Creative and digital skills: The right mix for the future

Picture of Stéphane Joiris

Stéphane Joiris

Creative Partner at Adjust

6 min read

Digital skills and the ability to communicate well in a digital world are pretty much a no-brainer. If you are a “digital native” yourself, this is so self-evident that you might even struggle to frame a precise definition1. But equally important - and often cited as an antidote in the face of automation and rapid growth of AI -, are the so-called creative skills.

Some experts point out that both skillsets are increasingly intersecting, to the point that they “should no longer be considered separate on an educational level, as creative jobs are ever more imbued with digital know-how2”. What exactly do these “createch” skills encompass and what roles or workforce profiles are we talking about? Here are the main takeaways of a 2019 study led by the PEC, which draws upon more than 3 million jobs adverts published between 2011 and 2018.


Before we dive into the technicalities and skills themselves, let’s have a look at the 10 most important roles 3 that require some sort and some level of “createch skills”. If graphic designers are the first to flash through your mind, you got it right. They are topping the list established by the PEC, immediately followed by photographers, audiovisual and broadcasting equipment operators. Artists – illustrators, animators, 3D artists or VFX specialists -, and art officers, directors or producers are also among the most cited profiles, along with product, clothing and related designers. Coming next are Web designers and developers (think front end development). Among those in charge of direct verbal communication, we will obviously find actors, presenters and entertainers, journalists and editors, authors, writers and translators. And because no message or content can hit home if not properly positioned and amplified, marketing associate professionals also make the list. They combine analytics and a solid knowledge of media with a knack for sharing stories and spreading the word. At Adjust, we know what it means (and what it takes) :-).


But what exactly are those “createch skills” that so strongly associate digital skills with creativity? At a greater level of granularity, PEC’s research looks into the whole range of tangible “tools” like Adobe Creative Suite (as you may have guessed): i.e Indesign, Illustrator, Dreamwaver, Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere and assimilated (Final Cut). Also cited are Google Analytics, HTML5, Linkedin, Macromedia Fireworks, Mailchimp, Mastercam, Omnigraph, Prezi, Quarkxpress, Social Media Platforms and Visual Design.

Art direction Illustration Residential design
Architectural draughting Instagram Sketching
Animation Information architecture Storyboarding
Creative design Interactive design Social media Marketing
Content development Motion graphics Typesetting
Creative direction Multimedia UX wireframes
Digital design Photo editing Video editing
Front-end development Post production Videography
Graphic design Photography Video production
Interaction design Quantitative analysis Website design
Source: Extracted from “The Creative Digital Skills Revolution, PEC and Nesta” p.3.


Now and for the years to come. The good news is that it seems that the stronger the “createch” component of a job, the “greater is that occupation’s probability of future growth”. So if you find yourself reflected in the list, congratulations!

  • See Twenty-first century digital skills for the creative industries workforce: Perspectives from industry experts by Ester van Laar, Alexander J.A.M. van Deursen, Jan A.G.M. van Dijk, and Jos de Haan. First Monday, Volume 24, Number 1 - 7 January 2019

  • See The Creative Digital Skills Revolution, by Hasan Bakhshi, Jyldyz Djumalieva and Eliza Easton. Creative Industries and Evidence Center & Nesta, October 2019.

  • We only cited here communication related and associated roles, other roles may include architecture [architects and town planning technicians].


Be in the know

Want to know more about our digital vision? Just fill this form and we'll get in touch with you.