Career Opportunities After Graduation

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Every student and parent wants to know what kind of career opportunities are available in their attended field. Sometimes, stereotypes exist related to the idea that music and the other arts do not provide students with employable skills. However, this couldn’t be farther from the truth. Not only are there a wider array of music-related careers than ever before, every music major is equipped with transferable skills they will use every step of the way.

When Should I Begin Thinking About Career Opportunities?

Though you probably won’t start applying to post-graduation jobs until your last semester of college, it’s important to begin thinking about the process as early as possible. Talking to your program’s alumni, your school’s career services office, and your professors from the beginning can help you start to check the boxes you need to transform yourself into a competitive candidate. Over 35,000 open music jobs are listed on Indeed.com. The right opportunity will be out there for you; you just need to find it. College is a great time to participate in extracurriculars and applied experience that will enhance your resume long after graduation.

What is the Impact of Internships?

The broader your network, the greater your chances of landing a dream position. Participating in internships provides you with a valuable work history in your field even before you complete your degree. The career services center at your school keeps a running list of internships sites that are looking for applicants. Some interns go on to further opportunities within the same company after graduation. An internship is a great way for an employer to get to know you and your potential early-on.

When Should I Begin Applying to Jobs?

It’s good to begin to research a broad overview of what the job market looks like even in your sophomore and junior years. Some fellowships and other jobs are open to applicants only once a year. You don’t want to miss out on the perfect opportunity just because you weren’t aware of the application period. Applicants typically begin applying to jobs the last semester of college. Your resume will indicate to employers when you will be available to start working after you graduate. Many employers are eager for fresh talent. As a new college graduate, you’ll bring skill sets that can infuse your employer’s enterprise with new energy.

What Kinds of Career Questions Should I Ask My Faculty Members?

No matter what industry you’re entering, it’s likely that the employment landscape has changed in recent years. With the advent of the internet and other technologies in the last twenty years or so, employers and job seekers are finding each other in new, innovative ways. This being said, your faculty members will have valuable insights into how other recent grads landed their first jobs. As your faculty advisor and other mentors about what kinds of opportunities they could see you pursuing. Whether you want to continue on to complete more schooling, find an industry job, or enter academic, your faculty mentors have spent years getting to know your strengths. They also may be serving as your professional references which is another reason it’s advantageous to keep them informed of your goals.

What Kinds of Jobs Will Be Available to Me After I Graduate?

The tableau of job openings is dynamic and fluid. You never know what kinds of jobs will open up and when this will happen. This being said, there are a few different categories of jobs that music alumni tend to apply for. These include the following:

  • Performance. Whether you’re working as a studio musician, playing with an orchestra, or touring, many music alumni love to perform more than anything else.
  • Teaching. A wide variety of teaching jobs are available, from offering private lessons in a studio to working in primary and secondary education to finding employment at a music-related camp.
  • Administration. Many music alumni are passionate about arts administration. If you like working behind the scenes, arts administration may be the path for you. Institutions are the backbone of most performances, and these entities cannot function without administrative oversight.
  • Higher Education. Many music majors pursue master’s degrees or doctorates. If you desire more time to work on your craft under the umbrella of expertise that academic provides, pursuing a terminal degree may be the way to go.

What are Some Job Audition Tips for Music Students?

Another unique aspect of music, of course, is that many opportunities will ask you to audition or provide a recording of your performance. Faculty mentors can help you prepare for an audition. If the employer requires a videorecording of a performance instead, your school may be able to connect you with video technology and a space with the right kind of acoustics. As you already know, an audition is a first impression that can make or break you as a candidate. It’s important to consider every aspect of the audition—from your repertoire to your approach to the music to your outfit to your practice space. Prepare your audition just as you would edit and painstakingly proofread a résumé.

Where Can I Learn More About Career Opportunities After I Graduate with a Composition or Other Music Degree?

The career center at your college is invested in helping each student and graduate find the job openings that will move them towards the next steps in their career. Arriving at the career center with your résumé, a list of keywords or job interests, and any other background information can help the career counselor speed up your job hunt. At the University of Miami, the Toppel Career Center is available year-round to assist students and graduates with their job search. No matter what path you wish to pursue, your university career center is ready to help you find the right opportunity.