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What do Masters graduates do? - Creative arts

May 2018

While typical Masters graduates tend to work for big businesses, creative arts graduates favour smaller and specialist organisations

Creative arts accounted for 4,730, or 7% of Masters graduates in 2016. This was the smallest graduate cohort, but had numbers comparable with other subject groups. Just over a third (34%) studied part time compared with two thirds (66%) who studied full time.

Subject overview

  • 4,730 graduates
  • 7% of total Masters cohort
  • 66% studied full time
  • 34% studied part time

Outcomes

Creative arts Masters graduates who studied full time were less likely than typical full-time Masters graduates to enter further study. Instead, they were more likely to be in some form of employment.

Part-time work was a popular option for creative arts graduates. Regardless of mode of qualification, the expected proportion of Masters graduates in part-time employment is usually around 12 to 13%. However, in the case of creative arts Masters graduates it was around 32 to 33%.

This could partially be explained by the propensity of creative arts graduates to have portfolio careers, i.e. work in multiple part-time or freelance jobs that holistically provide full-time employment. However, the data shows that 72% of these graduates only had one part-time job. This may be an indication that some creative arts Masters graduates were struggling to find full-time employment.

Supporting this, the full-time employment rate for graduates who studied part time was very low and was unusually similar to that of their full-time counterparts. As a whole, graduates who studied part time were often undertaking continuing professional development (CPD) courses and were consequently more likely to be in full-time employment.

The unemployment rate for creative arts Master graduates who studied full time was more in line with the average. However, this means that creative arts as a subject continues the trend of higher unemployment rates for Masters graduates who studied full time, compared with their undergraduate counterparts.

Outcomes,Creative Arts FT,Creative Arts PT
Full time work,46.64598832,48.76666228
Part time work,33.62250709,30.46306567
Working and studying,2.85942763,2.427193593
Further study,5.137276759,4.183195774
Unemployed,6.282501757,4.188836038
Other,5.452298447,9.971046645

Industries

Creative arts Masters graduates typically found work in the following industries:

  • education
  • arts, sports and leisure
  • retail
  • construction, engineering and research and development (R&D)
  • media and publishing.

Construction, engineering and R&D may come as a surprise. This industry employed 8.5 % of the creative arts Maters graduates who studied full time, and 6.7% of graduates who studied part time, primarily as:

  • designers
  • photographers
  • audiovisual and broadcasting equipment operators.
Industries,Creative Arts FT,Creative Arts PT
Manufacturing,2.753318207,4.082481372
Construction · engineering · research and development,8.483911546,6.6967019
Retail,9.99870681,5.956217871
Logistics,0.352688071,0.750880841
Hospitality and tourism,3.76200609,2.021602264
Media and publishing,6.926205899,5.409807659
IT and telecoms,2.203124816,0.924161035
Legal and accountancy,0.411469416,0.789002484
Management consultancy,0.822938832,1.232599781
Other business and finance,3.279999059,3.426327037
Marketing and PR,1.557705647,1.617281811
Education,20.27662501,31.55663374
Health,1.724056853,2.810604748
Social care,2.781533253,3.234563623
Local and central govt,1.351970939,3.407843817
Arts · sports and leisure,31.28578314,24.18875989
Other industries,2.027956408,1.894530122

Employment

The majority of creative arts graduates were employed in arts and media roles, usually as artists, musicians, actors or authors, with a significant proportion becoming teaching and education professionals.

Considering the two most popular occupations, a split is apparent between graduates who studied full and part time. Graduates who studied part time were evenly spread out between the remaining options, while those who studied full time entered retail and service roles.

Types of work,Creative Arts FT,Creative Arts PT
Managers,3.165774653,5.830887009
Health,1.923951446,2.129741553
Education ,11.55303693,21.28014736
Social and welfare,1.262811768,3.453634951
Science,0.291507795,0.172681748
Engineering,0.796982311,0.727565763
IT,1.894800667,2.340413285
Business and finance,3.000198225,4.221493122
Marketing and sales,5.444199578,4.123640131
Arts and media,44.07889367,36.97922063
Other professionals,4.028637726,4.477062108
Health and education occupations,2.419514698,1.61169631
Clerical and secretarial,6.227189515,5.468255339
Retail and service ,8.053194342,3.327001669
Other occupations,5.859306678,3.741437863
Unknown occupations,0,0.115121165

When it comes to the size of employer, creative arts Masters graduates seemed to prefer small businesses. This is in contrast to typical Masters graduates, who tended to work for very large business with more than a thousand employees.

This could be because many creative arts graduates joined small and specialist arts, literary, media and design-based companies. Creative arts graduates were also more likely to be self-employed. Those who worked for companies with more than a thousand employees were primarily teachers and education professionals in higher education (HE).

Location

There is a correlation between where creative arts Masters graduates found work and where they studied. This is in line with the trend that Masters graduates aren't as mobile as many might expect, although closer inspection of the data shows that creative arts graduates were slightly less mobile than typical Masters graduates.

Unsurprisingly the North West, Scotland and the South were popular locations for both study and work. These locations represent areas that generally have the highest demand for graduates. Both the Bazalgette1 and the Nesta creative nation2 reports highlighted that these were also the areas with the largest creative clusters in the UK.

These reports suggest that many of these clusters centre on cities. The DLHE survey also supports this, with the five most popular destinations being:

  • London
  • Glasgow
  • Surrey
  • Bristol
  • Birmingham.

These five cities cumulatively account for 62% of creative arts Masters graduate employment in 2016. Even within London, the primary employment locations were focused on the major inner boroughs. Creative arts graduates who wish to be successful in the jobs market need to be prepared to work in cities.

Industries,Creative Arts FT,Creative Arts PT
Manufacturing,2.753318207,4.082481372
Construction · engineering · research and development,8.483911546,6.6967019
Retail,9.99870681,5.956217871
Logistics,0.352688071,0.750880841
Hospitality and tourism,3.76200609,2.021602264
Media and publishing,6.926205899,5.409807659
IT and telecoms,2.203124816,0.924161035
Legal and accountancy,0.411469416,0.789002484
Management consultancy,0.822938832,1.232599781
Other business and finance,3.279999059,3.426327037
Marketing and PR,1.557705647,1.617281811
Education,20.27662501,31.55663374
Health,1.724056853,2.810604748
Social care,2.781533253,3.234563623
Local and central govt,1.351970939,3.407843817
Arts · sports and leisure,31.28578314,24.18875989
Other industries,2.027956408,1.894530122

Also in this series

Notes

  1. Independent Review of the Creative Industries, Sir Peter Bazalgette, 2017.
  2. How the creative industries are powering the UK's nations and regions, Creative Nation, 2018.

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