That moment of joy when you graduate seems shortlived when you’re all of a sudden stuck with an expensive piece of paper and an arts degree that seemingly has no viable job opportunities. An arts degree, however, whether English, art, film or theater, can be used for a variety of careers that may not be so obvious.
Thanks to the rising popularity of plays and musicals, you can flaunt your acting talents around the world. Movies and television provide a means for your face to reach a larger audience than just the one in front of you in an actual theater. You can still do community and professional theater, which, according to Chron.com, as of 2012 would get you about $1,754 per week on Broadway, but that number could vary elsewhere.
A TV actor with a major role receives a minimum five-day rate of $4,631 for a half-hour show or an eight-day rate of $7,410 for a full-hour show.
The minimum rate for a film actor is $842 a day or $2,921 if hired for a week, and the icing on the cake is you don’t need a pretty face. Sometimes people just want you for your voice, just like Ursula. In 2011, the average voice actor had a salary of $40,510.
Even if you can’t make it big in Hollywood, there are positions out there. With social media becoming a big part of everyday life and business, most companies are looking for producers and directors for commercials and short videos. Jobs, like technical engineer, director, producer, editor and showrunner, are no longer limited to TV — they stretch over the whole internet. Consider recognizable YouTube channels. According to Google’s AdSense Revenue Share Program, the channel gets 68 percent of money spent on showing an ads. You can either start your own or get hired on to help more well-known channels. You could even potentially make those ads, so if those movies don’t pull you in, don’t be afraid to start small and make your way up.
The world of the written word is wide. There are many jobs offered for English majors because communication is a large part of any business. It may not be rocket science, but an English degree can land you a job as an editor, journalist, technical or grant writer. Grant writers make, on average, $46,000 a year. Teachers are the first people to truly inspire the next generation. Combine passions and explore grant writing for any organization that takes your fancy, mold the minds of the next generation or write about your passions as a journalist.
Don’t worry if you aren’t the next Michelangelo; artists and art historians are taught to have great attention to detail and objectivity. Every company wants an objective and flexible employee who pays attention to the small details. For a career more directly related to your field than an office position, try becoming a museum or gallery curator, graphic designer, art magazine editor or art dealer. Graphic design is a creative, innovative field necessary to the marketing of any company, and those with an understanding of art have an easier time discussing the ins and outs of pieces with passion.
Musicians have a broad spectrum of careers to choose from if performance isn’t their end goal. With their understanding of aesthetics and the range of human expression, there isn’t a company that would turn them down. Become a music therapist or writer, a sound or broadcast technician or compose music. By 2018, 5,870 new jobs are expected for music therapists, and sound and broadcast technicians have an expected 10,700 new positions from 2016 to 2026.
Dancers go through rigorous physical training that teaches them traits integral to success, and with the work ethic they possess, any company would be ecstatic to bring them on. Audition for a company — in 2016 there were an estimated 20,400 jobs for just dancers — or work toward becoming a choreographer. While on your way to making it big, train young dancers as an instructor, become a dance writer or audition for television or theme parks.