Co-op and careers

With the hands-on experience, I have gained as a co-op student, I have given myself a better chance of succeeding in this field, not to mention get a preview of the day-to-day in various museum roles.” Josie Greenhill in her co-op placement as a Curatorial Assistant at the UVic Legacy Art Galleries

Co-op and careers

Myth: A fine arts education doesn’t lead to a “real job”.

Fact: There are over 700,000 cultural workers in Canada — nearly 4% of the total Canadian labour force (greater than the automotive manufacturing, utilities and telecommunications sectors combined) — and a 2016 study suggests the cultural sector has a $61.7 billion annual impact on the Canadian economy —10 times larger than the sports industry, and nearly twice what's contributed by oil extraction from Alberta’s tar sands.

A 2016 survey of Fine Arts graduates found that 85% of our alumni are satisfied with their jobs after graduation. That same survey found that 93% of alumni named "creative thinking and problem solving" key skills they learned, along with critical thinking (92%). And 91% of those surveyed said they had a positive experience with their Fine Arts education! 

To help our students get a better understanding of the cultural sector, we offer a number of co-op placements each year, working for dozens of businesses and organizations like these:

  • Art Gallery of Greater Victoria
  • Canada Wide Media
  • Harbour Publishing
  • Legacy Art Galleries
  • Parks Canada
  • Disney World
  • Caitlin Press
  • Theatre SKAM
  • Various BC government ministries
  • Indigenous Perspectives Society
  • Goesling Gallery
  • Western Living Magazine
  • Glacier Media
  • Whyte Museum of the Canadian Rockies
  • Open Space
  • Mission Museum
  • Osoyoos Museum
  • UVic Archives
  • Pender Island Community Hall

Critical and creative thinking

But even if you don’t wind up working in the cultural sector, a fine arts education will provide you with essential tools for today’s rapidly changing world. Critical and creative thinking are central to our programs, as are critiquing and collaboration, and experiential learning is key to our approach. In Fine Arts, you learn by doing.

Whatever your career path, UVic’s Faculty of Fine Arts will inspire and prepare you for life and leadership in the 21st century.

The business of the arts

Our teaching faculty is made up of working professionals who well know the realities of the arts world. As such, we offer specific courses like The Business of Writing and The Business of Music that are geared towards preparing students for careers in those sectors. And our entire Department of Theatre is focused on a comprehensive approach that allows theatre artists to succeed in various areas of the theatre world, be they artists, technicians, teachers or scholars.

Learn by doing

It's no surprise that UVic's extremely popular Co-operative Education Program is one of our students' favourite features. The program connects students with paid, relevant work experience in their field of interest.

Fine Arts Co-op coordinator:

If you’re interested in learning more about our co-op program, please contact Allison Benner 

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Co-op students alternate academic terms with work terms and graduate with up to one year of practical work experience, giving them a network of valuable contacts and the skills to find a job that makes the best of their degree. Many co-op students find permanent employment with a former co-op employer — and it doesn't get much better than that!

UVic’s Co-op is one of Canada's largest and most diverse co-op programs. Each year, students from more than 40 different programs areas complete more than 2,700 work term placements across Canada and around the world.

Fine Arts Co-op

The Humanities, Fine Arts and Professional Writing Co-operative Education Program is a year-round program which, through work terms of employment in a variety of organizations, enables students to combine work experience with an education in the Fine Arts, Humanities and/or Professional Writing.

Career paths

If you have questions about career paths, contact UVic’s Co-operative Education Program and Career Services.