Communications + Arts

Captivate the Audience

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Look around you. Someone, somewhere, got paid to draw your attention toward something that they want you to consume.

Recent reports suggest that occupations that create experiences, tell stories, or provide entertainment comprise one of the highest areas of job growth. With an imaginative mind, a resourceful toolkit, and an interest in engaging an audience, the modern workforce presents countless opportunities to make an impact through creative, original, expressive work.

Use the information on this page to jumpstart careers related to marketing, advertising, branding, public relations, professional writing, journalism, design, digital media, film production, performing arts, entertainment, sports, museums, tourism, hospitality, event planning, and other creative roles.



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Discover Options: Communications + Arts

For complete information on assessing yourself, choosing majors, and exploring careers, review our starter tips to Discover Options in all careers as well as the specialized tips on this page.

Careers in Communications

Careers that focus on communications are available to all UCSB students and offer flexibility to acquire knowledge and experience in many different specialty areas.

Not to be confused with the term “communication” that refers broadly to the transmission of messages which creates human connection, “communications” pertains to the means by which messages are exchanged across a channel, medium, or system of communication. Examples of communications include publishing, journalism, marketing, advertising, telecommunications, and public relations.

Because this area of work typically revolves around sending or receiving some type of message, careers in communications often utilize skills in written and verbal communication, analytical thinking, and creative problem-solving.

Check out the below videos to familiarize yourself with some distinguishing features of communications work, or read Vault’s Communications Industry Overview for more context.

Learn More

For a Career Counselor's account of recent industry trends, take a look at this blog post, What's Up With Careers in Writing?


Careers in the Arts

When you imagine careers in the arts, you might think of an image of an artist painting alone in a room, selling paintings to whoever will buy them. While this is one way to pursue art professionally, the modern workforce presents a range of creative careers rooted in an appreciation of our unique sense of identity, originality, and expression, and the creation of space, products, and experiences.

Examples of careers in the arts that UCSB students pursue include: entertainment management, digital/social media strategy, film and media production, web/graphic design, advertising, performing arts, museums, and more. Careers in the arts include not just the work that goes into the “creation” of original work, but also the work that ensures its success, such as marketing, business administration, and legal support.

Due to the high level of creativity needed when directly working in the arts, these careers often involve skills in creative problem-solving, concept generation, and project management. 

Watch the below videos to become acquainted with careers in the arts, or discover more creative careers on Vault’s Top-Ranked Professions in Visual Arts & Design.



Academic Preparation

Most careers related to Communications + Arts can begin with a foundation in a number of different educational areas. Based on your Self-Assessment of interests, personality, strengths, and values, consider a major or minor at UCSB that relates to your goals.

Here are a few academic programs at UCSB that offer majors and minors to help you prepare for a career in Communications + Arts:


Learn More

See how majoring in Philosophy helped UCSB alum and NBC News Correspondent, Katy Tur, launch her career in news journalism.


Strategies for Exploration

When exploring careers in Communications + Arts, consider whether you want to pursue a path that serves as a “specialist” in a specific skill, trade, or specialty area, or whether you want to pursue a “generalist” path that broadly serves many creative responsibilities. While you do not need to decide on this right now, this consideration will eventually impact the type of experience you gain, the jobs you target, and the additional education or training you seek out.

For example, a common decision that many creative professionals face is the choice between working for an agency that provides a specialized service (e.g., working for an advertising agency), and working for a broad creative team that works in-house within an organization (e.g., working for the marketing team within a banking organization).

Each role varies in its level of “specialization” versus “generalization.”

Which role best suits you?


Learn More

Creative careers often rely on your ability to develop strong, consistent ideas. Read Jack Foster's How to Get Ideas to learn a simple five-step technique.

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