Careers

Nichole Best, BFA Exhibition 2017

Our graduates may be dancers, actors, musicians, architects, artists, urban planners, and landscape architects, but classes within the College of Fine and Applied Arts will get you collaborating with mechanical engineers, combining computers with choreography, and making theatre with architects. You can discover your interests and set off on your own path.

As of July 2015, 100% of our 2013 graduates had a job, found an internship, or were pursuing an advanced degree.

Our Career Services Office can connect you with successful alumni, point you to job resources, and help you flourish after graduation.

When you focus your studies on architecture, you develop analytical expertise, enhance your presentation skills, learn software, and become skilled at formulating concise plans. With an undergraduate degree you might work as a general contractor, handle the production design for a movie, build a business as a real estate developer, or continue your education toward certification as an architect.

Each spring the School of Architecture hosts Career XPO, where you can meet and interview with employers. The school's career office also provides mock interviews, assists with job searches, and helps graduating students connect with professional firms.

The average salary for an architect was $76,100 as of 2015 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The field of art and design—everything from multimedia theatre to product design to art education to ceramics—provides a rich ground for experimentation, cultivates a respect for ancient traditions, builds a broad knowledge base of world cultures, and offers avenues for gaining valuable expertise. You might develop a fine eye for detail, an ability to analyze and produce thoughtful solutions, or killer communication skills. Careers ranging from toy designer to advertising director to museum curator are within reach with a degree from Illinois.

Creative industries are expected to employ 30 percent of the U.S. population in the coming years.

Graduates from Dance at Illinois have performed with the Joffrey Ballet, are professors at Spelman College and the Boston Conservatory, have danced in the national touring company of West Side Story, run yoga studios, choreograph around the world, and are artistic directors. Beyond developing their artistic abilities, dance students learn life skills such as discipline, analysis, teamwork, and creative problem solving that are valuable in all professions.

Dance at Illinois has a powerful network of alumni, and many regularly return to campus to teach, dance, and choreograph. Selected undergraduates immerse in the world of a touring company when the Mark Morris Dance Group is in residence on campus and then travel to its New York base for a summer program. Visiting experts in diverse dance forms teach, create new pieces, and collaborate with both faculty members and students. All of these experiences help undergraduates make connections with professional artists around the planet. In addition, the department keeps a job board and a list of summer intensives, conferences, and training opportunities.

Landscape architects work outdoors and inside to create beautiful, livable spaces. They might start from an empty lot, a landmark building, or the devastated site of an abandoned factory to complete their visions for grand gardens and industrial parks. With our culture's renewed focus on health and well-being, more attention is being paid to greenscapes, and landscape designers are needed to oversee their design and cultivation.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, new construction and an increase in the rehabilitation of unused buildings and land are expected to steadily create more jobs through 2024.

A love of music might fuel a career as an orchestrator, a performer, a historian, an agent, a critic, or a recording engineer. Plus numerous other paths are open to music students because of their highly developed sense of teamwork, discipline, leadership skills, and ability to communicate with people of many cultures.

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts is not only where you'll give concerts: it's a world-class location to experience music, dance, theatre, multimedia productions, and other creative works that can't be captured in a few words. Musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, drummer Moussa Bolokada Conde, opera stars like Nathan Gunn, the members of Kronos Quartet, and hundreds of others perform there and also present master classes and give talks. Undergraduates in the School of Music find mentors and develop long-term professional partnerships through these global connections.

If theatre makes you think only of actors, set designers, directors, costume designers, and stagehands, try again: theatre graduates are also business managers, master electricians on movie sets, critics, technical directors for stage shows, playwrights, vocal coaches, lighting technicians, agents, sound effects designers, and producers on Broadway.

The Department of Theatre's comprehensive programs train you to do it all: you might be in charge of getting all of the costume pieces to the actors for one show, run the lighting board on the next one, play a lead role the following spring, and help with the rigging in a fall production. That makes you versatile, adaptable, resourceful, and equipped to solve problems under stress.

Positions for producers and directors should increase faster than average through 2024.

Green jobs are on the rise around the globe, and urban planners can fill the need for professionals with vision, meticulous organizational abilities, and expert critical analysis in organizations from local governments to utility boards to private foundations.

Planetizen.com ranks the Department of Urban and Regional Planning as one of the top three in the nation, which means you'll have a distinct advantage on the job market. The department maintains a list of job resources, and the close relationships between students, faculty, and staff in this small program have built a network of encouraging colleagues stretching around the world.

Would you like to see how a degree from Illinois might help you land a fulfilling job after graduation?

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