FCAD and The Key Differences Between Creative Industries and Media Production

A lot of students interested in Creative Industries and RTA Media Production have asked me why I chose to switch programs and how these two similarly creative programs are different from one another. By interacting with many high school students and even students at Ryerson, I’ve realized there’s actually a popular misconception about the relationship between these programs and which one may be better suited for a certain type of person. Since I’ve been able to experience first hand the transition from Creative Industries to Media Production, I thought I’d highlight some of the key differences between the two FCAD (Faculty of Communication and Design) programs, and which one may be best suited to your interests and career aspirations!


Creative Industries (CI): If you’re looking to attempt a wide range of creative endeavours without specializing in one specific area, CI is perfect for you. You complete two modules throughout the four years in either Media, Fashion, Interior Design, Music Industry, Publishing, Communication, Journalism, or Theatre. This program incorporates all of the different creative fields within FCAD and allows you to take 6 courses within each.

Media Production (MP): While CI offers many different creative courses in a variety of areas, RTA is focused on Television, Audio Production, and Digital Media. You choose an area to stream into and from there you develop practical skills and learn the theoretical knowledge needed to become a content-creator.


CI: The main aspect of CI that people often forget about is the fact that it’s a business-focused program. Not only will students complete a minor in business, but the core CI courses take a business/entrepreneurial approach to the arts rather than a practical/experiential one.

MP: While there’s certainly media business courses available within RTA, the focus of the program is much more geared towards creative production. You could definitely find yourself working on the business side of media in management, advertising, marketing, producing, entertainment law, etc., but you’ll have to go through the process of learning how to create content first.


CI: The entrepreneurial business slant of CI means that you’ll be well-equipped for a career on the business side of the industry. For instance, if you’re interested television but you would like to be an executive producer rather than someone who creates content for television, then CI is where you want to be. While you’ll have the opportunity to be creative, you’ll be learning just enough to have a introductory knowledge into creating content that someone in a business role would need, but not enough to specialize in it as a content creator.

RTA: Future careers can vary from entrepreneurial business roles to content creation, but they’ll be specific to the field of media. However, there’s tons of different things you can do from on camera talent to behind the scenes in RTA. You’ll be able to try out a bunch of different roles within the media industry, find out what you like best, and run with it.

As you can tell, the best thing about any of our FCAD programs (and Ryerson in general) is that we focus on hands-on, career-ready learning that they prepare you for dominating the workforce.

Hopefully this guide has given you some insight into the different purposes of these programs and which one might be right for you! While I’m incredibly happy with my decision to switch from CI to RTA, I’ve been able to realize how grateful I am to have experienced both of these wonderful programs. See you next time!


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