'Creativity' still has meaning in online job adverts, finds Nesta

A study of some 35million creative jobs online over a four-year period has come back with findings that "may surprise the cynics," its authors say.

In fact, despite concerns that anything from a coffee shop job to a bank role can be termed ‘creative,’ the study found 'creativity' as a requirement is 4.3 times more prominent in openings for occupations identified by the government as within the creative industries.

In other words, 'creativity' as a trait or skill that the sought-after applicant should possess is barely mentioned in job adverts for the vast majority of general openings, found Nesta, which analysed online job adverts between 2013 and 2017.

Graphic Designer jobs, for example, are some 20 times more likely to mention 'creativity' than Medical Practitioner jobs, and 13 times more likely than Management Consultant jobs.

Even vacancies for managers of Research and Development, where experimental methods and innovation are key, emerged as four times less likely than standard Graphic Designer jobs to list 'creativity' as a prerequisite.

"In this regard, ‘creativity’ isn’t a term like ‘communication skills’ -- another transferable skill -- that is used so commonly in adverts that it risks being meaningless," wrote Nesta in a report on the findings, Creativity and the Future of Skills.

"Despite being used in adverts for occupations across the workforce the requirement for

‘creativity’ is 4.3 times more important in adverts for occupations on the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport list of ‘Creative Occupations.’"

Report authors Eliza Easton and Jyldyz Djumalieva cautioned that there are some exceptions, but generally creativity is much more present and prominent in jobs for the likes of artists, architects, advertisers and designers.

"Although it may seem ubiquitous, far from every job advert lists ‘creativity’ as a requirement," Ms Easton reflected.

"Job adverts for the DCMS Creative Occupations official list are still far more likely to ask for it. Strikingly, jobs asking for creativity are also much more likely to grow as a percentage of the workforce by the year 2030."


5th December 2018

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