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For many people, a big factor in choosing a degree is whether the course will lead to employment and a good career. The creative industries are often perceived as having limited career options, but, contrary to popular belief, career opportunities in the creative industries are increasing, with employment in the sector growing five times faster than the national economy.
The latest report from the Department for Digital, Culture Media and Sport showed that the UK’s creative industries contribute almost £13 million to the UK economy every hour. Moreover, according to Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise and Partnership, the creative economy is worth £4.1bn and accounts for 50,000 jobs in Greater Birmingham and Solihull alone.
A creative career isn’t limited to conventional industries such as acting or music. Creativity transcends boundaries and is a highly valued skill in areas ranging from Architecture to English. This is because creative individuals bring fresh ideas to businesses and new solutions for challenging problems.
Many creative industry jobs are filled by those with a degree - Nesta reported that over half of all workers in the creative economy hold a degree, compared to 31% in the wider UK economy. To give you an idea of breadth and variety of roles out there, we’ve put together a non-exhaustive list of careers our courses can open up for you:
Examples of creative careers in this sector include: architectural assistant, architectural technician, interior architect, interior designer, landscape architect, landscape designer, design studio assistant (teaching), 3D visualiser, graphic designer, freelance designer/maker, CAD technician, buyer, product design innovator, cabinet maker, model maker, furniture maker/ designer or design manager.
BA (Hons) Product and Furniture Design graduate Jodie Mairs secured a role as a Lighting Technician at bespoke wood furniture making company, MacMaster, after completing a work placement with them during her second year.
As a Fine Art or Art and Design graduate you could go on to be an: artist/ designer, project and events management, arts assistant, art director, community arts officer, teacher, education coordinator, curator (in museums, galleries and art centres), exhibition designer, display designer, video and digital producer, web developer and designer, marketer, technician/ fabricator, or even an art writer or critic.
Studying English doesn’t just lend itself to teaching- it gives you a range of transferrable skills that you could apply to a number of professions including: research, marketing, communications, journalism, broadcasting, public relations, screenwriting, publishing, legal professions, civil service, arts administration, business administration, or human resources.
Chloe Frost, a BA (Hons) Textile Design graduate, realised her passion for trend forecasting after a live brief with a trend forecasting company in her second year. She now works as Assistant Editor for colour and materials at Stylus- a go-to source for expert trend analysis and cross-industry insight.
Other potential careers for Fashion and Textiles graduates include: buyer, merchandiser/allocator, visual merchandiser, fashion PR, event manager, fashion marketer, fashion designer, textile designer, costume designer, fabric technologist, garment technologist, product developer, pattern cutter, grader, Gerber technician, fashion illustrator, garment quality controller, social media analyst, stylist or fashion blogger.
As a Video Game, Digital Marketing or Film graduate you could go on to work as a: digital strategist, advertising planner, client manager, market / persona researcher, campaign manager, social media content creator, video games designer/ programmer/character artist/environmental artist/mission scripter, associate producer, film maker, screenwriter, sales, researcher, journalist, film archiver / curator or event officer.
A degree from our School of Jewellery can lend itself to a number of other careers such as: laboratory work, teacher, stone dealer, stone buyer, restoration, brand management, jewellery merchandising, sales management, gallery owner, curator, studio-based designer-maker practitioner, researcher, medal maker, finisher and polisher, casting technician, CAD designer, repairers or a fine-jeweller.
BSc (Hons) Gemmology graduate Alex used his degree to secure a job at auction house Fellows & Sons, where he primarily identifies, grades and assesses gemstones and diamonds.
Examples of creative careers for those with a Media degree include: social media editor, social media marker, reporter, trending video editor, producer/director, production manager, researcher, journalist, public relations specialist, account manager, web developer, radio presenter, radio broadcast assistant, assistant producer, camera operator, events manager, data wrangler, editor, music media broadcaster, live music promoter, photographer, videographer, or working for a record label or music collection agency.
Some typical roles for Visual Communication graduates include: theatre/ production/ exhibition/costume/events/ graphic designer, performance practitioner, prop maker, creative director, typographer, UX/UI/VR designer, copywriter, editor, studio manager, illustrator, art director, videographer, teacher, print technician, photographic and moving image artist. Another popular route is going freelance. Watch Ben's video below to see how his BA (Hons) Illustration degree helped him set up his own business.
You can find a wealth of information about studying with us on our School pages.
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Birmingham City University is 7th in the UK for employability and 97.4% of our students are in work or study within six months of graduating.
Our degrees are designed to give you industry experience before you graduate. We offer work placement modules, live industry briefs and more to give you opportunities to build your own industry connections, and create a portfolio of professional work to show to employers when you’re searching for your first graduate job.
Our Careers+ team are also on hand to support you from the moment you join and up to three after you graduate. They offer specialist guidance from career, employment and placement specialists and actively source and promote placements, work experience, mentoring, part-time roles and graduate jobs in the region. Over 30 organisations attended their most recent Placement and Volunteering Fair and they also host employer panel events and alumni talks, along with mentoring opportunities from companies such as Gymshark and Sky.
Another career option is to go freelance or start your own business. Did you know that one in ten of Birmingham City alumni started or managed a business after graduating? (Hitachi Capital Invoice Finance).
BA (Hons) Illustration graduate Ben used his degree to start his own production agency, Fables Creative. The skills and network he built up during his time at University has led to him designing stages and sets for events such as Ibiza Rocks and Brixton Beach, and working with big name brands including Hype and Pokémon.
We provide high quality Enterprise and Entrepreneurship support and projects to enable students to develop their business ideas including:
We’ve also recently invested in a brand new STEAMincubator Hub at our City Centre Campus, which provides co-working space, facilities and support to our student/graduate entrepreneurs.
It’s clear that there are a wealth of opportunities and careers available for graduates with creative degrees. Coupled with support from our academic staff and specialist services such as Careers+, you can be sure that you’ll be in good stead to find your ideal role.
Find out more about how our courses can help kick start your creative career by visiting us at an Open Day once the Covid 19 pandemic eases. In the meantime be sure to check our Virtual Open Day page.
Our Open Day provides you with the perfect opportunity to discover just what we have to offer.
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