University of Minnesota Duluth

UMD Career Services is a fantastic resource for creating resumes, writing cover letters, and learning effective job search and interviewing techniques.

The Career Services office (in 22 Solon Campus Center on the UMD campus) also offers career counseling services to help students decide on a major and to evaluate career plans. Meeting personally with a career counselor is the best option for discussing individual goals and interests, but here also are some internet resources and samples of careers in the fine arts, to help you evaluate your choices.

See also our Employment/Internships page for local job opportunities and online links to many nationwide Art, Music, and Theatre organizations .

What Will I Do with My Degree?

The disciplines within the arts enable students to express feelings, communicate thoughts, explore creativity, solve problems, communicate ideas, develop a sense of community, and appreciate history, tradition and culture.

Celebrated business writer and speaker Daniel Pink, author of A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future, predicts a strong shift in society toward leaders with creative mindsets:

"The future belongs to a very different kind of person with a very different kind of mind - creators and empathizers, pattern recognizers and meaning makers. These people . will now reap society's richest rewards and share its greatest joys. And the capabilities we once disdained or thought frivolous - the metaphorically "right brain" qualities of inventiveness, empathy, joyfulness, and meaning - increasingly will determine who flourishes and who flounders."

The lists of careers included here are intended only as starting points. Experience in the arts cultivates these "right brain" qualities that can be utilized in any career you can imagine - the sky's the limit!



Fine arts majors may specialize in general studio; digital art and photography; painting, drawing, and printmaking; sculpture and ceramics, graphic design; art education; or general art study. These majors prepare students for such careers as studio artists, artists-in-residence, administrators in state and city art offices, gallery attendants, museum specialists, technical and digital photographers, and jewelry and clothing designers. Many fine artists continue their development in graduate programs in order to pursue a university teaching career. Graphic designers create brochures, posters, trademarks and annual reports. Advertising designers produce campaigns for clients in magazines, television and newspapers. Applied photographers and illustrators are called on by both graphic and advertising designers for a wide range of projects requiring editorial, advertising and book imagery.

The employment outlook for jobs in the artistic fields varies with disciplines of specialization, individual talent, and motivation. Applied artists face keen competition without specialized training and superior ability.

  • -- Aquent marketing and creative staffing agency matches professionals with freelance, contract, and full-time job opportunities
  • -- An employment community for designers: Make an online portfolio to promote your work. Browse portfolios or post design jobs.


Sample Job Titles - Bachelor's Degree/Entry Level

  • illustrator
  • photographer
  • graphic designer
  • advertising artist
  • art teacher
  • assistant art director

Further Education/Experience Often Required

  • museum curator
  • architect
  • industrial designer
  • art appraiser
  • art therapist
  • medical illustrator

Check the Dictionary of Occupational Titles under section 14 for additional related careers.

Some Employers of Art Majors

  • museums
  • advertising agencies
  • art studios
  • motion picture studios
  • interior design firms
  • furniture development
  • publishing firms
  • business and industry
  • manufacturers
  • magazines/newspapers


Studying the relationship between a culture and its art can reveal the important ideas, values, and institutions of that particular culture and their effect upon individuals and society. Art History examines the development of this relationship across cultures, as well as the elements of style and the aesthetic ideas behind them. As part of a broad-based curriculum, the study of Art History offers a range of courses in American and European painting, sculpture and architecture from antiquity to the present. In addition, the art history degree provides a broad humanistic education, stressing critical thinking, aesthetic evaluation, and cultural analysis. Many art history majors attend graduate school in the field; others go on to graduate school in such related areas as architecture, historic preservation, arts administration, American studies and museum training. Perhaps 50 percent find positions in art-related occupations with a bachelor of arts degree. The employment outlook for graduates is competitive, but jobs are available in art publishing, art journalism, libraries, public art councils, art galleries, architectural survey work, and with companies specializing in furniture and architectural restoration.

Sample Job Titles - Bachelor's Degree/Entry Level

  • assistant curator
  • museum inventory specialist
  • museum attendant
  • development officer
  • library assistant
  • registrar

Further Education/Experience Often Required

  • archivist
  • conservator
  • education director
  • exhibit designer
  • art appraiser
  • curator

Check the Dictionary of Occupational Titles under section 052 for additional related careers.

Some Employers of Art History Majors

  • museums
  • state/federal government
  • interior design firms
  • colleges/universities
  • restoration firms
  • publishing firms
  • archives
  • federal/state parks
  • historical societies


Music is a phenomenon common to all societies, a richly diverse experience that is used in many ways. Music can be a form of communication, artistic expression, entertainment, therapy, and worship.

The Department of Music offers instruction in the theoretical, creative, practical, and historical aspects of music. A music major can specialize in performance, theory, composition, education, or jazz studies while seeking a Bachelor of Music degree. An overview of music theory, history, and performance practice is emphasized in the Bachelor of Arts program, which helps students acquire a broad and general understanding of music as a cultural/social phenomenon.

Some graduates go on to teach in public schools, but other possibilities exist. There are limited openings in professional performance, music industry and sales, music library science, music therapy, music criticism, church music, music editing for television and radio, and college teaching. Many of these professions require graduate study and some, such as performance, are limited to the most talented.

Sample Job Titles - Bachelor's Degree/Entry Level

  • recording engineer
  • sound technician
  • music teacher
  • music journalist
  • arranger
  • disc jockey

Further Education/Experience Often Required

  • business manager
  • music librarian
  • music therapist
  • instrument restoration specialist
  • public relations director
  • conductor

Check the Dictionary of Occupational Titles under under section 152 for additional related careers.

Some Employers of Music Majors

  • recording studios
  • theater
  • colleges/universities
  • magazines/newspapers
  • council for the arts
  • restaurants
  • music publishing companies
  • museums
  • radio


The Bachelor of Fine Arts in Theatre is designed for those students who are interested in learning about the production areas of theatre (such as scenery, lighting, properties, sound, costuming, and stage management) or about performance areas (acting or musical theatre) through the prescribed course work and practical experience of a major. Theatre courses in the Bachelor of Arts program are designed to give the student a foundation in the viewing of theatre, as well as the art and craft of theatre.

Employment in the theatre, whether in the schools, university or commercial theatre, is extremely competitive, with only the most skilled and gifted succeeding. Positions that are sought after include teachers, promotions/public relations/management specialists, technicians, stage managers, scenic/lighting/costume designers, makeup artists, actors and directors. Education, stage, film and television are examples of popular fields. Majoring in theatre production enhances an individual's organizational and technical skills as well as written and oral expressive abilities. These skills and abilities are assets for many jobs outside of theatre that require an ability to communicate dynamically with others.

Sample Job Titles - Bachelor's Degree/Entry Level

  • theatre technician/craftsperson
  • television/film production assistant
  • teacher

Further Education/Experience Often Required

  • scenic designer
  • lighting designer
  • costume designer
  • sound designer
  • director
  • technical director
  • stage manager
  • production manager

Check the Dictionary of Occupational Titles under under section 150 for additional related careers.

Some Employers of Theatre Majors

  • newspapers/magazines
  • theaters
  • colleges/universities
  • motion picture studios
  • radio/television
  • public relations firms
  • advertising firms
  • business & industry
  • industrial studios
  • telecommunications organizations
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The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.
Last modified on 04/23/14 05:00 PM
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