The employment value of an undergraduate degree in theatre arts in the U.S.
During lean times, administrators must make hard decisions about which programs stay and which must go. Arts departments are particularly vulnerable when traditionally derived enrollment and employability factors are used to determine where to implement cuts. While only a minority of Theatre Arts graduates will find work as artists, most do find employment in a variety of fields. Because current labor statistics fail to capture the complexity of the employment patterns of these graduates, Theatre Arts departments are vulnerable to downsizing. This study investigated the employment patterns of theatre graduates in the United States, the skills applied to current employment, and their perceptions of the value of their theatre arts degree. Findings from a survey of 487 participants provided a new map of the employment patterns of Theatre Arts graduates, identifying how and where graduates found employment and whether the skills acquired with a Theatre Arts degree contributed to a perception of value for dollars spent.
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