What Can You Do With a Performing Arts Degree?

A group of actors rehearsing a play

All the world is a stage when you are a student of the performing arts. After you earn a performing arts degree you may pursue a career as an actor, designer, technician, stage manager, music director, arts teacher, accompanist or musician. You may travel the world using your skills for large audiences or you may apply the skills you acquired during your program to a wide range of careers. With your talent, skills and degree, you are likely to find a rewarding performing arts job no matter what you decide to pursue. Here are five career paths that graduates from a performing arts program may consider.

1. Actor

Many performing arts degree graduates decide to pursue roles in theatre or on film. Actors study how to communicate through language and movement. They use scripts and work with the support of a director and other actors to make a story come alive. Some actors may work solely with their voice doing radio, voice-over or podcasts. Others may use their skills in a wide range of work from live events, corporate speaking and presentations, training, and leadership positions.

2. Dancer

Performing arts degree graduates who specialize in dance use their bodies to tell stories and express emotions. They work with choreographers to dance in front of audiences or on TV and in film. Some dancers work in specialized dance forms like ballet or ballroom, while others are more versatile. Like acting, dance can be a difficult field to break into early in a career. Dancers may similarly need to take many small roles and network with those in the industry in order to work their way up to more prominent positions.

3. Musician

It is very likely that a performing arts degree grad who specialized in music is already part of a band or ensemble. They may perform together regularly while they are earning their degree and continue to do so after they have graduated. Music grads may want to work in theatre or in writing and playing scores for television and movies. They have the ability to work in many different fields and use their talents to help the audience understand and feel the stories they are watching. Music students can specialize their degree to focus on vocal or piano performance or the worship arts.

4. Therapist

Some performing arts graduates go on to earn advanced degrees that allow them to become art therapists. Music, drama and movement therapists work with people of all ages to help them use art to express their emotions. The arts can help someone who is grieving or in pain by giving them an outlet for their thoughts and feelings when they might be struggling to express themselves with language. This career path is a good option for performing arts students who are interesting in pursuing a graduate degree and learning more about psychology and human behavior.

5. Stage Manager

Performing arts degree majors have foundational knowledge in a variety of performance environments, allowing them to work in a range of settings where organization, leadership and technical skills are needed. Working as a stage manager can provide performing arts graduates with a rewarding career working with everything from lighting and sound to managing rehearsals and live production.

6. Live Production Design and Technology

Students who study theatre production learn the latest design and technical production techniques, making them highly sought-after in their field. Live production design and technology in sets, lighting, sound, properties and hair and makeup are some of the areas where graduates may find rewarding work in the theatre, film, sports, broadcast and live event industries.

Grand Canyon University offers several different performing arts degree programs that can help you find your dream job. Click the Request Information button on this page to get started on your journey to find your purpose.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author’s and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Grand Canyon University. Any sources cited were accurate as of the publish date.

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