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So you want a Creative career…

People say you’re artistic, or you love to draw, or you sketch clothes or like to take photos. You have ideas, use your imagination, and love to create things from scratch. So when it’s time to choose your college major or you embark on a job search, the question you need to be asking is: What creative skills are in demand so I can have a good career?

There are many types of professions where you get to be creative, and here are just a few:

• Graphic Designer
• Photographer
UI Designer
Web Designer
Interior Designer
User Experience Designer
Fashion Designer

Unfortunately, the demand for some of these professions is quite low. Your location also makes a huge difference in what jobs will be available. So do you research BEFORE you jump into school or a career. See what jobs are out there, and in what area, first.

Reality Check

Sometimes we take technology for granted and can miss some of the ways to use it effectively when planning a career or embarking on a job search. Great news! You have the ability to see, for free, how many jobs in a certain field are in your area by using the largest job posting aggregator in the country, I would suggest setting up an alert there, so you get notified every time a certain job is posted. It's a great way to keep your eye on what's happening in the field you think you want to go into.

For example, here's information I gleaned about the creative jobs listed above for the Chicago area on a recent day:


Looks like Writing wins as far as abundance of open positions, but it’s helpful to know what type of writing the majority of these jobs require. Do you want to write technical specifications for machine tools? Thrilled about writing a research grant? Can’t wait to get started writing the product description of the latest anti-depressant? If not, you may be disappointed. Most writing jobs are NOT 100% creative. Unfortunately, the Mad Men-type copywriting gigs are limited and the competition is fierce.

So what about your love for photography, drawing, or gaming? Unfortunately, full-time jobs in photography or illustration are rare, thanks to technology. And game design jobs in Chicago? Not likely; the West Coast is where gaming has congregated.

Creative or Technical? Be Both!

There are many other career paths a creative person can take. For example, if you like your creative mixed with some tech, consider a career in Design Engineering, Mechanical Design, Software Design or Web Development.

Web development is a hot career with no downward trend in sight. A check of for Chicago area Developer opportunities showed over 1,700 jobs! You might want to check out a class on coding to see if this is something that would appeal to you. Who knows? You may find that creating web pages that work satisfies your creative urges.

And one last word to those high school students investigating colleges: Remember that just because a school offers a curriculum or major in a particular field, that does not automatically mean that there are a good supply of jobs you can get upon graduation. Our university system is designed to educate you – not to arm you with what you need to get a job.   

So do your research, talk to people already in the field, and intern if possible. With realistic expectations, you can find a way to use your creativity as your career.