Parental support for creative careers grows

March 24, 2010, 9:30 PM GMT+0

Law or medicine? Banking or dentistry? Traditionally, these were the professions most likely to please Mum and Dad. But the career zeitgeist appears to be changing.

A considerable majority (73%) of British parents with a child of 19 years or under would be very supportive of their child if they wanted to pursue a career in the creative industries, a new survey on behalf of Creativity, Culture & Education (CCE) has revealed.

The result challenges the usual conception of which professions parents stereotypically support and signals a move away from the ‘traditional’ towards more creative industries such as performance arts, dance, acting and music. While parents are broadly supportive of careers in creative industries, though, they do still hold reservations about the industries themselves.

Of greatest concern (33%) was the lack of stability offered by creative roles, especially when they entail self-employment and short-term contracts. However, while the creative industries have characteristically been noted for their short-term contracts and lack of stability, the worldwide economic crisis has led to a perception that previously solid financial and legal professions are no longer the stable prospects they once were, with even the most successful banks and law firms being forced to make redundancies, deferrals and job shares. This may explain the extent of parental support for alternative careers.

Concern over stability was followed closely by worries over poor pay in the creative industries, which 15% of parents cited as their main concern. After all, many may pursue a creative career largely because they may not be primarily motivated by monetary gain; few careers pay as lucratively as those in more ‘traditional’ sectors, unless you are one of the very lucky few.

And with only six percent of parents claiming that jobs within the creative industries do not represent a ‘high flying’ career choice, it seems that sooner or later, the creative industries could usurp banking, law, dentistry and medicine as the subjects of social competition between parents across the country.

For survey details and full results, please click here