From the great works of the renaissance to the typeface on this page, the spark of creative minds is always there, influencing how we view our world, interact with it, shape it. And yet, when it comes to deciding which path to take through higher education, many will dismiss the creative arts as a folly, an unrealistic means of achieving your dreams.
That view is at best outdated and at worst just plain incorrect. According to figures released the UK Government, the creative industries is the fastest growing sector of the British economy, an‘economic powerhouse’ worth £8 million an hour – over £70 billion a year.
In other words, the value that society places on the creative industries – filmmakers, designers, musicians, painters, photographers and a whole host of other creative people – has never been higher. The latest figures from the Department of Culture, Media and Sports show that 1.68million people in Britain alone are employed by the creative industries. That’s 5.6% of the population who do the job they do because of, not in spite of, their creativity.
This trend is likely to continue, with the number of people employed by the creative industries growing at a rate of 8.6% per year, compared to a national average across other industries of just 0.7%.
But so what, right? What does it matter that the government is coining it in from the creative industries if you, the person actually doing all the work is getting paid a pittance? Well, figures available from recruitment firm Reed suggest that the average salary for jobs currently vacant within the ‘Media, Digital and Creative’ industry is £35,117, significantly higher than the national average salary of £26,500.
Of course, no one fresh-faced out of university, possessing nothing but youthfulness and their freshly-printed degree certificate should expect to land their dream job straight away. Determination, patience, intelligence and elbow grease are still required. But it is possible to leave a creative degree and go into the world of work secure in the knowledge that the creative industries isn’t a closed shop, only open to the lucky and the well connected.
If you want to be a filmmaker, a photographer, a fashion designer, a computer game developer, a painter or take on any other vocation where creativity and success go hand in hand, don’t let people tell you that you’re on a hiding to nowhere. You’re not.
As famous playwright George Bernard Shaw once said: “You see things; and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not’?”
If you are interested in studying art at University make sure you pay a visit to the Swansea University: Humanities department. At Swansea University: Humanities, you can find a wide range of humanities subjects on offer, an exciting learning environment and innovative teaching.