Students graduating in the “creative” industries are terrified about job prospects and the official government figures support that fear. Mike Mandel breaks out the bad-news numbers and they are awful. The only positive thing to say is that the decline in jobs for creatives appears to be bottoming out, setting the stage for a rebound in 2010 (or maybe by year-end 2009).
The hardest-hit creatives are in design, media, the arts, writing, photography, music, dance, entertainment and sports. Architects are lumped in with engineers in government statistics—and they’re both down sharply.
Here is Mike’s table of employment woe:
BAD NEWS IN PROFESSION-WORLD
percent change in employment
August ‘08- April ‘09*
Computer and mathematical occupation -9.3%
Engineering and architecture occupations -10.3%
Life, physical, and social science occupations -2.3%
Arts, design, entertainment, sports, and media occupations -11.5%
So here’s a tip to mayors and CEOs and non-profits and consultancies around the world—BUY creative capital NOW. It’s CHEAP. Six, months, a year from now, when the global economy is picking up steam, creativity will cost a lot more.
One concept from my graduating students at Parsons—Mayor Bloomberg and other mayors around the US listen up—spend a few million bucks for internships for grads this summer. Corporations are cutting back on interns (they are idiots, by the way, since interns are the cheapest form of fresh creativity you can get), and a bit of public money can keep the newest creatives in town to jump-start innovation and economic growth. This is a brilliant idea.
Another brilliant idea from the students—bring in InnoCentive or some other networking, social media company, to link up smart student ideas with investors and business. I personally have seen dozens of concepts, many with sophisticated business strategies, generated by graduating seniors. Grads in “creative” fields doing great senior thesis work are a deep pool of potential economic growth.
Who wants to help me set up an ecosystem that taps their potential?
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