Fields of Study That Will Spark Your Creativity
In an increasingly analytical and automated world, creativity can sometimes seem to be falling by the wayside. So many jobs come down to hard numbers and facts, and so many careers depend on exact qualifications and certifications, that at the very least we tend to prioritize creativity behind checking boxes.
As understandable as this can be, there’s also an argument to be made that it’s a mistake. This past summer, in a post titled ‘And Creativity for All’, we referred to creativity as “invisible and necessary” — a force that “fosters innovation and nurtures talent.” These are important words to take to heart, as all too often we treat creativity instead almost as something that gets in the way. And part of taking the idea to heart — for some — may mean refocusing education in a way that sparks and supports (rather than suppresses) creativity.
Of course, this is an idea that could lead us down countless roads relating to specific subjects. There are fields of study and available degrees in everything from architecture to art history that can nurture the creatively inclined. We want to look more generally though at some major fields of study today that, in addition to leading toward numerous jobs and career paths, actually serve to support and inspire creative interests.
Computer science is a fascinating field of study, in that it was once viewed as something of a dry space leading to dull careers (think of those sad, shirtsleeve-clad drones in the classic Mike Judge comedy Office Space), but is now viewed as a lucrative field. Actually, growth in computer science studies is booming to the point that a lot of college students who want in are having trouble finding space in classes; according to reports from the high-ranking compsci department at the University of Texas, last year saw 3,300 first-year students seeking to declare a major in computer science. This more than doubled the tally from 2014.
The main reason for this growing interest is that computer science leads to six-figure salaries! But it’s also becoming a decidedly creative field in which people can innovate, invent, and challenge themselves — which, we’d contend, is good for the world. Computer science today means developing programs, working out new ways to use data, solving security issues, and more. It’s a tremendous space for creative minds to operate in.
Once upon a time, education was a relatively dry field of study — or at least a fairly static one. But today, it’s anything but. We happen to live in a time in which ideas about education are changing fairly rapidly. From which subjects we prioritize at which levels, to how we handle assignments and assessments, to actual methods of education (distance learning in 2020, anyone?), there’s a lot of change going on. Studying to be an educator allows you to jump into that change and play a role in shaping how we’ll teach the next generations to come. That doesn’t necessarily mean you get to take a free-for-all approach in any job you ultimately secure in education. But you can certainly have more creative input and freedom to experiment than teachers in past generations.
Digital media can refer to many things, and somewhat like computer science it may even sound dry to those who haven’t considered it closely. The truth though is that this is one of the most dynamic and creative fields of study in existence today. Maryville University’s write-up on online digital media degrees has done a nice job of conveying the diverse range of career paths one can take with an education in this subject — including graphic design, web design, digital media specialty, and even motion graphics design.
All of these are notably creative fields to work in, and represent careers in which your own inventiveness can help you advance just as easily as any degree or qualification. They’re exactly what many creatives are looking for in a world that can seem to be valuing creativity less and less.
Psychology is perhaps our least surprising inclusion on this list. It’s a field of study that has always led to creative and engaging work opportunities, in everything from counseling, to advertising, to intelligence. Almost by definition, psychology pushes students to learn how to decipher situations and figure things out via their own ingenuity, which is in and of itself a creative process. And this is certainly one field of study that hasn’t changed much today, in terms of the career potential it yields. A focus on or degree in psychology can open up all sorts of interesting opportunities that allow you to flex your creative muscles.
Entrepreneurship is a bit of an odd field of study, because in some cases the very concept of becoming an entrepreneur runs counter to that of getting a conventional education. As Business.com’s article on “getting rich without college” reminds us, traditional education “isn’t the only route to financial freedom,” or to successful entrepreneurship for that matter. Indeed, there are countless examples of people who have started their own businesses without ever studying to do anything remotely related to those businesses’ focuses.
Nevertheless, if you’re looking for something to study that sparks creativity rather than suppressing it, entrepreneurism can still be a fascinating subject! Studying in this area will mean learning business structures, developing strategies for growth, and ultimately finding out how to grow a business. These aren’t parts of any by-the-book formula though, so much as broad, general guidelines within which you can one day put your own creativity to work.
Ultimately these are not the only fields of study in which creativity can still thrive. But they’re definitely among the most prominent (and interesting), and that makes them important to consider! Creativity is not dead despite the increasingly analytical nature of our world, and it’s vital that people recognize this in pursuing their own studies and career paths. Pursuing any of the areas discussed above can lead to successful, modern careers that actively embrace and foster creativity.
exclusively written for disruptorleague.com By Cecilia Mayer