Studying Creative Industries at Ryerson University

The creative industries, also known as the cultural industries, incorporated human creativity as the source of the industries’ goods and services for economic value and intellectual property rights. UNESCO divided the fields of the sectors into cultural and related domains. UNESCO defined the cultural domains as: “cultural and natural heritage, performance and celebration, visual arts and crafts, books and press, audio-visual and interactive media, design and creative services,” and related domains include “tourism, and sports and recreation.” Creative industries are broad, and there are plenty of career choices one can make! Many creative professionals argue that you do not need a degree to excel in a creative field. Networks and applied skills are tremendous values to be successful in these areas. However, you may still need more guidance and knowledge that higher education can offer you. 

Ryerson University offers a program called Creative Industries. It is the first program of its kind in North America. Under the Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD), Creative Industries is an interdisciplinary program “where business savvy meets creative passion,” and it prepares students to work in the creative economy. The program allows you to choose two creative-core modules, varying from fashion, communication, acting/dance, film, visual culture, curatorial practice, journalism, publishing, music industry, media business, and interior design. In addition to creative modules, there are required business courses that include entrepreneurship, management, accounting, human resources, and many more. The program also has a required internship in the upper-year to apply their learnings in real-world situations. Alumni from the program work in various creative companies in the city and beyond, establish their own company or freelance work. 

The Bachelor of Arts program focuses more on theories and business practices within the arts. It is not as practical as the RTA School of Media programs, under the same faculty. Nonetheless, the program prepares you to have skills that can help you succeed in a professional career. The classes help you build a critical thinking process, improve your communication skills, and learn how to collaborate in a group setting.

One of the most common paths people take is to work directly in the production of your preferred field. Whether it is fashion or film, it is great to have experience working on a set. Each faculty has its career centres, and they can help you find opportunities to work on location. FCAD usually will have many student-run productions that fellow students can participate in together. Many students can also find their options outside of school through school job boards or professional networking groups. 

An internship is a requirement to graduate from the Creative Industries program. There are two types of internships you can do: unpaid and paid. Unpaid internships are allowed when it is for school credit. Paid internships are usually run in the summer during school break, where international students can work full-time off-campus. An internship can help you gain more industry connections and get you first-hand experiences working with an established creative business. Many alumni from the program were offered a job after their internship and graduation! It is essential to develop significant connections within the industry. 

After graduation, you can choose to work freelance, utilizing the knowledge and skills you have gained from school, or you can work under a company/agency to help you kickstart your creative careers. The working hours can vary from 9-5 office jobs or flexible production hours. The program’s interdisciplinary approach allows students to become multi-faceted individuals with many transferable skills! The creative industries are dynamic and vastly exciting, and sometimes unpredictable, especially with the pandemic too. It is essential for students to not only develop their hard-skills but also soft-skills as professionals. Having a deep passion for the arts is just the start! It would be best if you also built long-lasting connections and a business-mind to help sustain your career. 

There is no one-size-fits-all for a creative career, but make sure you have all the necessary skills to succeed in your chosen field! 

Source: Ryerson University – Creative Industry UNESCO – What do we Mean by the Cultural and Creative Industries?

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