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Arts, Social Sciences and Languages

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If you have a strong interest in more than one subject, such as the history of art, languages or sociology, rather than a subject relating to a specific area of work, a wide variety of careers will still be open to you after you finish your studies. You’ll also gain useful transferable skills such as the ability to analyse information, solve problems and communicate effectively. There are opportunities to work in industry, commerce, government or the professions as well as the voluntary and charity work sectors.

Alternatively, you may want to pass on your enthusiasm for your subject and work as a lecturer or take on further training to become a teacher.

What areas can I work in?

Graduates in arts, social sciences and languages work in the Civil Service, local government, business, commercial, industrial and managerial posts. Work in advertising and the media attracts some. Others go into marketing or sales. Work in information technology, law, travel and tourism, and culture is also possible.

Courses are split into the following sectors: general, English, history, humanities, languages, politics, religion and sociology.

To see the routes to getting into each of these sectors, take a look at our Career Pathway.

What kind of companies can I work for?

There are a wide range of possible employers including:

What’s the job market like?

Due to the extensive areas that arts, social sciences and language graduates can work in, it is beyond the scope of this article to detail the job market prospects for each profession! 

However, it is widely agreed that graduates of arts, humanities and social sciences develop a broad range of transferable skills that employers in a wide range of sectors look for. These skills include communication, creativity, research and analysis, decision-making, problem solving and social awareness.

According to the report ‘What do graduates do? (2023)’, the most popular sector humanities graduates chose was education. Others went into a wide range of professions from public administration and defence to human health activities, financial service activities (except insurance and pension funding) and legal and accounting services, confirming the wide range of employment available.

Languages is a competitive area to enter. If you are interested to know which languages are most in demand to learn for business, you will find that opinion varies as to the order of importance across different websites. However, according to GoAbroad, the 10 most useful languages to learn for international business in 2023 (excluding English) are: Mandarin, Spanish, French, Japanese, Arabic, German, Russian, Portugese, Hindi and Italian.

Facts and figures

Want to find out more?

If you are thinking of studying languages, the website 'Why study languages?'  may be of interest.

Sources

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Career Pathway

Arts, Social Sciences and Languages Career Pathway
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Career Sectors

Arts and Social Sciences General

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English

History

Related courses by level

Degree, DipHE and CertHE

Humanities

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Languages

Politics

Religion

Sociology

Related courses by level

Degree, DipHE and CertHE