It’s understandably daunting to go through graduation during a pandemic, especially if you studied art.
In the UK, an anticipated 406,000 creative jobs are at risk from the fallout of COVID-19. Recruitment site Glassdoor further notes that entry-level job postings are down by 39% in June 2020, compared to the previous year.
However, all is not lost for creative arts graduates. Neil Smith, UK & Ireland managing director for student living specialists Scape, says it’s more important than ever for graduates to prove their worth to companies
“Graduates should make sure their initial cover letter and CV illustrates a dynamic and relevant skillset that will benefit the company they’re applying to and make them stand out as candidates,” he advises.
It may be challenging to kickstart a lucrative career in creative arts, fashion, visual design, or art history right now, but there are opportunities for you to use your skills in other industries.
Here are five industries where the creative class of 2020 can find a job right now.
Millennials graduating during this pandemic would know that the Internet is more powerful than ever.
Hence, many are flocking to join popular tech giants such as Microsoft, Apple, and even newcomer TikTok. These companies don’t just want tech wizards; they also require people who understand human nature and can solve emerging ethical quandaries.
“We can take people who have not done maths degrees or technical degrees and we can teach them the basic maths and stats they need,” said Professor Asha Rao, Associate Dean of Mathematical Sciences at RMIT University.
As an art graduate, you can develop risk management skills for cybersecurity, and use your trained eye and critical thinking in analytics. You can also fill the growing need for “tech evangelists” — relatable figures who present new technology to the masses.
It’s no secret that employers value art graduates for their creativity and soft skills. Your skillset is adaptable in any business organisation, be it in finance or sales and marketing.
How? For one, art graduates can synthesise big ideas and concepts into practical action plans. Their insights on human nature also make it easier to relate to customers’ wants and needs.
“Prospective employers will be looking to recruit graduates that are able to demonstrate the type of entrepreneurial traits that will be beneficial to the business as they move into a new phase of working, post-pandemic,” Nick says.
You should, therefore, highlight talents such as creativity, business acumen and initiative in your cover letter and CV.
Media and communications
Creative arts have always been closely linked to media and communications. You can use your creativity towards creating compelling media that engage and empower audiences.
Whether it’s digital or television, news or lifestyle, media publications are still hiring writers, videographers, and designers. Try your hand at managing accounts or servicing clients.
If you’re good at social media, all the better. These outlets need social media specialists who can capture and retain the attention of young people. As an artist, you know a thing or two about that.
The best thing about media entities? They’re incredibly welcoming to graduates from all backgrounds; diverse experiences make for richer content.
According to Smith, logistics, gaming, e-payment and e-learning solutions are among the areas that could fare well post-pandemic.
You can find a job in transportation, delivery, or warehousing. The demand for skilled workers in these areas has increased during the pandemic.
Smith elaborated, “Graduates looking for jobs should seek out extra resources like webinars or online courses to bolster their knowledge in areas that are likely to see growth after the pandemic. Having knowledge of sectors that firms may be seeking to expand or move into will be an impressive addition to a job application.”
Freelancing is tough but it can be incredibly rewarding. Put your entrepreneurial chops to use by launching your own small business online. The first step is creating a digital profile of your work to show potential clients.
“Each new graduate cohort comes with a new skill set, developed in line with the demands of modern-day life. For example, the emerging workforce consists of digital nomads with skills and talents born as a result of growing up in a society driven by social media,” Smith said.
In a time when many are struggling to make ends meet, people are more appreciative than ever for the arts. Many are willing to support small businesses and artists they follow online.
Use sites like PeoplePerHour, Upwork, and Behance to advertise your services and secure freelance assignments.
While the circumstances are wildly different from what you anticipated, you can still launch a career and gain transferable experience applicable in any industry.
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