A peek into the future of Creative Industries – A Covid-19 update (Part 1)

At King’s Careers & Employability, we have an insight to many industries and our team works hard to understand what’s going on in the world of work –  so we can better support graduates build success on their career journeys. In the next two blogs, we’ll unpack some of the current changes to creative industries and give our tips for you to stay on top of your career journey. 

The creative industries, like many others, have been subject to a lot of change due to Covid-19. For graduates thinking about finding work within the creative industries, we gathered industry trends to look out for and what graduates can do today to stay employable and competitive. The information from this blog comes from reports across various industry reports (listed at references) as well as King’s Careers & Employability Employer Engagement team’s conversations with employers, gathered in an internal report by King’s Careers & Employability.


Trend 1) Move to digital is accelerated

Because of the Covid-19 lockdown, a lot of project work across journalism, TV, Film, Radio and Advertising/PR & Comms industries are currently paused or cancelled. Journalism has seen an increased demand in digital resources and a high decline in print media, which will make the industry’s move to digital go even faster. Virtual consumption (streaming of theatre, performance, film, etc) has seen a huge rise – as well as the development of high-quality distance learning solutions. Investment to be working together with creative tech is also a rising trend across health and pharma (for example in 3D printing of medical equipment). In short, while the move to digital was always there, it’s now faster than ever!


How to adapt to this:

Technology skills in creative industries will play an ever-increasing role. While this is good news for tech-savvy graduates, it is possible to anticipate the change and gather a variety of digital skills now, whatever your I.T. background is. To stay on top, we urge students and graduates to keep learning – and prioritise learning through practical projects done both by yourself and collaboratively with others. If you can, try to develop your knowledge about virtual delivery in the context of your chosen field. A good start for this is King’s Careers Sector Guides – find links to industry knowledge, publications, networks… and get learning!


Image of futurist architecture buildings

Trend 2) Paused projects are everywhere across the creative industries

We can all imagine how consumer behaviour has changed recently – the creative industry has seen this as a large reduction in business. What does this mean for specific sectors? Many advertisement agencies are pausing work or adapting to campaigns that align only with specific services that are currently in demand (for example Non-Governmental Organisations, Charities, GOV support, Financial Support and Legal Advice). For music, there is a wide focus on producing content with individual and independent artists as lack of in-studio production and live music is likely to persist. The industry is, however, expecting a boom in 2021, anticipating that social distancing is lifted, and audiences will return to experience live entertainment.


How to adapt to this:

It’s good to keep your eyes open and research what your chosen industry is facing at the moment! By taking this time to understand the impact of Covid-19 on the creative industries, you will know what to upskill on and what relevant experience will be useful in your chosen field as the changes settle into a new normal. Read more on our Keats pages about tips to develop your commercial awareness (the snazzy name for keeping up with trends and news in your industry!) by clicking here, then navigating to “Developing your knowledge about sectors and organisations” to read our guidance.


Image of mic in front of a laptop


Trend 3) Self-employment and freelance work is on the rise

Industry reports and feedback from employers suggest that there will be an increase in businesses hiring self-employed and freelancers. Businesses who are currently cutting costs and managing an uncertain economic period will want to turn to the talent that can be employed by a short-term project or task basis (1). This will mean that more freelance work opportunities will open up in the market which helps bring a reassuring message around the job security of the self-employed. However, the other side of this trend does mean that companies’ recruitment for hiring longer-term, such as those year-long roles, is likely paused for the time being.


How to adapt to this

Maybe you’ve started thinking about the possibility of going freelance instead of the traditional employee route? Or maybe you’re well on your way to a career as a freelancer and could benefit from some further support… Well, you’re in luck! Wherever you are on your career journey, King’s Careers & Employability is here for you, with our Self-employment and Freelance Keats pages. Here you can learn more about self-employment and the many things to keep in mind as you start building success, or to help you consider whether this is the career route for you.


Planning to enter the creative industries after graduation? King’s Careers & Employability are here for you – don’t forget, you are able to stay in touch with us, book appointments and practice interviews for up to 2 years after departing King’s! 


But wait, there’s more… click here to read Part 2 of the blog!


References for reports

(1)The role of freelancers in the 21st-century British economy report by Centre for Research on Self-Employment in 2012

Coronavirus report  by the Association of Independent Professionals and the Self Employed in 2020.

Creative Industries Foresight 2030 report