Young creatives urged to take up coding for future roles

codingLong gone are the days when creatives could turn up for work armed with just a set of Magic Markers and a Pantone guide, but things are only likely to get even more serious, with a working knowledge of coding, augmented reality, public speaking, trend identification and user experience being seen as vital skills for the future.
So says new research from in-house agency specialist Oliver, which canvassed 200 creatives working across FMCG, beauty, finance, media, healthcare and automotive, to identify which key skills they believe the next generation of creatives will need for success.
These top five skills comprised nearly half (44%) of the vote. Aside from an almost unanimous consensus on “creative thinking”, 10% of respondents cited coding for the top score, 9% for augmented reality, 9% for trend identification, 8% for public speaking and another 8% for user experience.
The in-house study also found that nearly a fifth (19%) of creatives working on beauty brands believe coding is one of the top skills, with none of them opting for 3D or VR. Some 17% identified user experience as the key skill
On a similar note, FMCG’s top scorers were 3D, AR and VR, each taking up 13% of the vote, amounting to a total of 39% for these three skills alone – despite scoring low in other sectors.
For creatives working in finance, public speaking and trend identification took top billing, both scoring 15% of the vote, while creatives in media named the three strongest skills as writing, trend identification and Adobe Suite, each amassing 17% of the vote.
Finally, writing is considered the top skill by 33% of automotive creatives.
In terms of qualitative response, even those voting for ‘technical’ skills such as AI, AR, VR and coding agreed that heart and emotion are vital for any creative. The automation of certain manual jobs is inevitable, but creatives are not keen on bestowing AI capabilities with a right side to their figurative brains.
When it came to bespoke skills, creatives in media desired what they called a “hacker mindset”, urging newcomers to go far and beyond to solve challenges rather than just take the easy route.
In terms of trends, media creatives pointed to the growing voice assistant market as something newcomers should invest their “superskills” in.
FMCG creatives are eager to hire new team-members with both computer science and creative qualifications, which attests to its scientific but ultimately “big idea”, customer-centric preferences when it comes to 3D, AR and VR.
While most industry creatives expressed interest in hiring those with behavioural science backgrounds, healthcare’s focus was almost entirely centred here.
Oliver senior creative director for EMEA Frederico Roberto said: “We always hear from the C-suite when it comes to the next generation of creatives, but I always thought it made more sense to ask the current crop. Who do they want stepping into their shoes? It’s a fascinating peek behind the curtain, and affirmation for those currently on course to join the ranks in years to come.”

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