Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Adobe Study Reveals Strong Correlation between Employability and Creativity

Strong correlation emerges between employability and creativity as 47 percent strongly agree that students with digital media skills have an edge in the job market

Over 58 percent strongly agree that basic digital media skills are essential for the 21st century workforce

Gaps identified in the current education system as 87 percent of respondents feel it does not place enough emphasis on creative expression

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia — 1st April, 2014 — Adobe today unveiled the findings of its ‘Education, Creativity and Employability’ study at the 9th annual Adobe Education Leadership Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, from 31st March -2nd April, 2014.  1531 educators representing 13 countries across Asia Pacific were surveyed with an aim to gauge the importance of creativity in education and its role in building a digitally able workforce.

The study revealed interesting points on the ubiquity of creativity in the classroom. Educators across Asia Pacific were unanimous in their agreement that creative expression is a must for all students regardless of their stream of study. An overwhelming 97 percent of respondents feel that creative tools help students to better grasp theoretical concepts and enhance their overall understanding in the classroom.

This year’s study also revealed the growing awareness among educators that basic digital media skills are an essential requirement for the 21st century workforce with 58 percent strongly agreeing to this statement. Further, 47 percent of respondents agreed that students proficient in digital media skills have a better chance of being recruited, giving them a competitive edge over their less skilled counterparts.

However, the study also highlighted the gaps in the current education system as 87 percent noted that it does not place enough emphasis on creative expression. This clearly implies that students are not gaining the necessary skills required for the modern workplace.

Commenting on the study Peter McAlpine, Senior Director, Education, Adobe Asia Pacific said, “Today we understand that the convergence of academic and creative competencies is helping create new opportunities for a whole new digital workforce. However, as the study highlights, our challenge now is to bridge the gap that currently exists in our education system and to bring the two closer. It’s time for us as educators to come together and  define how to enable this shift, ensuring that students are not only equipped to be consumers of digital content but also to be creators of that content.”

When compared for their responses across a variety of parameters, more educators in Australia and South Korea indicated that there is a gap in the current education system when it comes to integrating creativity into academics. However, while respondents in Australia seem convinced about the role of creative tools and the importance of digital media skills, South Korean respondents were not as strongly convinced about these aspects. Educators in countries of Southeast Asia are not as negative about the ability of current education systems to integrate creativity into classroom instruction.

Indian educators strongly support the need for both creative expression in the classroom as well as the use of creative tools to clarify concepts.

Educators from Greater China and South Korea are not as strongly supportive as the rest of APAC on the need for basic digital media skills in the workforce, pointing to some cultural differences when it comes to job market expectations. The grid below provides the details:

Percent who strongly agree with the survey statement
Greater China
South East Asia
South Korea
Creative expression is a must for all students, regardless of the course
Use of creative tools by educators improves and enhances a student’s conceptual understanding 
The current education system does not place enough emphasis on creative expression as part of academic
Basic digital media skills are essential for a 21st century workforce
Students who are proficient in digital media skills have a better chance of being recruited by employers

Commenting on the increasing interplay between creativity and employability, Richard Olsen, Education Consultant from Australia said, “Being a creative person changes everything: it enables us to tackle more complex problems, and it allows us to boldly approach problems outside of the scope of our experience. This is just as well because our global workforce is increasingly moving from muscle jobs to smart jobs. Smart jobs, that require creativity at their core. My hope is that schools will continue to place a higher priority on nurturing creativity so that their students may realise their full potential.”

The study on ‘Education, Creativity and Employability’ is based on an extensive survey of educators across Asia Pacific covering 13 countries (Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam). The Internet-based survey was carried out from 7th March to 18th March, 2014. The profile of respondents included educators in the K-12 and higher education segment.

About Adobe Education Leadership Forum 2014:
The Adobe Education Leadership Forum is Adobe’s flagship education thought leadership event in Asia Pacific. This year, more than 110 education leaders from across Asia Pacific will attend the forum. The theme of this year’s event is “Creativity is no longer an elective. It is our future.” The forum will explore the increasing ubiquity of creativity in education and the role that it plays in creating a creative workforce for tomorrow. It will explore ways of integrating creative faculties into our current education system, the opportunities and challenges that lie on the way.

Adobe Education Leadership Forum 2014 is an opportunity to hear from industry leaders from across APAC on the latest trends and success stories.
Key speakers at this event include:

Hael Kobayashi, Executive Director of Creative Intelligence, University of Technology Sydney. Hael is an international and award winning executive with over 30 years of experience in the creative industries. He is an active advocate for new media development and education, Hael co-founded the Presidential Scholars in the Arts Cinematic Arts program for the National Young Arts Foundation, USA. For over a decade, he has been a member of leadership teams working with economic development groups, regional planners, leaders in education, and government representatives to create strategies to develop digital and emerging media for sustainable growth in Australia, Singapore and the USA.

Dr. Daniel Tan Tiong Hok, Education Consultant, Malaysia.  Dr. Daniel Tan has deep experience and expertise in the design, development, to develop and implementation of eLearning campus eco-systems incorporating a holistic approach towards system design, learning platform, server architecture, together with a faculty and professional development initiative and sound pedagogical design.

Trevor Bailey, Director, Worldwide Education, Abode - Trevor Bailey leads the programs and strategies that make Adobe products easily available to education institutions. This includes working closely with primary, secondary and tertiary education organizations worldwide to ensure that Adobe solutions support the needs of students, faculty and administration staff. Trevor's primary goal is to empower educators by effectively integrating technology into the classrooms, creating the best possible learning environments for this generation of students.

Peter McAlpine is Senior Director, Education and Channel, for Adobe Asia Pacific. He leads Adobe's strategic contribution to both channel and educational programs across APAC countries. Peter began his working life as a secondary school teacher and still maintains the passion for education instilled in him from those early days.

The Forum is being held in between 31st March to 2nd April at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. For more details on the event, visit: or follow @AdobeEDU and join the conversation using #AdobeForum14.

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