Parents don’t value the career prospects of creative subjects, says new survey

15 August 2019

Today as A-Level students open their results letters with trepidation, a new survey reports that creative subjects are still seen by UK parents as the least valuable to their children’s future career prospects.

The survey of 1000 parents of under-18-year-olds was commissioned by higher education academy Escape Studios to analyse whether the growth of the creative sector had impacted the regard of the arts in education. Depressingly, but perhaps unsurprisingly, it found that most parents still valued traditional academic subjects more highly than creative ones, with 75% of parents seeing Maths and English as more lucrative than arts and new technology.

The results come despite statistics from the Creative Industries Council that show there are an estimated 2.04 million jobs in the sector across the UK, with 75% of them outside London and new jobs being developed faster than any other sector. A further report from the Creative Industries Federation forecasts that another one million jobs could be added to the sector by 2030.

When asked which degrees would be most valuable from a lifelong career perspective, survey respondents chose computing (13%), medicine (12%) and engineering (11%) as the top three choices, with arts ranked last at 2%. Almost half said they would try to influence the degree their teenager chooses to study at university. The most important school subjects were listed as: Maths (67%), English (62%) and Computing (54%). Crafts, Music, Art and Design each received less than 20%.

“Children that adopt to technology at an early age learn skills that offer them a better chance of getting a job in the digital sectors,” commented Ian Palmer, director of Escape Studios. “We know there is a wealth of opportunity in terms of roles that are also future-proof. It’s predicted that 87% of creative jobs are resistant to automation, creating a very resilient creative workforce.”

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About the Author

Jenny Brewer

After five years as It’s Nice That’s news editor, Jenny became online editor in June 2021, now overseeing the website’s daily editorial output. Contact her with stories, pitches and tips relating to the creative industries on

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