Hands-on learning brings creative industry to life through transferable workplace skills

As employers are increasingly looking for graduates with transferable workplace skills, meaning those whose education incorporated hands-on experience, Shaunagh Conway, Events & Outreach Officer at Backstage Academy, highlights the benefits of pursuing practical and immersive higher education.

Many students, particularly those interested in pursuing careers in the live events and creative industries, are looking for higher education institutions that offer a diverse range of experiential education opportunities to not only bring learning to life, but also to equip them with sought-after transferable workplace skills and experience.

The reason for this is that students often only have a general idea about what a particular career is like – they don’t always understand what a typical day might look like. As such, they are keen to attend institutions which offer immersive experiences as this enable them to get a taste for various roles to determine which one is right for them. Additionally, it gives students a good idea of what the industry entails and what challenges they may face.

Unparalleled experience

Through practical education, students have the opportunity to complete projects, engage with job-specific tasks, and learn specialised techniques under the direct supervision of active and experienced industry professionals. In the live events and creative industries these are usually not your everyday academics, but professionals at the top of their game. Under their tutelage, students get to create unique and ambitious projects that push the boundaries of creativity and expression.

Being taught by industry professionals goes hand in hand with learning to use cutting edge technology. Rather than simply learning about various types of equipment and how it might be useful for different jobs, students exposed to practical training have the opportunity to learn about, use, and sharpen their technical skills while studying. This means that when the time comes for them to transition to the workplace, they won’t have to spend time learning how to physically operate tools and equipment on the job as they have already gained hands-on experience.

Enhanced employability and transferable workplace skills

The goal of most universities with a strong practical component is to deliver creative and critical thinkers who possess the academic, practical, technical and professional capabilities required by industry. By enabling students to gain hands-on experience throughout their education, such institutions ensure that the transition to the working world for students is minimal.

Attending a higher education institution which offers a diverse range of experiential education opportunities not only allows students to gain practical experience, thus boosting their confidence in their abilities, but also assures employers that the new graduates they employ have gained the experience and training needed to work with a high level of independence and competence.

Additionally, when students are taught by professionals who are active in the industry, they can network from day one. In nearly every industry, a strong network can play a vital role in finding a job and building a successful career following graduation.

Higher education with a difference

An institution which prides itself on immersing students in industry from day one is Backstage Academy. Located on campus at Production Park in Yorkshire, the world’s premier campus for live events, film, TV and virtual production, it offers undergraduate and postgraduate degrees, short courses, bespoke training programmes and e-learning for the live events and creative industries.

Backstage Academy is unique in that it offers a campus like no other. Production Park is an international destination of choice for technically challenging live productions. Home to a community of live events businesses and six studios, it is the only place on earth where pioneering work is continually fed back into the educational ecosystem. Additionally, studying at Backstage offers students the exclusive opportunity to work with and learn from the leading designers, artists, technicians, producers and managers in the industry.

When it comes to higher education for creative careers, the importance of offering practical, skills-based education must not be underestimated. With the live events industry calling out for creative individuals that ‘know how to do things’, those looking to pursue a career in the live events and creative industries should seek out an institution with an immersive, hands-on approach which will equip them with the practical skills they need to succeed in the working world.

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