The WEF’s Future of Jobs report counted creativity as one of the top three skills workers would require by 2020, and a subsequent Forum report, The Future of Jobs and Skills in the Middle East and North Africa: Preparing the Region for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, flagged a current deficiency of skills in the region including creativity and independent thinking. Creative risk-taking and experimentation can aid confidence; increasing students’ capacity for creative thinking is essential to prepare them to take on careers that do not yet exist, and to tackle problems not yet identified.
Many benefits of arts education are not easily quantifiable through data sets. Providing a quality arts education can help students gain skills and attributes that are currently in high demand, such as problem-solving, flexibility, persistence, and cooperation.
According to a report commissioned by the Wallace Foundation, The Qualities of Quality, a quality arts education can strengthen one’s capacity to think creatively and to make connections - and one’s ability to apply creative thinking can in turn positively impact society.
Adopting creative thinking in the commercial world can lead to positive results. A survey of CEOs published by the consultancy PwC in 2017 showed that 77% found it difficult to find the creativity and innovation skills they need; and, while STEM skills were seen as important, according to the survey, demand for them was outstripped by the desire for “soft” skills including creativity.
The so-called STEM to STEAM movement, founded by the Rhode Island School of Design, aims to expand traditional STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) to include Art and Design, in order to enhance innovation. A digital mapping tool that illustrates “STEAM” activity around the world, in order to help advocates of the movement connect.
Funding for arts education around the world has suffered drastic cuts in recent years, and it is often only included as a supplement to other subjects.
The Value of Arts and Culture to People and Society review noted that participation in the arts can reduce social exclusion and strengthen communities, as high school students who engage in the arts at school are twice as likely to volunteer in their communities as those who do not and are 20% more likely to vote as young adults.