‘My daughter in fifth year is very creative, but I worry if the arts is a good path to follow’

There has been strong jobs growth in creative industries, especially in the film and audio-visual sector

My daughter in fifth year is highly creative and I can see that her future lies in some form of artistic or creative expression, but I’m not sure what direction she should take or what her best option is for employment. What Dublin-based courses could you recommend?

In Dublin there are two colleges with a formidable reputation for offering programmes in the creative arts.

The National College of Art and Design (NCAD) offers a traditional art school experience and has expertise in several fields such as fine art and a range of craft-based disciplines such as ceramics, textiles and jewellery.

In its design program, students are encouraged to create innovative and sustainable visions; the fine art program challenges students to see the world anew, while the education degree fosters interest in the arts, and the visual culture program delves into the history and theory of art, design, fashion, film and new media.

The Institute of Art Design and Technology (IADT) in Dún Laoghaire offers a wider range of programmes in arts, technology, film, humanities and entrepreneurship. IADT is also the home to the National Film School, and runs programmes in animation, television, film and design for film.

The two colleges differ in scale and structure: IADT has 2,500 full-time students with plans to grow to 3,500 in the short term with the opening of its new digital media building in 2025; the NCAD student population is about 950 full time with a large part-time cohort of about 600.

IADT is a designated awarding body that accredits and makes its own awards in the same way as other universities do. NCAD is a recognised college of UCD, and makes UCD awards

In summary, NCAD is an art school with a strong national and international reputation. IADT sees itself as Ireland’s campus of the creative industries and a founding member of the European University of Film (Film EU).

Currently, 9 per cent of the Irish workforce are employed in the creative industries with much of the recent growth happening in the film and audiovisual industries

The Government recently released a roadmap for digital creative industries. The report makes the distinction between what it calls “core cultural sectors”, which NCAD serves well, and cultural industries, such as audiovisual, music, games, animation, film, etc, which are IADT’s areas of specialisation.

The most recent research and analysis identifies a value in more targeted definitions, which distinguish between core cultural sectors such as the arts, libraries, and museums; cultural industries such as audiovisual, craft, recorded music and publishing; and creative sectors such as advertising, design and digital games.

Currently, 9 per cent of the Irish workforce are employed in the creative industries with much of the recent growth happening in the film and audiovisual industries.

Might I suggest that your daughter attend open days at both colleges to familiarise herself with the options on offer within our creative sector in Dublin.

  • Do you have an education or careers query? Email askbrian@irishtimes.com
  • Follow The Irish Times education section on Facebook and X (Twitter) and stay up to date

Read More