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Arts Careers

Boardwalk Designed by Kristen Reifschneider and Elsa Reifsteck 2015

Adobe | Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre | Flad Architects | Hedwig Dances | School of Rock | Village of Lombard | Litania Sports Group | ARC Worldwide | Elgin Academy | Baltimore Center Stage | KAP Architecture | Surge Innovations | LumiSource | American Conservatory Theater | Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra | LaSalle-Peru Township High School

Our students have recently secured jobs or internships here and at many more organizations around the world.

Creativity, innovative problem solving, collaborative emphasis, effective decision making, critical analysis, technological expertise—these qualities are in demand by billion-dollar corporations, nonprofits, universities, world-class performing groups, startups, and distinguished organizations. Our graduates are making a difference at them all. A degree in the arts focuses on these critical components for success, and students are also encouraged to discover their identities as members of a global community, create distinctive work, identify connections, adapt, and see both the fine details and the big picture.

Our graduates work as toy designers, producers, recording engineers, yoga instructors, historic preservationists, video artists, mechanical engineers, scholars, choreographers, art teachers, green energy consultants, theatre critics, construction managers, professors, artistic directors, surveyors, event planners, conductors, lighting designers, and arts administrators. The Class of 2013 is already having an impact on our society.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics:

  • The median wage for art and design positions was $45,250 in May 2017, which is 20 percent more than the median for all careers.
  • The field of acting continues to be strong, and a 12 percent increase is projected through 2026.
  • Urban planning offered a median salary of $71,490 in 2017 and had a robust number of job openings.
  • People with skills in animation and visual effects will be in high demand as media platforms expand.
  • The job outlook for producers and directors is good: faster than average growth is expected.

The Strategic National Arts Alumni Project reports that as of 2017, 67 percent of arts alumni were directly working in an arts-focused job, and 98 percent were staying involved through volunteer work, hobbies, attendance at events, or monetary donations. Many credit their training in critical thinking, problem solving, using feedback, and artistic technique for their success. And they're happy with their college experience: 86 percent would recommend their institutions to degree-seeking students.

What can graduates from the programs at Illinois do? Almost anything. Our Career Services Office can help students target and achieve their goals.