or doctorate degree for postsecondary teaching.
    Focus on appreciation, analysis, and interpretation of films and film genres during graduate training.
  • Seek volunteer experiences working with children through Big Brother/Sister programs, tutoring, summer camps, YMCAs, etc.
  • Participate in activities such as debate or literary clubs, campus publications, or student government.
  • Get involved in roles of leadership such as resident advisor, peer mentor, student advisor, etc.
  • Seek opportunities to assist in research with cinema studies, film studies, and film faculty.
  • Volunteer at museums or film preservation centers and studios.

Area

Business

  • Advertising
  • Marketing
  • Sales

  • Art directors
  • Account managers
  • Copywriters

  • Market researchers
  • Movie marketing

Employers

  • Advertising agencies
  • Corporate advertising or public relations departments
  • Media companies, e.g., Turner Broadcasting

  • Non-profit organizations
  • Product placement companies
  • Talent management firms

  • Shopping networks
  • Film distributors
  • Commercial galleries

Strategies

  • Work in sales at campus newspaper, television, or radio station.
  • Seek part-time or summer job with campus public relations or sports information department.
  • Gain experience in an area of interest through internships, part-time, or summer jobs.
  • Hone public speaking and communication skills.
  • Minor in or take classes in business, marketing, advertising, or other related fields.
  • Learn about design and appeal for audiences in the context of time, place, and culture.
  • Develop skills in preparing interesting, creative, and informative presentations which target diverse audiences.

General Information

  • Develop strong skills in research, communication, critical thinking, teamwork, and project management.
  • Stay organized, learn time management strategies, and meet deadlines.
  • Obtain expertise with film language and terminology.
  • Recognize messages communicated through visual mediums.
  • Conduct informational interviews or shadow professionals in careers of interest to learn more about their jobs.
  • Join relevant professional associations. Attend their conferences and read their journals.
  • Complete at least one internship during your bachelor’s level training.
  • Gain an in-depth understanding of various cultures.
  • Often in this field, experience is valued higher than educational qualifications.
  • Be prepared to experience long hours and working conditions requiring tight budgets and deadlines.
  • Maintain credibility and trust within the field because filmmaking almost always requires collaboration.
  • Follow film blogs and forums, and frequently read academic and popular film journal publications.