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Online Theater Arts Degrees and Programs


Pursuing a degree in theater arts opens the door to numerous career paths. Whether creating a set for a play, choreographing a dance number or directing a massive production for stage and film, it all begins with a theater arts degree.

The most popular theater arts degrees

Though talent is the key to consistent employment in theater and other dramatic arts, a formal education is often seen as a significant element to advancement. The online art degree level needed depends on a student's career path. For example, performers may get by with a high school diploma or associate degree in theater arts, while agents and managers need a bachelor's or master's degree. Just over half of music and drama teachers at the post-secondary level have a doctoral degree, the U.S. Department of Labor reports, and another 40 percent have a master's degree. When choosing a degree program, look for accreditation by the National Association of Schools of Theatre.

No matter the degree, talent and experience make a significant difference when applying for jobs or moving up in the world of dramatic arts. The Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS, points out that many individuals who work in theater arts are constantly honing their craft with lessons in various aspects of the field, including voice, speech and movement, directing, writing, design, and acting workshops.

Benefits of online theater arts degrees

Online degrees in theater arts have long been a source of valuable information and skill-building for those who enjoy production, direction, film editing and design. Since much of the editing of films and audio is done via computer, online courses become tools that allow students to hone their craft as they learn. Some schools offer online degrees in performing arts technology that focus on emerging research and engineering technologies with the potential to change the face of cinema and stage.

What it takes to succeed in theater arts

All aspects of theater, from acting onstage to writing the scripts, have an atmosphere of creativity and teamwork. The hours could vary wildly depending upon the career path one takes within the field. For instance, actors, directors and producers can work very long hours for several weeks or months at a time, then have long stretches of unemployment between jobs. Those who work behind the scenes, such as writers and designers, might work more stable hours.

Career
Employment
(2016)
Average Salary
(2016)
Expected Job Growth
(2014 - 2024)
Actors, Producers, and Directors163,130$62,8509.2%
Arts, Design, Entertainment, Sports, and Media Occupations1,902,970$47,1904.1%
Source: 2016 Occupational Employment Statistics and 2014-24 Employment Projections, Bureau of Labor Statistics, BLS.gov.

Those best suited to a career in theater arts are creative, driven individuals who enjoy lending their talents to create a larger work. Those who will be on stage should have poise, the ability to follow direction and a talent for connecting with the audience. Those best suited to directing or producing should be strong leaders with natural management skills. Set designers and writers should enjoy the pressure of creating something new, working under a deadline and communicating well with those around them.

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