Pygmalion Festival 2014, Photo by Justine Bursoni

Our graduates may be dancers, actors, musicians, architects, artists, urban planners, and landscape architects, but classes within the College of Fine and Applied Arts will get you collaborating with mechanical engineers, combining computers with choreography, and making theatre with architects. You can discover your interests and set off on your own path.

Our Career Services Office can connect you with successful alumni, point you to job resources, and help you flourish after graduation.

When you focus your studies on architecture, you develop analytical expertise, enhance your presentation skills, learn software, and become adept at formulating concise plans. With an undergraduate degree you might work as a general contractor, handle the production design for a movie, build a business as a real estate developer, or continue your education toward certification as an architect.

Each spring the School of Architecture hosts Career XPO, where you can meet and interview with employers. The school's career office also provides mock interviews, assists with job searches, and helps graduating students connect with professional firms.

The median 2020 salary for an architect was $82,320 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The field of art and design—everything from multimedia theatre to product design to art education to ceramics—provides a rich ground for experimentation, cultivates a respect for ancient traditions, builds a broad knowledge base of world cultures, and offers avenues for gaining valuable expertise. You might develop a fine eye for detail, an ability to analyze and produce thoughtful solutions, or killer communication skills. Careers ranging from toy designer to advertising director to museum curator are within reach with a degree from the School of Art and Design at Illinois. And you can expand your knowledge and gain experience through training at Krannert Art Museum and Japan House.

In the coming years, skills in animation, visual effects, and fine art are expected to be in particularly high demand.

Graduates from the Department of Dance have performed with the Joffrey Ballet, are professors at Spelman College and the Boston Conservatory, have danced in the national touring company of West Side Story, run yoga studios, choreograph around the world, and are artistic directors. Beyond developing their artistic abilities, dance students learn life skills such as discipline, analysis, teamwork, and creative problem solving that are valuable in all professions.

The department has a powerful network of alumni, and many regularly return to campus to teach, dance, and choreograph. Visiting experts in diverse dance forms teach, create new pieces, and collaborate with both faculty members and students. All of these experiences help undergraduates make connections with professional artists around the planet. In addition, the department keeps a job board and a list of summer intensives, conferences, and training opportunities.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a strong job market for dancers and choreographers through 2030.

Landscape architects work outdoors and inside to create beautiful, livable spaces. They might start from an empty lot, a landmark building, or the devastated site of an abandoned factory to complete their visions for grand gardens or industrial parks. With our culture's renewed focus on health and well-being, more attention is being paid to greenscapes, and landscape designers are needed to oversee their design and cultivation.

A bachelor's degree from the Department of Landscape Architecture will qualify you for many jobs focused on sustainability, climate, responsible urban development, design, horticulture, and revitalization.

A love of music might fuel a career as an orchestrator, a performer, a historian, an agent, a critic, or a recording engineer. Plus numerous other paths are open to music students because of their highly developed sense of teamwork, discipline, leadership skills, and ability to communicate with people of many cultures.

Krannert Center for the Performing Arts is not only where you'll give concerts: it's a world-class location to experience music, dance, theatre, multimedia productions, and other creative works that can't be captured in a few words. Musicians from the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, drummer Moussa Bolokada Conde, opera stars like Nathan Gunn, the members of Kronos Quartet, and hundreds of others perform there and also present master classes and give talks. Undergraduates in the School of Music find mentors and develop long-term professional partnerships through these global connections.

The expansion of entrepreneurial opportunities is expected to help keep the job market stable or increasing through 2030.

The field of sustainable design continues to grow as more organizations hire people like our graduates to analyze and promote sustainability programs. The broad academic experience in both graphic and industrial design, architecture, landscape architecture, and urban planning; a familiarity with sustainability concepts; graphic and written communication skills; experience with building energy systems, LEED standards, and life-cycle analysis; and interdisciplinary team skills developed in sustainable design coursework will be valuable to hiring organizations.

Innovative approaches to solve problems of sustainability through both new and repurposed designs are essential, and the green job outlook continues to improve.

If theatre makes you think only of actors, set designers, directors, costume designers, and stagehands, try again: theatre graduates are also business managers, master electricians on movie sets, critics, technical directors for stage shows, playwrights, vocal coaches, lighting technicians, agents, sound effects designers, and producers on Broadway.

The Department of Theatre's comprehensive programs train you to do it all: you might be in charge of getting all of the costume pieces to the actors for one show, run the lighting board on the next one, play a lead role the following spring, and help with the rigging in a fall production. That makes you versatile, adaptable, resourceful, and ready to solve problems under stress.

Producers, directors, and actors should see greatly increased opportunities for work through 2030.

Green jobs are on the rise around the globe, and urban planners can fill the need for professionals with vision, meticulous organizational abilities, and expert critical analysis in organizations from local governments to utility boards to private foundations. ranked the Department of Urban and Regional Planning as one of the top 10 in the nation in 2017, which means you'll have a distinct advantage on the job market. The department maintains a list of job resources, and the close relationships that develop between students, faculty, and staff in this small program ensures that you will have numerous encouraging colleagues to support you after graduation.

The job market is anticipated to remain steady through 2030 according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Would you like to see how a degree from Illinois might help you land a fulfilling job after graduation?

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