Arts Sector Growing, More Jobs Available: Industry Panellists

Job openings in the arts and culture sectors are growing, and the industry is always on the lookout for talented and dedicated individuals to join their ranks.

These points were raised at the inaugural NUS Arts Connect 2016, a careers and networking event held at the University Cultural Centre (UCC) on Wednesday (Oct 5). Representatives from ArtScience Museum, National Gallery Singapore, Singapore Symphony Orchestra, National Library Board, and Esplanade were present at the networking session. A sharing session chaired by prominent industry representatives also took place, to share with the students valuable thoughts about internship and career opportunities available in their respective organizations.

In this challenging period of time for job-seekers, keynote speaker Yvonne Tham, Assistant CEO of Esplanade Co. Ltd, spoke about what employers look for when seeking out fresh graduates to hire. She also highlighted various struggles of working in Singapore’s ever changing arts scene.

Yvonne Tham on the many job opportunities available in the arts sector.

Others on the panel also agreed that it was imperative for fresh graduates seeking a job in the arts sector to be positive and open-minded in their work attitude. 

Meanwhile, Dr Danny Tan, Artistic Director of Odyssey Dance Theatre and Gaurav Kripalanni, Artistic and Managing Director, Singapore Repertory Theatre, spoke about merging art with a social cause and how it is crucial to make art accessible to the society.

This passion is what motivates you to go to work everyday

They strongly encouraged students to pursue jobs they feel most passion for. This passion would constitute what motivates you to go to work daily, to visualise your job not just as yet another pay check but a fulfilling life experience instead.

“I never think that this is a job but it is just something I love to do for myself and for life. So if you have ownership over something that you hold dear to and you think you want to develop it, I’m sure you will give more. Very interestingly, you will start to build on your capacity and that will become a possible job career.” Dr Danny Tan said.

To make more informed decisions on job avenues they wished to pursue in the future, the panellists urged students to accrue industry experience by taking up internships and volunteer work with various companies.


The panellists discuss the attributes and skills they look for when they want to hire fresh graduates.

Steven Chia, presenter and editor from Channel News Asia and Hoon Jia Jia, Deputy Director of Capabilities Development for the National Arts Council, also stressed the importance of having good communication skills, time management and patience while working within the media and arts sector.

The NUS Arts Connect was organized by Centre of Future-Ready Graduates, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, NUS Centre for The Arts and Yale-NUS.

Are you looking for a job in the arts and culture sector? What do you think about the points raised at the inaugural NUS Arts Connect 2016? Share with us your thoughts on our Facebook page!