Career and Professional Development

Careers in music

Our world-class Dana School of Music (DSM) 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 performing arts, students must hone exceptional artistic and technical abilities and develop a range of analytical, communication, and organizational skills. All academic programs offered in DSM help students develop these and other valuable transferable proficiencies that employers are seeking—including critical thinking, interpersonal and teamwork skills, and a strong work ethic.

With an estimated value of $62 billion, the global music industry provides countless career opportunities for aspiring musicians. There are currently over 61,000 available music positions listed on Graduates from the Dana School of Music earn a degree in an area about which they're passionate, and their skills are applicable to many careers, including those in other professions as well as in music.

Music studies provide 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


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

Interpersonal relations

  •  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


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

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 the Dana School of Music 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 graduates successfully establish careers in numerous professions, such as:


  •  Copyrighters/Licensors 
  •  Entertainment Attys. 


  •  Conductors (concert)  

  •  Music Directors


  •  Composers

  •  Music Arrangers  

  •  Orchestrators 

  •  Special Effects Artists


  •  Private/Public School Music Teachers  

  •  University Faculty


  •  Instrument Builders 

  •  Instrument Repairs  

  •  Piano Technicians


  •  Artist Managers 

  •  Booking Agents  

  •  Music Publicists  

  •  Tour Managers  


  •  Music Store Owners
  •  Reed Makers
  •  Salespeople


  •  Private/Public Schools
  •  Health Care Providers
  •  Rehabilitative Services


  •  Accompanists 

  •  Classical (orchestras, military ensembles, soloists)   

  •  Opera Artists

  •  Singer/Songwriters   

  •  Voice-Over Artists 


  •  Electronics Technicians

  •  Music Producers

  •  Recording Engineers

  •  Sound Technicians

  •  Video Engineers


  •  Music Copyists
  •  Music Editors   


  •  Authors
  •  Music Journalists
  •  Social Media Influencers

Where our alumni work

Our talented and versatile alumni become cultural influencers and entrepreneurs and are making their mark locally, nationally, and globally. DSM alumni regularly earn national and international recognition: they are Grammy® Award winners, Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame members, performers with the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, award-winning producers and arrangers, academic faculty across the globe, professional musicians in numerous professional settings with diverse genres, and more. Our graduates may be found in every segment of America’s musical life, including at:

  • Audio & Sound Prods., LA
  • BRD Productions
  • Carnegie Mellon Univ.
  • Chicago Institute of Art
  • Cleveland Opera Theater
  • D & G Entertainment Design
  • D'Addario & Co., Inc.
  • Douglas Enterprises
  • Eastman School of Music
  • FOX Broadcasting Co.
  • Fox McCluskey, PLLC
  • Glenn Miller Prods., Inc.
  • Kansas State Univ.
  • K-12 Music Educators
  • Louisiana State Univ.
  • Magee-Womens Hospital
  • Michigan State Univ.
  • The New School
  • New West Symphony
  • The Ogunlesi Group
  • The Ohio State Univ.
  • Ohio Music Ed. Assoc.
  • Peabody Institute
  • Pittsburgh Sym. Or.
  • Promusica Chamber Or.
  • Renaiss. Chamb. Collab.
  • Royal Caribbean Int.
  • Sarasota Opera (Florida)
  • Songwriter, Nashville 
  • Steele Schneider Law Firm
  • U.S. Military Ensembles
  • University of Arizona
  • University of Chicago 
  • University of Tennessee
  • Washington Nat'l. Opera
  • World Flute Society

Next steps

YSU Office of Career Exploration and Development 
Jones Hall, Room 2022