February 18, 2021
Given the change of course that has happened in the world, we wanted to provide expert opinions on what aspiring graduates can do to start off their careers in an uncertain economic climate. We wanted to know what skills will be more important, where the economy is doing relatively well, and if there will be any lasting effects on the job market.
Companies are looking for candidates that can handle the new responsibilities of the job market. Recent graduates actually have an advantage because they are comfortable using newer technologies and have been communicating virtually their whole lives. They can take what they've learned and apply it immediately.
We spoke to professors and experts from several universities and companies to get their opinions on where the job market for recent graduates is heading, as well as how young graduates entering the industry can be adequately prepared. Here are their thoughts.
Humboldt State University
Department of Theatre, Film & DanceWebsite
Rae Robison: Live theatre will definitely be impacted, but the opening of more film, television and recorded projects will continue to expand. Specifically my design tech students are still working, just in different ways. There's never been a point in human history where we don't seek entertainment in some form or another so there will always be a need for the arts and artists.
Rae Robison: This year has really hit home that performers need to have a better knowledge of lighting and costume. What does my light look like? Why is my white shirt flaring? Since so many are working from their homes they need answers to these questions so they can produce their best audition tape or performance. Everyone needs to embrace some tech knowledge so that we can continue to push our new art forms into the 21st century.
Rae Robison: Less specificity and more holistic learning. If you only design sets, you are limited to art direction in a physical space or choosing Zoom backgrounds. If you know scenic, costume, lighting and sound your earning potential is so much more possible. I always train my students to work in live venues and multiple recorded formats to expand their marketability.
Montclair State University
Department of Theatre and DanceWebsite
Elizabeth Mcpherson: I know that many young dancers, just out of college, were pursuing dance careers in NYC, but after the pandemic with the loss of job opportunities, had to move back to their former homes across the country. I think this could have the potential to encourage more growth in dance outside of NYC. It is just so expensive to live in NYC, and dance generally does not pay so well.
Elizabeth Mcpherson: College courses that focus on entrepreneurship, creativity, and flexibility are very important in this age.
Elizabeth Mcpherson: I actually do not know. Many performers' salaries have been cut or eliminated, but I do not have hard facts about this.
Hope this helps.