From fine arts to communications

The arts and humanities cover a broad spectrum of careers and degrees. Perhaps you have a Bachelor's Degree in English or history; maybe you've studied design or dramatic arts. Regardless of the path you've chosen, there are plenty of career options for a student of the arts and humanities.

Contemporary business practices favor employees who possess 'soft' skills - analytic, interpersonal and communications skills that are traditionally obtained through the study of arts and humanities. With a degree in either of those areas, you may find yourself in a number of unexpected positions!

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Different Career Options

Some of the career paths you may find open to you after you've completed an education in the arts and humanities include:

  • Advertising and promotions
  • Administration
  • Anthropology and archeology
  • Communications
  • Design
  • Education
  • Editing
  • Film, television and radio
  • Human and public services
  • Languages (i.e. education and training, interpretation and translation, writing)
  • Museum and gallery management
  • Music
  • Public relations
  • Retail
  • Sociology
  • Writing

Employment Rates and Wages

The success rate for students in the arts and humanities is actually higher than that of many other disciplines. While many go on to further their education, in 2002 over 63 percent were entering employment that directly related to their course of study. In particular, over 73 percent of graduates of media studies were entering the workforce.

Depending on chosen career path and industry level that is reached, arts and humanities graduates can expect wages from the low $30 000 range to over $100 000 a year. Some industries are certainly more lucrative than others, and those who enter the creative arts fields (writing, television and film) tend to earn higher salaries sooner.

However, there is no need to discredit corporate careers. With experience and a growing reputation, industries like advertising and promotions (or marketing) and public relations offer numerous opportunities.

You may find that many of the most rewarding and enjoyable careers in the arts and humanities are the lowest paid. If you're looking to enter into public service and want to work in recreation, child care or social services, you'll probably find that your compensation is more personally satisfying than financially. Some of these careers can start with wages as low as $15 000 a year. However, if you enjoy working with people and helping those less fortunate, you may find that this is the type of job for you. You'll spend every day working with diverse people and making your community a better place to live.

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