What skills do I need for a creative job?

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A creative's desk

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If you love making things, solving problems and have a creative spark, a career in the creative industries could be perfect for you.

There are so many exciting roles for creatives. You could be designing tech wearables or writing the script for TV’s hottest new drama. You could be creating beautiful illustrations to advertise products, or using 3D technology to make jewellery.

So with help from the digital media and design experts at Ravensbourne, in this guide we’ll answer: what is the creative industry? What creative industry jobs are out there? And what creative skills would I need to succeed?

'Could you use your creative skills to sell design, make and sell stuff?'

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What is the creative industry?

The creative industries are the part of our economy that involves creativity. People doing these jobs (they’re sometimes called creatives) use their creative skills and talent to make things that can be sold, promoted or used.

It’s a very broad term, including the arts, fashion, publishing, film, design, architecture, advertising, digital media, gaming, TV and radio. The creative industries are pretty important too: they contribute £87 billion every year to our country’s economy.

What creative industry jobs are there?

Creative industry jobs are hugely varied. You could be writing code for a tech start-up, creating costumes backstage at a theatre, drawing building plans in an architecture studio, or filming a football game – the possibilities are endless.

To give you an idea, here’s a handful of roles:

  • Graphic designers: Create visuals using type, image and graphic forms in order to communicate a specific message to audiences. Graphic designers use image-making software and code.
  • Product designers: Use artistic and technical skills to create products that look good but also perform a practical function. They often have an interest in tech and how things work.
  • User experience designers (UX): Focus on user satisfaction by improving the usability and accessibility of a particular product, such as an app or website.
  • Motion graphic designers: Use graphic design, animation and live action filming to create short sequences, for instance on TV, music videos and games. 
  • Animators: There are a wide range of roles available within animation. You could work in the film, games or TV industry, using different techniques, including 3D computer graphics, 2D drawn and stop frame to bring ideas to life.
  • Front end designers: Use code to design websites, apps and games.

Want more? Here are five creative industry jobs you might not have heard of, and don’t forget to check out our Art & Design Career Zone.

What creative skills do I need to succeed?

When it comes to roles in this sector, you’ll obviously need to develop the technical abilities and specialist know-how required for your specific job. But there are also a bunch of key skills and qualities that will give you the edge in this competitive industry.

Let’s take a look…

  • Being adaptable at work in the creative industries is crucial.
    Creative: Okay, maybe this one’s a little obvious, but we don’t mean that you need to be artistic to bag yourself a creative industry job. There are roles for more analytical, scientifically-minded people. But you do need to show a commitment and passion for the creative sector. A good way to show universities and employers that you’re dedicated is through your art portfolio or work experience.
  • Resilient: getting and keeping work in the creative industries is tough. You need to take a proactive, hard-working approach to finding jobs and you need to bounce back if things don’t work out.
  • Communicator: being able to make your point clearly and persuasively is a key part of any creative industry job. Learn how to improve communication skills.
  • Use your initiative: the creative industries are always changing and you need to come up with ideas and suggest new ways of doing things.
  • Informed: stay up to date with developments in your industry and role.
  • Entrepreneurial: having an entrepreneurial mindset will set you apart. Be open to new possibilities and think of how your technical skills could be used in other jobs. What passion projects do you have? How could you make them a reality?
  • Team-worker: creatives aren’t lone wolves, they have to collaborate to be successful. Team working experience is crucial for getting a creative industry job.
  • Problem solver: the creative sector is full of jobs that require puzzle solving skills.
  • Networker: meeting and forging relationships with other creatives is very important in this sector.
Ravensbourne is the digital media and design college where you learn by doing. They equip students with specialist knowledge and employability skills, getting them ready to work in the creative industries. Learn more and find your perfect course here.

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