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Arts Careers

Scene Shop at Krannert Center, Photo by Darrell Hoemann

Facebook | Broadway Dance Center | The White House | BLDD Architects | Chicago Field Museum | Whirlpool | Wyoming State Historic Preservation Office | NBC Universal | U.S. Army Corps of Engineers | The Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation | Encyclopedia Britannica | Cannon Design | Walt Disney Company | Christiani Johnson Architects | Lyric Opera of Chicago | John Deere

Our students have 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 $44,410 in May 2016, which is nearly 20% higher than the median for all careers.
  • The field of acting continues to be strong, and a 12% increase is projected through 2026.
  • 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 2013, more than 80 percent of arts alumni thought their first job after graduation was directly connected to their fields. Those employed outside the arts credit their intensive training for helping them stand out in a competitive market. And they're happy: more than 70 percent are satisfied with their jobs and their job security.

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