Find that spark

Gone are the days where people flocked to mainstream career paths and now choose to follow more creative educational pathways

March 11, 2021 12:14 pm | Updated 12:14 pm IST

Freepik

Freepik

The traditional opinion that the sole purpose of education is to secure a job has changed. Now with many youngsters realising that niche skills and specialisations in different streams can be pursued, there has been a rise rise in the demand for non-traditional and creative skills.

In the last three years, as many as 1,359 photography schools, 822 fashion design schools, 1,338 design schools and 270 colleges of graphic design have been established in India. The number excludes several institutions that offer similar creative courses online. Further, students are also receiving support to turn their skills into a fruitful career and sustainable businesses.

Beyond the traditional

High-school graduates are spoiled for choice when it comes to future studies. Earlier, you either went into medical studies, engineering, commerce or humanities. While encouragement for unconventional studies from parents was rare back then, today a creative calling or an uncoventional career isn’t a symbol of instability or profligacy.

According to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), in 2016-17, almost 51% of the 15.5 lakh undergraduate seats in 3,291 engineering colleges in India were vacant and the percentage of students choosing engineering, sciences and commerce degrees has reduced from 22.5% to 14% in the last five years. A 2017 study by the British Council estimates the money spent on creative education in India was ₹250 million. This can be attributed to a change in people’s perception of creative courses as well as building a conducive educational environment with a choice of both on-campus and online college courses.

What’s changed?

Youngsters want to make a career in something they are passionate about and are willing to accept challenges and risk. With easy access to various online learning platforms, students are also willing to look beyond traditional options.

Many industries have now incorporated innovative divisions that align design, content and technology. From mobile apps to digital marketing and social media businesses, the world is adopting a creative vision at large.

The job market has also seen a radical shift, thanks to the evolving digital economy. Photographers, for instance, no longer require clients to walk into their studio. They can work across many industries like F&B, events, children and even pets through their social media pages. Fashion and jewellery designers can now sell their products online without having to invest in opening a store. Writers and literature enthusiasts can self-publish more easily than ever, join the content development division of companies and align their skills to core disciplines or even freelance. Graphic designers now offer their services to healthcare, filmmaking, advertising, the music industry, and many others.

Therefore, the connotation of having a creative profession is no longer negative. It’s fascinating to see that, in a country where mainstream education was once the only choice for a profitable career, more people are now receptive to learning creative courses and carving a niche for themselves.

The writer is CEO of Hunar Online Courses

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