9 Ways a Theatre Degree Trumps a Business Degree.

Great blog title right?

Before you go patting me on the back, let me tell you that I didn’t write it.

It was written by a PR and Communications Pro in Washington who has “never taken a marketing class, or a journalism class, or a business class.”  What he does have, however, is a theatre degree.

His blog, which you can read here, should be on the required reading list for parents who are shaking in their shoes about their children getting a B.A. or God forbid, a B.F.A., in theatre.

And the blog also reminded me of two things:

  1. First, it reminded me of one of my own blogs, which tells a story that I love, love, love about a Dean’s orientation speech to an incoming class of Freshman theatre students and their parents.  You can read that one here.
  2. And second, it reminded me of . . . well, um . . . me.

See, I have a B.F.A. in Acting from the Tisch School of the Arts.  And I didn’t take marketing classes or business classes or even spreadsheet classes.  Now sure, I was born with some natural business instincts which I’ve been developing since I opened “Kenneth’s Kandy Shop” in my father’s cardiologist office (!) when I was five.  And sure, I’ve taken a bunch of marketing seminars and read a small library full of books on business and marketing strategy since.  But I didn’t have business classes as part of my curriculum while at NYU.

But there are 900 ways that my theatre degree prepared me not only for a career as a Broadway Producer . . . but also for a career as an . . . well, um . . . anything.

Rather than me go into those 900, let’s let Brian give you his 9.  Read it here.


(Got a comment? I love ‘em, so comment below! Email Subscribers, click here then scroll down to say what’s on your mind!)

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  • Always, when I hire, I look for a theatre degree. For all the reasons stated, but for me, simply, theatre trains people to think.

  • rich says:

    I would like your blog title better if you eliminated the word Trump.

  • Felicia says:

    Excellent referral, Ken. Thanks. And Kevin: “Theater trains people to think.” Excellent assessment.

  • Eric Vigdorov says:


    I too have a BFA in Acting from Brooklyn College and I found that education although did not have many business classes did not hold me back. I have been able to push my way through my life because of my education. With out my initial theatre degree I would have never ended up at Columbia University for an MFA in Theatre Management and Producing. Receiving my BFA degree made me a much more well rounded person and the lessons I have learned have been applied to all my work. I would encourage parents not to discourage their kids from getting an arts degree, but to push them towards it. The only thing that I wish I was told as an acting student was the importance of business skills. As an artist we are our own advocates and businesses, the product is our own. Thanks for the great post!


    Eric Vigdorov

  • Patrick Varon says:


    What about those of us in MFA/MBA Theatre Management programs? Which degree is more valuable?

    Believe me, every theatre artist can benefit tremendously from a crash course in working with data. Not to mention understanding the fundamentals of marketing, finance and accounting. Likewise, MBA’s can afford to learn a great deal from creativity, passion, people skills and the fine art of public presentation.

    The only degree better than theatre is a joint theatre/business degree.

    Love the blog! Keep up the good work.


  • Brian Sibley says:

    Ken, thanks for the share, and for your kind words. I’m so pleased and humbled that so many people (almost 100,000 views now in the past few days) have read this article inspired by a chance conversation with my friend Sara.

    All the best,

    Brian Sibley
    Bellingham, WA

  • Gil says:

    My dayjob is as a computer programmer. You have no idea how much my theatre background helps me with explaining, teaching, negotiating, breaking down complex problems into more manageable ones, understanding how confusing things work, and looking at things from the point of the view of an audience.

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