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Career Options in Culture, Music & Performing Arts: Graduate

You’ve finished university! Firstly, a big congratulations. It wasn’t easy fuelling an entire degree with a minimum of four beans on toast meals a week, particularly with a notable absence of heating in your house. Secondly, welcome to the world of work. It’s not something to be afraid of, and get all these silly ideas of unemployment out of your head. Armed with a strong CV and a degree in a discipline related to the culture, music and performing arts industry, you’re ready to take the world by storm with your first graduate job.

Graduate opportunities

- Graduate internships

- Entry level jobs

- Postgraduate study.

Internships are typically for penultimate year students, though an increasing number of graduate internships a popping up. These are usually a bit longer than summer internships and can last for up to a year. It’s a great way to get your foot in the door and if you perform well as a set designer, sound technician or make-up artist you could even be offered a permanent role. Don’t be put off by the temporary nature of internships or the idea that you’re going to be the tea-maker of the office. The reality is that internships offer real work experience on actual projects. Internships also allow you to build your network – key in an industry such as culture music and performing arts.

Alongside graduate internships you could also apply for entry level jobs, such as a stagehand or production runner. These jobs will, again, get your foot in the door. The hours will be long and arduous but will ultimately be worth it in the end. Additionally, you’ll be working on exciting projects, so what’s there not to enjoy?!

Postgraduate study is also an option. The fact of the matter is that degrees and postgraduate focused on culture, music and performing arts provides employers with evidence that you are aware of the skills and techniques required for direction, stage management or theatre production.

Will my degree do?

If you have achieved a good mark in your degree and have your CV littered with useful experience and internships, this should be enough for you to make a competitive application for an internship or entry level job.

The culture, music and performing arts industry is like most others; it’s tough to get in, but once you’re there, your career can really take off and blossom.

Is postgraduate study necessary?

Postgraduate study isn’t necessary, as you should have built up a sufficient skillset from your A-levels, Apprenticeship or BTEC course and your undergraduate degree. However, that’s not to say that you won’t be in a better position if you do take a postgraduate course. You will be developing your skillset and will build on the analytical and critical tools required for film, theatre or musical production and will therefore be highly desirable to any future employers.

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