Learning and working in the creative industries

Find out about standards, opportunities and careers

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What's the work like?

What kind of careers are found along this pathway?

There is a broad range of careers in this Pathway that suit many interests and personality types. You could be the star of the show or run the show. You could work independently to create amazing art or with groups of people in your local community to maintain and grow our cultural, sporting, and recreation opportunities. Or you could help every client feel great about how they look.

You could also be working from the comfort of your own home, creating games for international businesses or with others to provide virtual reality experiences. Or you could be contributing to how we see ourselves in our world and connect with our world through advertising, journalism, and the written word.

Working for yourself as a small business owner or freelancer is common in many of the industries in this sector. It can be very rewarding and a great way to make a living, especially if you also develop your own basic accounting, marketing, project management, and self-promotion skills.

Examples of jobs in this Pathway include:

Art and design

Hands-on art and design, hairdressing, beauty, fashion, advertising, visual media and communication. 

Broadcast, screen and interactive media

Broadcast and screen media, including film, radio, television and online interactive media, advertising and the game development industry.

Enabling technologies

Innovative and emerging technology platforms, products and services for industry and end-users, including artificial intelligence, cyber security, virtual reality and software as a service (SaaS).

Expressive arts

Expressive art forms and technologies in music, stage, theatre, events, dance and creative writing.

Sports, recreation and culture

Sport and recreation, as well as cultural organisations such as parks, zoos, galleries, libraries, archives and museums.

Taonga practitioners and compositors

Includes specialists in the creation and composition of taonga works and the oral arts, such as weavers, carvers, tohunga tā moko, writers, musicians, mōteatea and kapa haka performers, composers and choreographers, visual artists, designers, waka and wharenui designers and builders.

Where might you end up?

This is a great sector to develop a variety of skills and experience in many different fields. You could start off as a runner or assistant and work your way up to being a film producer or event manager. You could also go on to become a famous artist, musician, actor, designer, writer or director.

You could also keep our taonga safe and traditional arts alive or work in organisations that provide sports, recreation, and cultural opportunities for Aotearoa New Zealanders and visitors.

What's great about this industry?

And why is it important to New Zealand?

People in the creative, cultural, recreation and technology industries help us to discover and communicate who we are and the things we value as human beings and as world citizens. They help us understand and communicate our cultural diversity past and present and they can become cultural ambassadors. They tell our stories and help shape the future.

This sector is also at the forefront of technological advances, game development, and cybersecurity.


This is me. How do I follow this pathway?

Plan a course and track standards for careers in this sector.

You’ll need NCEA Level 2 for a good foundation for success in entry level jobs or apprenticeships. You may need to first get University Entrance for other jobs. Use the Profile Builder to see how well your subject selection helps prepare you with skills and knowledge valued by industries and employers in this sector.

To make the most of your opportunities, you will then need to complete qualifications by undertaking further study and training. Whether you can do this while working (for example, as an apprentice) or need to study on-campus will vary depending on which career you choose to focus on.