Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

Official newspaper of The University of Texas at Austin

The Daily Texan

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October 4, 2022

‘I can’t do everything all at once’: Texas announced as No. 1 state for Gen Z to move to for jobs, fine arts students disagree

Joshua Guenther
West Campus on May 6, 2021.

Texas experienced the largest net gain influx of Generation Z transplants nationwide in 2022, attracting over 76,000 individuals drawn by potential job opportunities and favorable climate conditions, according to a Zillow analysis. 

However, amid the state’s appeal for job seekers, art students remain concerned about being under-equipped for the workforce.

The University offers career services to students in visual and performing arts, such as career-mentoring or assistance writing an artist biography. Performance process senior Nolan Myers said these are helpful to build an artistic resume and portfolio, but Texas is not an ideal nor optimal location for a career in the arts. 

“I think finding a job is doable,” Myers said. “(Austin) is a valid place with a diverse scene — but I don’t think that making a career here is as feasible or as accessible as New York, (Los Angeles) or Chicago.” 

California and Florida ranked second and third in the analysis, with over 40,000 movers each. Texas steadily kept a streak of job growth and employment opportunities for 31 months, according to the Texas Workforce Commission. However, Julio Martinez, a studio art and arts and entertainment technologies senior, said open positions for the arts remain stagnant. 

“It’s a frustrating moment where Austin, being the capital of Texas, can have a very rich culture,” Martinez said. “(But, when I talk) to my professors and people who have lived here for a while, it seems like that (arts and) culture has been watered down by tech industries coming in — everything becomes corporate and about profit.” 

Studio art alumna Stephanie Andrade said advancements in technology have made navigating the workforce more challenging. She said she’s experienced pushback from employers when she mentions her skills in the fine arts. Instead of seeing her as qualified to work in a “professional” setting, she said recruiters would assume she mainly has artistic skills. 

“I felt like people didn’t really understand how certain skills within creative industries can get implemented into these other professional jobs,” said Andrade, a print production specialist. “We have the ability to think outside the box, try things a different route (and) have a more open mind on things. … I feel (recruiters) just heard that I do fine art and they automatically felt (I’m) only good at this skill (and) didn’t really have anything else to offer.” 

Andrade and Martinez both said hiring challenges could be easier to navigate if the University provided more career-related opportunities for students in the arts.

“I’m a student — I can’t do everything all at once, and afford my rent, paper (I use for projects) and my tuition,” Martinez said. “Austin as a city and UT as an institution can nurture these careers in the arts by providing more funding for either jobs or other internships or volunteer opportunities.”

Editor’s Note: A previous version of this story misattributed which degree a source graduated from. The Texan regrets this error.

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