Arts & Communications

A&C Sector Overview

Key takeaways from the landscape analysis for the arts and communications sector in the Chicagoland area:

  • Media (film, graphics, audio, broadcast) production is a burgeoning industry in Chicago. Since the advent of Cinespace Chicago Film Studios in 2010, Illinois has become the third largest movie and recording workforce in the country and is the number one region for film production in the Midwest.
  • Roles in mass media production and communications are typically held by individuals with bachelor’s degrees, although not required. Skills can be acquired with significant work experience. This indicates that bachelor’s programs in the region are influencing the pipeline, likely through internships or employer partnerships.
  • Individuals in fine and performing arts are more likely to be self-employed or short-term, project-based hires. Many hold jobs in unrelated occupations when not working as artists.

Overview of Private Training Landscape

Based on Based on WIOA Programs and Chicagoland CareerPathways, private training is underdeveloped in various areas:

  • Fine Arts: Very few formal training programs exist that lead to entry-level craft artist skills and roles.
  • Mass Media and Communications: Training is mostly happening in bachelor’s degree programs. Some graphic design training from non-profit programs or private art schools lead to a non-credit industry certification, mostly for upskilling individuals already working in the industry.
  • Film and Music Production: Non-profit training providers don’t focus on these roles, which is a missed opportunity. As a result, the City of Chicago and private companies have stepped in to create small-scale programs

Recommended Improvement Strategies for A&C

Based on the landscape analysis, the EdSystems team proposes the following strategies to both prepare residents for living wage roles in the arts and communications sector and meet labor market demands:

  • Invest in training for media production and post-production roles through state and municipal resources. WIOA and non-profit programs need to expand program offerings. City programs need to scale up and allocate space for individuals without prior experience in industry.
  • State and City agencies need to leverage the industry tax incentives for partnerships with state institutions and community colleges. Production studios are partnering with private postsecondary colleges or creating training programs from scratch instead of partnering with existing community college or existing public universities.

A&C Priority Occupation and Promising Credential Areas

MIDDLE-SKILL CREDENTIAL AREA OCCUPATIONS TYPICAL ENTRY EDUCATION CHICAGOLAND WAGE $/HR CHICAGOLAND PROJECTED GROWTH (10 YR.) ANNUAL CHICAGOLAND JOB OPENINGS TERM
Fine Arts and Design
Craft Artist
High School + On-the-Job Training
$23.29
-3.2%
11
Fine Artists, Including Painters, Sculptors, and Illustrators
Bachelor's Degree
$27.20
-0.8%
27

Special Effects Artists and Animators
Some College
$30.48
-0.7%
95

Graphic Designers
Some College
$24.32
0.3%
725
Mass Media and Communications
Film and Video Editors
Some College
$29.52
7.6%
24
Broadcast Technicians
Some College
$16.79
-2.0%
86
Photographer
High School + On-the-Job Training
$22.50
-24.16%
174
Audio and Video Equipment Technicians
Some College
$23.49
7.4%
200

A&C Pathway Progressions