Industry demand for tech-savvy creative graduates is growing. Here’s why
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Industry demand for tech-savvy creative graduates is growing. Here’s why

Industry demand for tech-savvy creative graduates is growing. Here’s why

Last month, professional networking site Linkedin published the 15 most in-demand soft and hard skills of 2020.

For the soft skills category, creativity takes the crown for another year running. 

Organisations need people who can creatively approach problems and tasks across all business roles, from software engineering to HR”, wrote LinkedIn Learning Marketing Leader Deanna Lazzaroni Pate.

Following on from creativity and persuasion, is collaboration.

According to Pate, understanding others means that you can work together to reach a common goal effectively. 

“High-functioning teams can accomplish more than any individual – and organisations know it,” she says.

But soft skills alone will not be enough. The most in-demand hard skills today are predominantly related to technology, such as blockchain and artificial intelligence, reflecting the increasing awareness and demand for the wider applications of these skills.

It is this combination of creativity with the potential of emerging technologies that will qualify design graduates for the fast-growing opportunities in a variety of industries. 

To become future UI designers or to work in virtual reality, students shouldn’t limit their skill set while at university. Instead, they should take on interdisciplinary courses to keep up with the latest tech trends and expand their professional capabilities. 

By doing so, they will be ready to join the future creative economy confidently.

Here are four schools that produce future-ready, creative graduates …

COLLEGE OF VISUAL AND PERFORMING ARTS (CVPA) – UNIVERSITY OF MASSACHUSETTS DARTMOUTH

The College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA) is a perfect example of an art and design school that fuses cutting-edge technology into their interdisciplinary courses, teaching and facilities.

Accredited by the  National Association of Schools of Art and Design (NASAD), CVPA offers several interdisciplinary Bachelor’s and Master’s programmes that prepare students for careers in the arts sector and beyond, including animation and game arts, illustration, and graphic design.

CVPA is also offering two new programmes. The  BFA Fashion Design course supplies students with the technical and creative skills that apparel design, marketing, manufacturing, and product development companies are searching for. Students can also expand their career opportunities by exploring fields such as business, sustainability, writing/communication, computer science and many more.

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For the BS Interior Architecture + Design programme, learners receive more than just contemporary design techniques, but state-of-the-art design technologies and portfolio building workshops too. CVPA also gives students access to insightful internships, networking events and industry leader talks.

Ready for these great opportunities? Find out more here or email Jason Loete at jloete@umassd.edu.

The Global Gateway Programme for Undergraduate Study is a pathway that helps international students adjust to US university life as they begin their CVPA degree. Lasting between one to three terms – depending on a student’s English proficiency level – the programme lets students take core CVPA subjects, receive art based-specific instruction, improve their academic English skills and earn valuable university credit. For more information on the Gateway programme, please email alci@umassd.edu

SCHOOL OF DESIGN AND CREATIVE TECHNOLOGIES – UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT AUSTIN

The School of Design and Creative Technologies at the University of Texas at Austin aims to inspire creative students to become confident technical creators, designers and problem solvers.

A school where innovation, creativity and art converge, their faculty is always thinking about how the future of work will impact their students.

Therefore, to ready students for the creative professions that are needed today and tomorrow, the School teaches design, design thinking and creative technologies.

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By combining these three core subjects, students can deliver artistic and thoughtful products and content in four emphasis areas: Digital Visualisation, Game Design, Music and Sound, as well as Projection, Lighting and Interactivity (PLAI).

Completing this package are the School’s initiatives that encourage students to engage with their entrepreneurial mindset and to heighten their creative confidence.

SCHOOL OF FINE ARTS – UNIVERSITY OF CONNECTICUT 

The School of Fine Arts at the University of Connecticut (UConn) balances artistic and cultural legacies with the modern techniques of contemporary art.

By blending traditional approaches with new approaches, the School provides students with a broad spectrum of knowledge and a sharp awareness of the skills that global industries demand.

To keep the curriculum balanced, UConn ensures that all undergraduate and graduate degrees in the Departments of Art and Art History, Digital Media and Design, Dramatic Arts and Music are updated with contemporary topics. 

Its technical theatre course is particularly popular among engineering students, so much so that the School doubled the size of the class.

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Responding to this student demand, it also launched a new programme last September to combine students’ interests in artistic expression and engineering. Students will be able to  take classes in robotics, industrial design and other areas of entertainment design, growing their career marketability.

School of Fine Arts Dean Anne D’Alleva said: “This collaboration will give students new opportunities, a competitive edge, and strong marketability, all while helping to fuel our state’s economy and meet workforce needs.”

MARYLAND INSTITUTE COLLEGE OF ART (MICA) 

At MICA in Baltimore, US, all student artists and designers graduate from the campus as design and technology wizards.

The former is achieved via their top-ranked fine arts, design, electronic media, art education and liberal arts degrees. The College has spent decades refining these degrees so that students are well prepared for the opportunities that exist for artists and designers in today’s and tomorrow’s creative economy.

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The latter is supported by MICA’s Department of Technology and several art centres.

This Department provides outstanding service and service for the college, its students, faculty, and staff. This includes the provision of professional digital content tools such as Adobe’s Creative Cloud software bundle and Microsoft’s Office 365 bundle.

Meanwhile, at the Art Tech Center, students can use MICA’s growing fabrication and printing technologies. The Dolphin Design Center, created specifically for designers in the 21st century, is where students can find state-of-the-art fabrication and design spaces that support the multidisciplinary ways creative makers work.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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