According to Adobe's 'Education, Creativity and Employability' study, there is a "strong correlation between employability and creativity" in Asia Pacific's workforce of the 21st Century. Details of Adobe's study-which was based on a survey of 1,531 educators (from "the K-12 and higher education segment") in Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam-were released today (Tuesday, April 01, 2014) at the 9th Annual Adobe Education Leadership Forum in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

The survey was a series of statements to which respondents were expected to state their level of agreement. See below the percentage of respondents who said they strongly agreed with each of some of the statements.

  • To the statement, 'Creative expression is a must for all students, regardless of the course'-64 percent of respondents indicated a strong agreement.
  • 'Use of creative tools by educators improves and enhances a student's conceptual understanding'-54 percent.
  • 'The current education system does not place enough emphasis on creative expression as part of academic' curriculum-37 percent.
  • 'Basic digital media skills are essential for a 21st Century workforce'-58 percent.
  • 'Students who are proficient in digital media skills have a better chance of being recruited by employers'-47 percent.

Senior Director of Education for Adobe Asia Pacific, Peter McAlpine, in commenting on the study today, said that while "the convergence of academic and creative competencies is helping create new opportunities for a whole new digital workforce" there is a need "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," he added.

Southeast Asia-specific data gleaned from the survey shows the region to be even more acutely aware of the need to equip the next generation workforce with digital media skills. A statement issued by Adobe said that "62 percent of [Southeast Asia's] educators strongly agree that the use of creative tools by educators improves and enhances a student's conceptual understanding" and that "a majority (62 percent) of [Southeast Asia's] educators strongly agreed that basic digital media skills are essential for a 21st Century workforce."