Being a student at LSE, you might be slightly overwhelmed by the amount of people you meet who are planning on going onto banking or consulting after their degree, and feel that’s it’s unavoidable that you have to do the same.
However, this career path is not inevitable just because you’ve studied with us. LSE students go on to do a huge range of more creatively-minded careers too, including journalism, publishing, and broadcasting.
Your course should encourage you to ‘think outside the box’ at all times, so don’t feel boxed in when it comes to your career. At LSE Careers we can help, so here’s a quick list of the most popular creative industries and some information for how to get into them. Don’t worry if none of these appeal though; book an appointment to come and see one of our consultants to talk through what would be best for you.
These sectors and more have profiles on both Vault Guides which you will be able to access if you are a current student. We also have a selection of books in the Careers Resource Centre on Floor 5 of the Saw Swee Hock Building.
Journalism is a huge field that offers a great range of roles. Whether you want to report the news or edit articles, there should be a role for you. Good research and communication skills are a must no matter what strand of journalism that you’re interested in, and you can demonstrate these in a number of ways.
Your degree will show that you have strong research skills as you need to research every essay, so make sure you can talk about the different kinds of research you’ve had to do, eg. print resources, interviews, surveys, data analysis etc., and how you came to conclusions in your work. Starting a blog is a great way to show off your communication skills in addition to your research interests.
- Careers library
- Vault Guide
- Graduate profiles: Editorial Chief at Ringier Studios and Associate Editor at Newsweek Pakistan
2. Advertising and marketing
Advertising is big business, and in the long run can give you the opportunity to have a huge impact on society and popular culture. Staying on top of popular media and technology is essential to get ahead for this sector, and you’ll need to do your research as to what companies would be best for your skills and interests.
At entry level, you’ll probably go into account services where the relationship between client and company is built and maintained. You need to show that you’re organised and good with people, for which you can discuss any team projects you’ve done during your degree. If you can, try and get an internship for some relevant work experience and a chance to network with people already in the industry.
- Recruitment timeline for internships and graduate schemes
- Vault guide
- Graduate profiles: Marketing and PR Assistant at BCG and Marketing role, UK Retail at Shell
The music industry consists of a huge range of employment possibilities, from creating music through performance or engineering, to the promoting, marketing, and managing of other performers and musicians. The music industry is intensely competitive, but can also be very rewarding.
If you want to go into a more corporate role rather than composing or performing, it’s still very important to have a good understanding of the industry, including the genres of music that individual labels represent, their goals, profits, and the challenges that face them. With digital streaming (and pirate downloading) becoming a key way that people access music, the industry is in a difficult state of flux which you need to show that you can cope with.
4. Creative freelancing
This can apply to almost anything: copywriting, design, web developing, music, or even creative writing. Creative freelancing has the huge bonus that you get to work for yourself on something that you’re hopefully both good at and love doing.
Going freelance can be tough though, and with no guarantee on income you do have to make sure that you have a fallback if you experience a particularly slow month or two, especially when you’re just starting out. However, having been a student for a year or more should give you a great foundation in terms of organising your time and finances, so use this to help you when you start establishing yourself.
Remember that going freelance isn’t just about utilising your creative talents. You’re also going to need to be your own accountant, marketer, and line manager, so prepare thoroughly before jumping straight in.
5. Social media
Working in social media (often within a general communications role) is a great way to show your voice to the world, depending on your employer. As social media is such an important part of promoting and maintaining a company’s image, they will often allow social media managers to be more creative so that they stand out from the competition. For this reason, you need to be able to show that you can think outside the box and are well-informed in both popular culture and the newest technologies.
Your degree can help you in terms of demonstrating that you can keep up to date with the latest trends in your field, and you can use any project work you’ve done to show good communication skills and the ability to work to deadlines. For some social media work it may be best to have a blog or similar so that you can really show off your abilities to potential employers and demonstrate your commitment to creating engaging content.
- Careers blog: Insider tips – working in communications
- Event: Mapping social media for brands
- Vault Guide
6. TV, film, and radio
We’ve conflated this category to include TV, film, and radio for efficiency, but really all three are very different industries with a huge range of careers that you can go into. You don’t necessarily have to be an aspiring actor or vocal talent to get a job within these industries.
Depending on what kind of role you’re interested in, you should first start researching studios and stations that appeal to you and find out exactly what you need to get in there. It’s a good idea to start getting involved in podcasts and film-making independently to prove your passion for the industry and show that you already have skills that they’re looking for.
You can also use skills learned in your degree within these creative industries even if you want to go into something more corporate-based. Studios and productions require accountants, lawyers, and analysts as much as banks and consulting firms do, so it’s worth checking out their available roles.
- Careers library
- Graduate profiles: Assistant Producer at BBC and Country Director for Sudana at BBC World Service Trust
In recent years publishing has expanded from traditional book and magazine production into ebooks, websites, blogs, and more. To work in publishing you need to show that you’ve got an inquisitiveness and enthusiasm for new ideas, which you can absolutely prove as you’ve studied at LSE. You can talk about what you were passionate about during your course, and how this passion translates to the publishing industry.
Getting an internship, along with extensive networking, will also help you break into the sector. Have a look for publishing companies that you’re interested in through the “Organisations” tab on CareerHub, and then follow them to receive notifications of job roles and events that they run with us.
Obviously creative careers expand to much more than these sectors listed, so do some research into what kind of thing you’d want to do. It’s also worth following the organisations you’re interested in on CareerHub, and book an appointment if you want to talk your options over with us!