What are the creative industries?
The creative industries were first defined by the government in 1997. Their sub sectors include:
- Music, performing arts, like acting, and visual arts, like painting
- Crafts, such as weaving, furniture-making and jewellery-making
- Film, TV, animation, visual effects, video, radio and photography
- Video games, virtual reality and extended reality
- Museums, galleries and heritage, such as stately homes and cathedrals
- Publishing and libraries
- Design, including product design, graphic design and fashion
- Advertising and marketing
Are there many jobs?
The creative industries is the fastest growing sector in the economy. Employment in the creative industries grew by 30.6% between 2011 and 2018. There are more people working in the creative industries than in financial services.
What’s more, jobs in the creative industries are more future-proof than in other sectors. There are expected to be 900,000 new jobs in the sector by 2030. While other industries are at risk of their jobs being replaced by automation, the creative industries are relatively secure with a huge 87% of creative jobs at low or no risk of automation.
Most work in the screen industries is project-based. This means the funding is for a particular project, like producing a film. Most people in the screen industries are therefore paid on a project basis and so are self-employed, rather than having a permanent job. Games is an exception to this. Within the games industry, 84 per cent of workers are on the payroll of a company with only 16 per cent working freelance.
But just because many people are self-employed, it doesn’t mean they don’t enjoy good, steady careers. Many freelancers are hired consecutively by the same company and have to turn down work because they have too much.
It’s important your child or student develops business skills as well as craft skills. If they do, they can earn a good, and sometimes very good, living within the screen industries.
Do you have to be good at art?
Only some of the jobs are art-based. We need STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) in the creative industries too. For example, many jobs in the animation, VFX and games industries require people with backgrounds in maths, science and computer programming. Theatre technicians need to understand weight distribution and dimensions. Textile makers need to know about chemistry, physics, maths and engineering.
Like any sector, the film, TV, games, animation and VFX businesses need accountants, people who work in human resources, data analysts and receptionists. In theatre, film and TV production, there’s a need for electricians, carpenters and plasterers too.
Where can I find careers information?
Use this website to explore different job descriptions, career pathways and training options across all sub-sectors of the creative industries – your searches will take you to specialist trade and skills organisations that support their sector with comprehensive information on careers, events, training and skills.
Educators can download lesson plans and related resources to accompany this website by clicking the links below. Each of these lessons is approximately 60 minutes.
- Lesson one: Introduction to the creative industries
- Teachers notes for lesson one
- Lesson two: Identifying your skills and finding a role for you
- Teachers notes for lesson two
- Student worksheet for lesson two
- TV Careers Map (editorial)
- TV Careers Map (craft)
- Games Careers Map
- VFX Careers Map
You can also find Labour Market Information (LMI) about the creative industries in the Government's Independent Review of the Creative Industries.
Where can I find opportunities?
Visit our directory of current opportunities to see all live listings on Discover Creative Careers and find out how your children or students can get involved.
For useful information and opportunities from our partners, take a look at:
- Access VFX
- Arts Council
- Association of Photographers
- Careers & Enterprise Company
- Contemporary Visual Arts Network
- Crafts Council
- Creative & Cultural Skills
- Creative Industries Council
- Creative Industries Federation
- Design Business Association
- Get Into Theatre
- Go Construct
- Institute of Practitioners in Advertising
- National Careers Service
- One Dance UK
- Publishers Association
- Radio Centre
- Royal Institute of British Architects
- Skills Builder
- Society of London Theatre (SOLT)
- Speakers 4 Schools
- The National Archives
- The Stage
- UK Fashion and Textile Association (UKFT)
- UK Music
- UK Theatre