Young Canadians very eager to work in creative fields

A survey reveals the vast majority of people under 30 are interested in creative roles, but feel they lack business knowledge.

Nearly half of young Canadians are “very interested” in creative roles, while a majority are similarly interested in pursuing behind-the-scenes roles.

That’s according to findings from “The Future of the Creative Workforce,” a survey of 1,000 young Canadians (500 Gen Z and 500 millennials under 30) conducted by Ontario Creates and Vice Media Group to better gauge awareness and interest in creative industry careers, as well as skills and support required to succeed in the country’s current cultural media landscape.

The survey reveals 94% of young Canadians are interested in creative roles, with 48% considering themselves “very interested.” Also, 94% are interested in behind-the-scenes roles in creative industries, particularly in in the sectors they themselves are genuine fans of – gaming, music, film, television, and social media. The report finds that 51% of respondents are “very interested” in these behind the scenes roles, and men being slightly more familiar with behind-the-scenes roles than females, and seemingly more interested in these opportunities.

The fact that there is an overlap between cultural interests and career aspirations aligns with the fact that 50% of young people consider work an important part of their identity, while 60% of respondents consider themselves “creative” and say the pandemic has not had an impact on their willingness to work in a creative field.

“As we begin to reemerge from the pandemic, we are entering an era filled with new ideas and highly creative young generations,” says Julie Arbit, global SVP of insights at Vice Media Group. “To realize the full potential, we need to develop a toolkit for the culture makers and cultural business leaders of the future that addresses their shifting definition of success and needs around work and education.”

“The Future of the Creative Workforce” study also reveals a higher level of vocational experimentation than previous generations, with half of young people saying they are constantly exploring new things to try when it comes to job opportunities.

The report also points out that with growing interest in creative fields, comes heightened competition in the space, with many young creatives citing “business knowledge” – invoicing, taxes, and negotiating salaries – as the key area where they are lacking in expertise.

Mentorship is also important in behind-the-scenes roles, with half of respondents seeking out career advice to help advance their careers and 64% sharing that networking is crucial to finding a job in a creative industry.

Meanwhile, 78% of respondents say work-life balance is the most important consideration for a potential job, though they recognized creative industry careers often require long hours.

There is also a large desire to see different types of representation based on gender, sexual identity and ethnicity, with 60% of respondents saying creative fields should actively recruit talent from different industries to provide more visibility and diversity.