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If you have a degree in the arts, you’re probably sick of hearing 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 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. Companies enjoy the range of critical skills offered by arts graduates, who bring fresh, diverse perspectives to problem-solving and an ability to communicate complex ideas easily.
This shift has created a huge opportunity for arts graduates 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.Other industries for arts graduates in Canada
In addition to having plenty of jobs in the tech industry, Canada is home to a number of mature employment sectors that are magnets for those holding arts degrees. Among these are the media, entertainment, and government sectors.
The first of these, media, includes broadcasting, publishing, journalism, advertising, and other related industries. As you might expect, work in media calls for a huge diversity of skill sets, ranging from writing to graphic design, visual art, public speaking, research, strategy, and more. In Canada, larger cities such as Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver are the major hubs for this kind of work.
Entertainment is another industry in which Canada has seen major growth in recent decades. With many major television and film projects being produced in Canada, there is no shortage of jobs for those with the right skill set, often one possessed by an arts graduate. In fact, so much film production takes place in Canada that it has earned the nickname Hollywood North (though whether that title belongs specifically to Toronto or Vancouver is still a matter of debate!).
Finally, with Canada possessing a substantial bureaucracy you may find opportunities to apply your arts degree in government (and don’t forget that there are three levels of government: federal, provincial, and municipal). Here you may find paid positions where your ability to write, research and communicate is well-valued and compensated. Look for these jobs in Ottawa, where speaking both official languages – English and French – will give you even more opportunities, and in provincial capitals across the country.
For more information on finding a job in Canada, check out the Moving2Canada employment section, where you will find advice on optimising your resume and finding work in Canada, plus other resources to help you win interviews and get the job you want.
Finally, make sure to check out our Jobs Board, which is constantly updated with new positions – some of which would be perfect for someone with an arts degree.
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