Close up of theatre seats

June 2, 2022, by Leah Sharpe

I Want a Creative Career…but What Are My Chances?

By Cathy Sibley, Employability Education Projects Officer

People often use the words, ‘creative’, ‘cultural’ and ‘arts’ interchangeably when talking about jobs or industries. These terms can cover working in TV and film, theatre, publishing, marketing, journalism, gaming, and much, much more. This blog will help you to think about what it is you mean by a creative career as there are jobs available to suit many different skill sets and interests.  

Careers within the ‘creative’ industries are often seen as tricky to get a first job in. Post-pandemic if you’re thinking about this type of work you’re probably wondering what the situation is.  The good news is, that depending on what type of job you’re interested in, there are opportunities.

Take a look at some of the job profiles on our website and consider what skills and tasks you’d actually like to be doing.  Most recent graduates who work in theatres aren’t acting but are doing a variety of jobs, like being an admin, marketing or events assistant.  Maybe it’s writing that you are keen to incorporate into a job and as well as sectors like journalism there are also other ways you could use this skill, such as within the marketing sector.

This means that if you cannot find a specific ‘creative’ job immediately, you can build skills required in another sector which will be transferable and give you a better chance of getting a job in a creative sector at a later date. Of course, you will also need to be able to show your enthusiasm for whatever creative area of work you’re interested in and you can do this by getting involved in extra-curricular activities, including our NAA modules in Heritage or Culture, volunteering or visiting and having an opinion on these visits (i.e. museums, theatres, exhibitions).

Some industries, such as TV are currently booming in the UK and although it’s still competitive, now is a better time than ever before to get your foot in the door being a part-time runner. 20 new sites in the pipeline will see the UK’s film studio space rise to 6.8 million sq. ft and 40,000 jobs need to be filled by 2025.  It’s not just London based either, 20 new UK sites will include Liverpool and Birmingham and, of course, shooting also takes place on location.

Post-pandemic, there is high demand within the marketing industry, with a LinkedIn survey showing that the UK’s economic recovery is creating demand for people with marketing skills. Within the marketing sector, data and analytics has emerged as the key skills gap with a third of businesses (33.4%) identifying it as the main talent issue for their business. This is followed by content and copywriting skills (17.6%), and social media talent.

29,000 people are employed within the UK publishing industry where sales increased 5% to £6.7 billion in 2021, with audio downloads rising 14%, audio publishing revenues up 5% as well as education publish revenues rising by 5%. Again it’s worth researching which areas within a sector are growing and where the specific skill shortages are. As with all areas, digital skills are increasingly sought from applicants.

If you’re determined to get a job within the creative field and are enthusiastic, happy to put in some research, and be flexible in developing your skills, go for it! You’ll do it.

If you’re not sure which types of ‘creative’ sectors/jobs you’re interested in or how to plan some longer-term steps to get there, why not make an appointment with one of our careers advisers.

Check out our Career paths webpages to look at creative jobs/sectors, skills required, entry routes, and where to look for job opportunities. 

Posted in Careers AdviceChoosing Your Career