If you have a degree in the arts, you’re probably sick of hearing the following: why didn’t you study something that will get you a job? But before you start regretting your decision to major in romantic poetry or sociology, consider this: more and more arts graduates are succeeding in Canada’s growing economy. So don’t despair as there are plenty of opportunities for those moving to Canada with an arts degree.
During the past decade in Canada, there has been a misconception that having a Philosophy or English degree will offer you very little other than maybe the chance to serve coffee or washing dishes for your foreseeable future. But fortunately for those with arts degrees, this stereotype is not very accurate.
While it is true that recent graduates with arts degrees and limited work experience may face some initial hurdles to finding employment in their field, evidence suggests that over time arts graduates are able to establish good, stable careers, and often with above average levels of job satisfaction.
Moreover, arts degree holders are represented in every sector of the Canadian economy. Looked to for their diverse skill sets — especially in terms of writing and communication — there are boundless opportunities available for arts graduates. But it will take more than your degree for you to succeed; you’ll also need to be patient, focused, and diligent in your job search.
The jobs are increasingly in start-ups and tech
Canada’s economy is shifting, moving away from traditional resource-driven mainstays like oil, mining, and forestry, and moving more towards technology-first sectors (Canada’s digital economy is now larger than mining, forestry, oil and gas). As tech companies expand their operations across Canada, many firms have benefited from including arts graduates on the payroll. The range of critical skills that arts graduates bring to the table is being taken advantage of by tech companies looking for diverse perspectives to problem solving, as well as their ability to communicate complex ideas easily.
This shift has created a huge opportunity for holders of arts degrees to acquire vital experience working in tech. While it may be a little intimidating to think of going to work every day with people who can build a computer from scratch, remember that they’re just as afraid of having to write a coherent email as you are of their lines of code. And as for putting together a press release, video script, infographic, or marketing strategy. This is the stuff of nightmares for many coders and web developers, but might be a walk in the park for you.
For those wondering where in Canada these kind of tech jobs can be found, expect to look in Canada’s larger urban areas, especially Toronto, Montreal, Calgary, Vancouver, and Ottawa. However, smaller centres like Waterloo and Mississauga are also home to many tech companies with an array of interesting and lucrative job opportunities.