10 Exciting Careers from a Degree in Performing Arts
A degree in performing arts provides a solid foundation for graduates to explore a range of career options, combining the more practical aspects of arts management and skills in self-promotion with their creative talents. Working within the artistic performance world is tough. However, the mix of disciplines studied as part of a performing arts degree is great preparation for this.
Some of the job options which relate directly to a performing arts degree include:
- Arts worker within the community
- Music therapist
- Drama therapist
- Theatre director
A performing arts degree can also be helpful for those wishing to journey into a number of other areas, just some of which might include:
- Theatre stage manager
- Lecturer in secondary, higher or further education
- Broadcast presenter
- Arts administrator
Many graduates forget that lots of employers will accept any degree subject when considering applications, so it is important not to limit job searches simply to the ones listed above.
As with many subjects, an essential part of most performing arts degrees involves gaining valuable work experience and additional creative knowledge by participating in voluntary projects. This might involve working with charitable organisations, as an intern for local or well-known companies and/or for other industry professionals. Any chance to mix with those working or training within the industry of choice can be helpful for career progression, whether that is working in a shop supplying dance supplies or working behind the bar in a local theatre.
Many universities also encourage their students to organize their own dance, acting or other creative workshops or laboratories in order to maximize their skills and to improve within their specific area of specialty. Often there is the opportunity for students to apply for funding to take these creative projects into the community. Talent scouts and industry bodies frequently attend these events on the lookout for new and talented artists. In addition, these experiences can be extremely useful for those who are hoping to set up their own company once they have completed their degree. Some students even go on to work alongside their former university colleagues to deliver a range of different classes and workshops under one umbrella organisation.
Typical performing arts employers may include (but are certainly not restricted to) voluntary organisations, leisure companies, the NHS, educational institutions, arts organisations and local government.
A performer’s lifestyle is generally an eclectic mix of short-term contracts and collaborations, often working within a variety of different fields. The journey of a dancer or actor can be challenging. Performing arts graduates will need to be proficient in attending auditions, participating in workshops and networking events and undertaking proactive self-promotion, such as creating a showreel and posting it on Youtube or networking on social media with people in the industry.
In order to gain work within their chosen industries, performing arts professionals must be able to present themselves in a certain way as well as remain constantly abreast of all industry developments. Some of the most lucrative opportunities may crop up in the most obscure and surprising places and, as such, performers must be ready with an open mind to take advantage of these.