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SNAAP study reveals positive trends in career preparedness for arts students



A recent study by the Strategic National Arts Alumni Project at the IU School of Education shows that recent graduates of arts-related programs have better career and entrepreneurial training than in the past, according to a news release.

A portion of the alumni surveyed, graduates between 2011 and 2015, showed higher confidence in being able to adapt to changes that could lead to career advancement and success, according to the report.

The survey focused partially on ways recent arts educational programs have emphasized creativity, risk taking and innovation and how those changes have improved based upon curriculum changes in educational institutions.

Among younger graduates, those who developed financial and business skills were 39 percent more likely to feel the effects of their education integrated into their careers and 36 percent more confident in managing their finances. Additionally, 35 percent expressed confidence in their exposure to careers outside of the arts.

The survey also found deficiencies that remain despite these increased levels of confidence. Among the younger alumni surveyed, just 34 percent said they developed basic entrepreneurial skills in school, and only 26 percent of overall respondents said they developed such skills.

Sally Gaskill, director of SNAAP, said in the news release that students who did see emphasis on entrepreneurship and business were more likely to see satisfaction with income, among other aspects of their career.

“More emphasis is needed within the curriculum on developing key career skills, including finance, business and entrepreneurship, so that arts graduates not only can create art but can also successfully manage their careers,” Gaskill said in the release.

Among areas alumni wish they had been better informed on, the report found that 91 percent would have liked to have benefited from increased skills in marketing their work, 87 percent would have liked a better handle on the financial management aspect of their career path and 84 percent would have liked a better handle on legal and tax issues.

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