THE BLOG

It's Time to Take Creative Subjects Seriously

03/02/2015 17:04 GMT | Updated 05/04/2015 10:59 BST

Creative industries have hit an all-time high and are worth a phenomenal £77 billion to the UK economy according to government figures out this month. Break that down further and that's £8.8million per hour; a number which highlights just how important this heavily growing sector is.

Yet there is still a widely held belief that in order to be successful and get a good job, you must suppress the creative side of your brain and instead study one of the traditionally presumed 'safe' subjects. In fact Secretary of State for Education Nicky Morgan recently suggested teenagers should steer away from arts and humanities subjects if they wanted to access the widest range of jobs.

These ideas however, couldn't be further from the truth!

With the UK creative industries clearly thriving, students now have access to a wide range of career opportunities; from working in digital sectors such as the gaming and motion picture industry, to sportswear design and fashion photography.

And whilst some might think that studying a specific creative practice might lead you into a one-way jobs alley, in reality it is actually opening up an abundance of career opportunities by providing students with a variety of skills that are applicable to many different sectors. It sounds counter-intuitive, but understanding not every textile design graduate - for example - is best suited to being a textile designer is important. The industry has a wealth of possible career options which suit people of many different temperaments, personalities and attributes.

Now businesses are not only looking for employees that are knowledgeable; they are increasingly favouring those who have a transferable skillset with the ability to problem-solve, be analytical in their approach and have investigative skills - key things that creative subjects can help to build and develop for those who choose to study them.

In addition, whilst many 'classic' subjects are hugely over-subscribed and increasingly competitive within the jobs market, the creative industry is seeing a huge growth spurt in job opportunities; in 2013 alone it accounted for 1.7m jobs, which was 5.6 percent of all jobs in the country.

Yet, it must not be forgotten that students are investing substantial time and money into their creative education and therefore it is important to highlight the responsibility that universities have to both students and the industry, to develop graduates that are employable and ready to hit the ground running.

Ensuring that courses are taught by industry experts, offering top industry placements and giving students experience working on real-life briefs are all essential to helping graduates succeed. And that's not just helping them to succeed in the world of work - it's arming them with the skills and confidence they need to set up their own businesses too, and inspiring them to stay one step ahead in this fast moving industry.

So, as we start to see the world being driven by technology, creativity and innovation, there really hasn't been a better time to start taking creative subjects seriously.