What can I do with a major in the arts if I don't get full-time work as a performer /artist ?

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Our counselors answered:

What can I do with a major in the arts if I don't get full-time work as a performer /artist ?

Tyler Burton
President Burton College Tours

Tap into your other talents.

While you are waiting to land your dream job you can build your arts resume and develop professional skills in an area that you are skilled in. You will have to be committed to planning your weeks around 12+ hour days. Here is a list of suggestions: 1. Take a look at your living expenses including student loans so you have a realistic idea as to how much income you need to support yourself. 2. Find a paying or volunteer job in a related field that will keep you close to the connections that may land you the big break. Can you work as an arts columnist for the local paper? 3. Volunteer to network, usher at the theater and teach art/ performing art classes to young people in your community. The idea is to stay close to the arts that you love and to keep yourself exposed in the community. 3. If you are young enough, see if you can stay on your parent's health plan. 4. Be open minded about your future career, you went to college to major in what you love to do. You also went to college to become an educated person. You are not failing your dream if you land a job in a different industry.

Frank Don
Partner East West College Counseling LLP

The World is Your Oyster

We live in a specialized world, even an over-specialized world. The humanities, the arts, philosophy and the qualitative aspects of living have become lost to the quantitative aspect of living and its concentration on specialization and a trade school mentality of training for a particular profession. A major in the arts is not limited to a life on stage or as an artist, unless you take the broadest definition of an artist as being one engaged in the art of truly living. Through developing the creativity, allowing the imagination to roam and explore, a major in the arts instills a fuller and broader sense of life and living. In so doing, the world becomes the student's oyster, for all avenues are then open to the major in the arts. Even the professional realm of law, medicine, architecture, and others can be more fully encompassed by the major in the arts, for instead of being focused solely on the rote and regurgitation of book learning, the major in the arts has concentrated on the free flow of ideas, thoughts, feelings and sensations. The great organic chemist Kekule von Stradonitz, while working on a chemistry textbook, conceived of the benzene ring when he fell half asleep and saw a row of atoms wriggling and turning like snakes with one of the snakes seizing its own tail. In affirmation of his discovery, Kekule urged his fellow scientists: 'Let us learn to dream gentlemen'. Some of humankind's greatest discoveries have come from the imagination, the entrepreneur as artist creating and devising something that had never been before.

Jeana Robbins

What can I do with a major in the arts if I don't get full-time work as a performer /artist ?

Have you considered teaching?

王文君 June Scortino
President IVY Counselors Network

there are many options out there for you!

in today's comptitive enviorment, students shall consider major and minor to equipe themselves for work place. the quality of the individual and the skills that needed for many jobs are the same which apply to specific jobs. if you would like to explore minors such as computer, communication, marketing, etc you will find jobs with your skills.

Diane Coburn Bruning
choreographer/counselor in performing arts College Match, Inc, Performing Arts Specialist

Dance Majors

I touch upon this subject in relation to dance at http://collegematchus.blogspot.com/

Annie Reznik
Counselor/CEO College Guidance Coach

5 Possible Paths for Fine Arts Majors

1. Teach While you may not want to perform or work as an artist; fuel your passion by sharing it with others. Teaching can also be an ideal way to supplement a career in performance or visual art. 2. Facilitate Enjoyment of the Arts Advocates of the arts are ideal employees for theaters, galleries, studios, and other arts outlets. You may find yourself planning fundraisers, courting donors, building community partnerships with local schools, soliciting advertisements for printed programs, or managing the back of the house of a major venue. 3. Write If you enjoy writing about the arts, start a blog while you are in college to gain some credentials for establishing a more permanent home for your artistic musings. Sharing your passion with others through writing is a welcome outlet for lovers of the arts. 4. Counsel Recent studies have suggested that the arts can be used therapeutically. Art may be an ideal outlet for someone that is grief-stricken. Or, perhaps music will enable a troubled child to find an outlet for expression. Therapies centered on the arts are emerging as a valuable resource. 5. Service In the US, limited funding for arts programs has created a void in deteriorating school districts. Lending your expertise to projects focused on increasing exposure to the arts may be a fulfilling career path.

Laura O'Brien Gatzionis
Founder Educational Advisory Services

What can I do with a major in the arts if I don't get full-time work as a performer /artist ?

The Strategic National Arts Alumni Project (SNAAP) published a study this year entitled "Forks in the Road: The Many Paths of Arts Alumni". This is highly recommended reading for students considering studying either performing or visual arts at the post-secondary level who are wondering about their career options. Definitely, arts students need to be pro-active and take courses in business and management skills in order to prepare for an entrepreneurial and enterprising career. Some occupations for performing artists might be actors, dancers, choreographers, directors, producers or managers in theater and stage, film, TV or video artists, musicians, teachers, arts administrators and arts educators. Training in the arts is also valuable to a range of other careers because it teaches skills that are highly regarded in the workplace such as writing persuasively, thinking critically, working well with groups, and speaking effectively and clearly.

Lisa Carlton
Owner www.collegematchpoint.com

Use Your Creativity For Profit

I love this question! Some might disagree with me on this, but I believe all degrees can be employable. It is critical that you begin to think about employment options starting in your freshman year. As an artist, think about your specific creative skill set and consider how you could use those skills to make money. You have to think outside the box. There are the obvious ways like becoming a teacher. What might be less obvious options? Take your art talent and learn graphic design at the same time. Use your talent in film to create corporate videos. I highly recommend getting internships while you are in college. These internships can give you valuable experience that will help you find employment after college. Consider art museums, radio stations, video developers, game development, or graphic design. The list can be as long as your imagination.

Helen H. Choi
Owner Admissions Mavens

So Many Transferable Skills!

Obtaining work as a full-time performer or artist can be very difficult -- even in robust economic times. Luckily, arts majors have many transferable skills that can be used in many industries. Art majors have strong creativity skills, analytical reasoning abilities, multitasking talents, and sophisticated communication skills. Be sure to emphasize these valuable traits on your resume! All of these qualities are important in the workplace. Art majors can also find work in arts-related fields as designers, consultants, and instructors. Find out more about career options for art majors here: http://www.scrippscollege.edu/students/career/planning/art.php

Pamela Hampton-Garland
Owner Scholar Bound

"Major in the Arts"

I must ask a clarifying question in order to effectively answer this question. When you say you will major in the "arts" that leaves me with a broad brush and the world as my canvas "pun intended". Do you mean literally you want to major in the visual arts i.e. painting, drawing, or computer graphics, or do you me the performing arts i.e. dance, acting, music, etc., or do you mean take a major in a college of the liberal arts which all can lead to a Bachelor of Arts degree however now you are talking about fields that are not a part of the STEM (science, technology, engineering, or math) sectors like psychology, philosophy, sociology soocial work, biology, education, etc. Regarding obtaining full-time work as a performer/artist is more about being in the right place at the right time, and having your talent displayed for an audience seeking what you offer. College can only enhance the fundementals of the performing and visual arts, the talent typically is not taught but natural talent that with or without college an individual will have.