Job market / Self awareness

Arts, humanities or social science student? Yes, you do have skills employers value.

If your subject does not lead directly to a specific job, it is not always easy to see how what you are studying relates to the world of work. So wouldn’t it be helpful if there was some kind of a report which explained the skills you were developing and their value to the world of work? Well guess what, blog readers? – there is!

It’s a 65 page report, with input from over 200 stakeholders, from no less an organisation than the British Academy. It’s called ‘The Right Skills: Celebrating Skills in the Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences’ If you are interested to read it in full (case studies included) you can read it here. In the meantime, here are a few key points which I hope will provide something helpful in terms of reassurance, incentive or vindication, and even cause for celebration.

Typically, as an arts, humanities or social science (AHSS) student or graduate you can…

  • Communicate effectively, knowing how to adjust what you are saying to suit the intended audience. This often includes using the plethora of communications technology options appropriately
  • Formulate a research question, find or create the information to answer it, evaluate the information and understand the implications of gaps in it before coming to a conclusion.
  • Be an independent and enthusiastic problem-solver, responding well to change and able to accommodate further learning and new ideas.
  • Adapt to a range of jobs, including throughout your career, and become an effective manager (over half of all global leaders come from these areas of study), or an able academic should you wish, as well as an active and engaged citizen.

Of course any strong application will require the applicant to be able to show off their own personal skills and experience, both through and beyond their studies, in a way that helps the employer in question see clearly why they are likely to be right for the job. But this useful report provides plenty of tasty food for thought. Behaving like an AHSS turns out to be a positive thing!

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