“What’s your major?” The minute you announce that you’re attending university, you’ll be asked what you’re going to do with the rest of your life. It can be a little overwhelming. Some freshmen have always known what they were going to be when they grow up. All you know is that you really like theatre, but the thought of moving to New York City with nothing but a leotard and a dream isn’t really your dream at all. Let’s take a look at some other areas that you could build a career on while still keeping a toe in the arts world.
Are you always first in line for Shakespeare in the Park tickets? Do you have the Six the Musical cast recording playing on repeat? A history book isn’t just a chronicle of events; it’s an epic, a saga, a drama. Let your passion for compelling storytelling direct you to a history major. A history degree isn’t just four years of memorizing facts; it’s also investigating the trends and impacts of those events. The research and analysis gained earning this extremely versatile degree can lead to careers in law, anthropology, museum archiving/curating, and information and library sciences.
Is the play totally your thing? Do you like to go beyond the spectacle of a show and examine metaphors and themes? You should be an English major. But what do you do with a BA in English? English students are taught to write well and to develop arguments. Don’t get stuck thinking a writing career means you have to pen the great American novel—politicians hire speechwriters and ad agencies hire copywriters. An English degree often also serves as a precursor to a law degree.
Since we’ve mentioned a law degree following both a history and an English major, it seems a logical step to consider how your love for performance would inform a legal career. Trial lawyers and politicians both need a bit of showmanship, and show people need lawyers. Copyright law, intellectual property law, contract law, and entertainment law, which overlaps with all three of the aforementioned specialties, are good choices to remain closely associated with the performing arts.
Maybe you’ll never be a professional chorine, but you’re still going to shake and shimmy it the best that you can. You could major in kinesiology, the study of the mechanics of body movements, or how the body bends and snaps! With the greater understanding of anatomy, physiology, and function acquired from these course studies, you’re the perfect candidate to pursue a career in physical therapy or sports medicine.
If you were the scout with the highest fundraising totals every year, or stage manager of the big spring musical, maybe you have a future in arts administration or arts management. These degrees teach everything from the day-to-day operations to program development of the organization. Arts administrators do it all. They handle marketing, budgeting, facilities, and public relations—or they manage the staff that does it all.
Many students spend their freshman year with an undeclared major. You don’t have to know right away. Take a few classes in different departments and really explore your interests. You may just surprise yourself.