For students and parents

What are the creative industries?

Definition of the creative industries

The creative industries are all around us. They can be seen in the clothes we wear, the buildings we live and work in, the music we listen to, the books we read, the adverts on our screens, the apps we use and in countless other places. When you take a good look, the creative industries show up everywhere in our daily lives and the world would be a very different place without them!

For a more formal definition, the governments Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) first defined the creative industries as,

‘those activities which have their origin in individual creativity, skill and talent and which have a potential for wealth and job creation through the generation and exploitation of intellectual property.’

The creative industries 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
  • Architecture
  • Advertising and marketing

There are all kinds of jobs within the industries, from weaving and acting through to data analysis and network programming. There's a need for scientists, artists, people with business skills and those who combine all three. For more information on what kinds of roles there are in the creative industries, see Do you have to be good at art?.

Why work in the creative industries?

The creative industries are important…

They produce art and inventions, solve problems, bring life to communities and document history. Making and experiencing art also makes people happier and healthier. The positives of the creative industries overflow into other industries bringing new ideas, products and ways of working.

The creative industries are exciting

People who work in the creative industries connect with the world. They often work on different projects with different challenges. The creative industries are also known for using inventive new ways of working and the latest technology.

The creative industries need YOU

The creative industries are more productive and meaningful when they include people from all different backgrounds, with different skills and personalities, and when they raise up voices that aren’t often heard. No one has the same set of experiences and strengths, and everyone has something different that they can bring to the table.