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Career and Professional Development

Careers in the arts

With a degree from the Cliffe College of Creative Arts, you’re opening doors to your future. Our world-class faculty produce skilled and versatile artists and scholars who are flexible, innovative leaders with global perspectives and outstanding people skills.  

To be successful in the visual and performing arts, students must hone exceptional artistic and technical abilities and also develop a range of analytical, communication, and organizational skills. All academic programs in Cliffe College help students develop valuable transferable expertise. With a projected value of over $700 billion by 2028, the global arts industry provides countless career opportunities for aspiring visual and performing artists.  
Employers seek out individuals who can demonstrate initiative, critical thinking, interpersonal and teamwork skills, excellent verbal and written communication skills, and a strong work ethic. Our graduates earn a degree in an area about which they are passionate, and their skills are applicable to countless careers, including those in other professions as well as in the arts. YSU’s Cliffe College of Creative Arts will prepare you for a successful and fulfilling career.  


Study of the visual and performing arts provides students with skills in:


  • Comparing and contrasting ideas/information
  • Critical thinking
  • Detailed and accurate work
  • Forming perceptions and seeing connections
  • Problem solving
  • Understanding ideas within historical/social contexts


  • Adapting techniques
  • Attaining a high level of craftsmanship
  • Creativity
  • Interacting collaboratively with colleagues in a team setting
  • Project planning and management
  • Self-discipline
  • Working under pressure and meeting deadlines


  • Communicating ideas creatively
  • Gathering, analyzing, and interpreting information
  • Integrating diverse ideas from others 
  • Making keen observations
  • Speaking articulately and listening introspectively


  • Ability to concentrate and work intensely for long periods of time
  • Networking
  • Time management
  • Utilizing available resources
  • Working independently

"Cliffe College of Creative Arts helped me become who I am today. The education that was offered taught me new techniques on how I can spread my message to the public through art. This gave me the opportunity to secure an internship and three months later, my company gave me a full-time graphic designer position. Never doubt yourselves and have a positive attitude and you’re bound to find your place!"

Lani Ngo, B.F.A. '21, Graphic Artist for Cafaro Company


Career opportunities for creatives

The roles of creatives continue to be redefined, and artists are influencing the world in nearly every industry. This means your opportunities with a degree from Cliffe College of Creative Arts at Youngstown State University are greater than ever.  

Your education gives you one of the most competitive skills in today’s job market: creativity. Combined with your abilities to approach problems with unique perspectives, collaborate with others, and think critically, you will be desirable to employers in any field you pursue. Our talented and versatile alumni become cultural influencers and entrepreneurs and are making their mark locally, nationally, and globally. 


Want to discover more about the numerous professional opportunities you can pursue? Are you curious about where our distinguished alumni work?


Take your next step towards a successful and meaningful life