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What do we mean by the Creative (and Cultural) Industries? 

To kick off our #EdCreativeCareers campaign which starts today, Sharon Cant, Employer Engagement Adviser with the Careers Service, examines the outlook for the Creative And Cultural sector – and it’s looking good. 

The Scottish Government describes the Creative Industries as those with origin in individual creativity, skill and talent, or which have the potential to create wealth and jobs through the development, production or exploitation of intellectual property.  Specifically, they view the sector as being made up by 16 distinct industries:  advertising, architecture, visual arts, crafts, fashion & textiles, design, performing arts, music, photography, film & video, computer games, radio & TV, writing & publishing, heritage and finally, software/electronic education.  In reality, it can be difficult to stick to these distinctions – there is very often considerable overlap.   

When we are talking about this sector in terms of career opportunities, it can be helpful to take a wider view as opposed to thinking exclusively in terms of so-called ‘creative’ jobs. This is why we often prefer to talk about the Creative and Cultural sector, as it lessens the focus on the word ‘creative’ and helps us dispel the myth that in order to work in the creative industries, you have to identify as ‘a creative’. The reality is that this sector, like many others, is made up of a vast range of roles requiring hugely diverse skills and approaches.  There are obviously many opportunities for those who do think of themselves as creatives, but there are opportunities also for those who don’t, or who are somewhere in the middle. 

Of course, it has been widely reported that the Creative Industries were amongst the worst affected by the pandemic.  Many of us are aware of theatres, museums and other venues having to close, then latterly operating with greatly reduced capacities.  This has a massive impact on revenue generation, which in turn puts pressure on jobs.  You would be forgiven for assuming that a sector which has been a heavy user of furlough, and in recent months has needed further financial aid (Creative Scotland have administered funding to organisations and individuals via a Recovery Fund, Cancellation Funds and most recently a Hardship Fund for Creative Freelancers) might not have a lot to offer students and graduates looking to start their careers. However, this isn’t necessarily true.  Yes, some areas are still struggling to adapt, but others like Advertising, Computer Games and Visual Effects, have been performing extremely well.  And overall, the future looks bright.  

In their Sectoral Skills Assessment published on 16th February, Skills Development Scotland predict that the number of people working in the Creative Industries is expected to grow by 7.8% between 2021 and 2024.  That means 7200 more people working in jobs in this sector.  This compares to an overall increase in the workforce in Scotland of just 2.8% – so this is clearly a sector where stronger than average growth is predicted.  They do note that there will be some challenges and of course there are still unknowns for all sectors. However, it appears there will be opportunities for people to join the sector due both to new jobs being created, and roles becoming available as a result of people leaving the sector for reasons such as retirement. 

The other positive to keep in mind is that the sector is by its nature creative, and is using that creativity to pivot and evolve.  An example of this is how the sector is now increasingly using data to drive innovation, and that in turn is creating more opportunities for students and graduates from many different backgrounds to get involved.  If you are interested in exploring Data Driven Innovation in the Creative Industries further, including various funding and training programmes that are open to students and recent graduates, we’d urge you to explore Creative Informatics 

I hope the message that you take from this blog post is that the Creative Industries do have a lot to offer, and to all types of students and graduates.   To start exploring further, why not register for access to our Creative & Cultural Careers Platform? You’ll find the link to register for the platform at the bottom of this page: Creative & Cultural Careers.  This is open from 10th – 27th March as part of our #EdCreativeCareers campaign.  On the platform you’ll find a curated selection of resources to help you explore careers within the creative industries, plus the links to join 4 webinars we are running on 23rd March covering careers in Film & TV, Books & Publishing, Advertising and Performing Arts.  Do also search or follow #EdCreativeCareers on socials and MyCareerHub to find more news, events and updates on Creative & Cultural Careers. Perhaps there’s a career in the Creative and Cultural sector you’ve never considered before ready for you to explore… 



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