Career Preparation

The world is your oyster

The confidence gained with a degree from our department gives you many other options as well. Knowing that, some students study theatre even when they intend to seek employment in another field. They gain presentation skills, cultivate strong gifts of verbal and written communication, learn how to work under pressure within a team, and know how to show up even when situations are stressful.

The public speaking and presentation skills gained with a degree in theatre or dance are in great demand among consultants, sales people, teachers, and business leaders. Also of value is the empathy you project while participating in the stories told on stage. You learn how to capture the attention of an audience, moving them emotionally and helping them see the world in new ways.

Actors + dancers as entrepreneurs

Training in theatre and dance also prepares you to be entrepreneurial. You are required to think carefully and creatively about your own strengths and weaknesses, developing the capacity to be your own boss. You can utilize this discipline in a wide range of environments, taking your career in many directions.

Whether you go into the performing arts, entertainment, education, the nonprofit world, or the corporate sector (or some combination of the above), your degree will be at the heart of your skillset. You may also choose to cultivate an independent career, based on your ability to work for more than one organization.

Graduates of our department have become professional actors, directors, designers, stage managers, arts administrators, talent agents, teachers, entrepreneurs, lawyers, marketing specialists, and sales directors.

Explore your options early

Landing a career in the performing arts is often the result of successful networking, the connections you make with other professionals in the field. We make it easy for you to practice that skill, giving you insights and opportunities in the business of entertainment and the arts.

The College’s Walter Center for Career Achievement offers career communities, job search resources, career courses, job fairs, information about internships and full-time jobs, and help with social media networking through professional organizations. Get advice about how to write your resume, ask for letters of recommendation from faculty and workplace supervisors, and prepare for job interviews, too.

Visit the Walter Center website

My biggest takeaway from IU was learning to take initiative. The curriculum prepares you for multiple career paths. Since moving to NYC one year ago, I’ve performed with four different companies and even danced at the Ailey Theatre!

Chelsea Ciola