Career ambitions, expectations and skills among music students at higher education institutions - A literature review and empirical study
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Many scholars argue that the purpose of higher music education institutions is to prepare future musicians for a career in music and that most artists need to act as entrepreneurs in order to make a living. However, there is little consensus in the literature on how to teach music students entrepreneurship, especially without knowing their ambitions and the skills necessary to succeed as self- employed artists. A literature review and empirical study were therefore conducted to tighten this gap in the literature. This resulted in two separate articles. First, a literature review was carried out to get a better understanding of today s situation for arts entrepreneurship at higher education institutions, in addition to career ambitions and expectations among music students and the skills deemed important for self-employed artists. A preliminary search was first conducted to plan the review. Only articles in peer-reviewed journals with a focus on entrepreneurship, ambitions, expectations, and skills concerning higher music/arts education were chosen for further screening. Then, a structured search consisting of six steps was conducted to find relevant articles on the topic. This was done in the databases of Web of Science and Scopus using defined search strings found during the preliminary search. The literature review ended up containing 31 articles. The findings show that many educators and administrators are confused by the word "entrepreneurship." Still, there seems to be a change in terms of teaching arts entrepreneurship from a "business-oriented" approach to a more "behavior-oriented" approach. Music performance students aspire to work with performance, but expect to work with teaching. Creative and strategic thinking together with confidence, collaboration skills, communication skills and understanding of artistic context were found to be important fundamental skills for music students. Further research should be done on students , teachers and administrators perception of entrepreneurship and musical career ambitions, expectations and skills among music students. Second, an empirical study was conducted to get a better understanding of Norwegian music students career ambitions, expectations and skills concerning entrepreneurship, and how teachers and administrators perceive this. The findings of the literature review led to the following research questions: 1. How do music students, educators, and administrators define entrepreneurship?2. What skills do students think is necessary for a career in music?3. What are the career ambitions and expectations of music students?4. How do educators and administrators perceive a career in music and what skills do they thinkis necessary? A cross-sectional survey study was conducted where 114 students and 37 teachers and administrators participated. The findings show that there is a disagreement among students, teachers, and administrators of what entrepreneurship is. Most students wish to work with performance activity after graduation, but expect to work with teaching. Both students and administrators/teachers share the same point of view concerning necessary skills for a career in music where creativity, networking, teamwork and communication/presentation is valued the most. The cross-sectional approach made it only possible to offer a single snapshot of a specific moment in time, thus, making it impossible to comment on cause- and-effect relationships. The findings in this study can be used by practitioners to develop broader career purviews and entrepreneurial identities among music students. Further research should be done on why music students choose to study at HEIs, how a consensus on arts entrepreneurship education can be achieved, why are the skills found in this study important/unimportant for music students and what forms the expectations and ambitions of music students specifically.