Jobs in the Creative Economy: “But I’m not an artist!”

Jobs where you are paid to think

Even if you are not an artist, creative writer, or musician, there are still careers in the creative economy that might be for you.

What is the Creative Economy, anyway?
The Creative Economy has many elements, including the arts and humanities such as visual art, music, and literature. Many artists can make a living  making and selling their own artwork.

The Creative Economy also includes other types of activities, businesses, and organizations. At its most basic, the creative economy is the “ideas” business. It’s about turning ideas into products, services, and solutions to help individuals improve their lives and  make our communities  better places to live. Workers engaged in the creative economy can build a better mousetrap, help people work together more effectively, and make our society function more smoothly.

What kinds of jobs are you talking about?
Creative Occupations have been called jobs where people are paid to think. They cut across industry sectors and include high-tech manufacturing, engineering, the sciences and math, human and health services, computer services, education, and public administration. They are sometimes called “knowledge work” and usually require higher education such as a Bachelor’s degree.

It’s estimated that 36 million Americans, or about one third of the workforce, hold creative class jobs. These jobs pay 60 percent more than the average salary and have been far less vulnerable in the recession, averaging just half the level of the overall unemployment rate. In Maine, more people are now employed in the creative economy than in the woods products industry.

Some creative economy jobs might not be apparent at first glance. For example, in education, not only is there a need for teachers but also for people making educational products such as videos, web materials, and print materials. Behind the scenes, many expanding businesses rely on creativity and innovation for growth. The growing science and technology industries are based on research and development by creative workers.

And, there are jobs in the arts industry itself for non-artists. All those arts organizations need accountants, computer systems administrators, marketing people (i.e. writers, speakers, and designers), digital communication experts, and managers. And they need those employees to be creative thinkers about their jobs and comfortable in a creative environment.


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