For the haters: Five “real world” skills you get with a performing arts degree

Let’s be honest: there are a lot of arguments floating around about why you shouldn’t pursue a performing arts degree. From practicality to the economy, sometimes it can be discouraging when you tell people what you plan to do with your life. We’re here to give you ammunition against the haters, because a performing arts degree can teach you more than just the difference between a major and minor scale, how to do a grand plié, and why you should never (ever) say MacBeth in a theatre.

A performing arts degree can teach you very “real world” skills and can open a lot of doors for a future career. Extended relatives and nosy neighbors may roll their eyes when you tell them that, but it’s true. The beautiful thing about studying the arts in college is that you learn how to think. You become a determined, passionate, creative problem-solver. And any employer will tell you that those skills, along with the five below, will help in any future career path you choose.

Pursuing a college degree in the performing arts will shape you into a person who is…

1. Upbeat

“Upbeat and optimistic employees create a working environment that is unique, spawns new ideas and, just as important is enjoyable for the other people involved.”Business ballet dancer on the phone

No one can deny that the performing arts foster creativity and positive energy. For every performance, whether it’s a show or a concert, you have to bring an energy so strong it not only affects the other performers but also the audience. When you bring that energy into a workplace, your boss can thank your arts degree.

2. Hard working

“Nothing great is accomplished via hiring 9–5 employees.”

Performing artists are the complete opposite of 9-5 employees. There’s a reason this t-shirt exists.

(Like the shirt?)

You don’t think in terms of hours, you think in terms of productions. This is invaluable in the workplace and employers know that. Hard working, goal-oriented people make the best employees. They also happen to make the best performing artists.

3. Detail oriented

“Attention to detail is crucial or mistakes will be made within your company.”

Although the article is talking about a Fortune 500 company, this statement could just as easily apply to a dance company or a theater company. It is impossible to be a performing artist and not be detail oriented. Musicians live in their practice rooms, dancers in the studio. Every turn, note, or line has to be perfect. You don’t just dot your ‘i’s and cross your ‘t’s, you make sure everybody else’s are dotted and crossed, too.

4. Ambitious

“Employees can only help your company if they want to help themselves have a better career.”

You aren’t choosing to major in music, dance, or theatre because it’s an easy road to success. Ambition is part of the package. If you didn’t want to help yourself have a better career, you wouldn’t have kept playing after your first flat note, or kept acting after your first forgotten line. Ambition is why you get up for rehearsal every morning even when your legs are sore and your feet are bleeding. And it’s this innate ambition that will impress your future employer.

5. Passionate

“Employees who are passionate about their job never work a day in their life.”

Performing artists are nothing if not passionate. You really and truly believe in the arts, and it’s that passion that is driving you to pursue a degree in the performing arts. You’re deliberately choosing a path that doesn’t always lead to wealth. Employers recognize when a person is driven by more than money, and they tend to hire them.

We know college application and audition season is right around the corner, and sometimes you find people who won’t understand why you would pursue a degree in music, dance, or theatre. At Acceptd, we want to help you every step of the way, even if that means reassuring you that you’re making a good move. A degree in the arts will prepare you for a bright future. Start applying today.