Career Exploration in the Arts: Opportunities Beyond Traditional Pathways

career exploration

When we think of the arts, we often picture aspiring painters as art students or musicians honing their craft in conservatories. While these opportunities are valuable, the landscape of careers in the arts extends far beyond these traditional bounds. As technology and STEM principles continue advancing and permeating our society, many arts-focused careers are taking a more technological approach. From video game designers to audio engineers, students should receive opportunities to explore these lesser-known arts careers. By embracing career exploration within the arts, schools can better equip students with the necessary skills and knowledge to succeed in the ever-evolving environment of the creative industries.

Expanding Horizons: Emerging Career Opportunities at the Intersection of Arts and STEM

In recent years, the advent of technology and shifting societal attitudes toward creativity have opened up many non-traditional career paths within the arts. These career opportunities provide an outlet for artistic expression while incorporating advancing technologies. Many of these career opportunities are in STEM industries, like engineering, computer programming, medicine, and more. Studies show that more and more employers are looking for creative and innovative thinkers, and STEM careers are no exception. The career paths we will explore in this article represent the intersection of STEM and the arts. This is where critical thinking and innovation meet artistic principles. Here are some examples of non-traditional career options in the arts:

Digital Art and Animation in the Gaming Industry

Artists are crucial to video game development and design. These trained professionals understand artistic principles well while leveraging programming and game mechanics skills. This mixture of STEM and art skills allows for seamless gameplay, creative plotlines, and innovative mechanics.

Scientific Illustration and Medical Imaging

In the medical industry, artists have long been contributing to communicating complex scientific concepts and procedures through illustrations. In the modern age of technology, individuals talented in the arts are also serving to advance medical technology and medical education through 3D simulations and medical imaging. These realistic simulations, created by artistically minded professionals, teach medical students and doctors more about the human body and its inner workings, contributing to greater competency in the medical field. Advancing imaging systems are growing more adept in diagnosing and treating medical conditions. 

Music Technology and Sound Engineering

The intersection between music technology has made great strides in music production and creation. Sound engineers and producers are responsible for mixing, blending, recording, and mastering music tracks. Examples of non-traditional music occupations include careers like studio engineering, live sound reinforcement, audio post-production, software development for music applications, and audio hardware design.

Data Visualization and Design

In the era of big data, employers are looking for more unique ways to analyze and visualize meaningful data sets. Careers in information design, user interface design, and interactive media blend artistic and technical skills to create engaging visual representations of data, allowing companies to understand data better and make informed decisions.

Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality Experiences

AR and VR technologies are set to transform the world, from the entertainment industry to healthcare. In these immersive platforms, artists and designers are responsible for crafting immersive digital experiences. They blend elements of visual artistry, interactive design, and software development.

There are plenty of job opportunities for students interested in the arts beyond the traditional arts pathways. Schools are responsible for guiding students through this exploration. Additionally, they should expose them to careers that allow them to be innovative, forward-thinking thinkers.

Strategies for Schools and Educators

Career exploration is a crucial part of the high school experience, even in the arts. Schools and educators are essential in guiding students toward diverse arts opportunities, equipping them with the skills and resources they need to succeed in a technologically advanced environment. 

Though fairly uncommon, schools must integrate career exploration into arts education curricula, exposing students to career opportunities beyond the traditional. This can involve using real-world case studies, inviting guest lecturers, and assigning hands-on projects that expose students to unique arts career pathways. These classroom-based strategies allow educators to help students envision their artistic futures in a new light.

Schools can also build community partnerships with local arts organizations and professionals, providing students access to real-world experiences and resources. Collaborating with museums, video game creators, sound engineers, software designers, and creative agencies can help students explore a wide variety of art careers, both traditional and unconventional. These connections can provide students with networking opportunities, mentorships, apprenticeships, and potential job opportunities in the future.

Another important strategy for implementing career exploration in the arts is to foster interdisciplinary learning. As mentioned, many of these non-traditional arts careers intersect with other disciplines like technology and medicine. Schools can encourage interdisciplinary learning by offering cross-disciplinary courses, collaborative projects, and extracurriculars that empower students to explore the intersection between the arts and other disciplines. 

With these strategies, schools can provide students with opportunities to explore various careers in the arts, equipping them with skills and tools to navigate an interdisciplinary workplace. 

Looking for Accessible STEAM Education? 

As we move into the twenty-first century, STEAM subjects are becoming essential for students to learn. Getting familiar with technology and learning to use and create it opens a wide field of jobs. Here at 21stCentEd, we are passionate about helping young people prepare for a bright future in which their STEAM skills will help them find jobs that will be relevant in this digital age.

About 21stCentEd

At 21stCentEd, a strong tomorrow is what we’re all about. We’ve been deeply invested in creating interactive STEM tools for kids for many years.