27 November 2017

A new study has defined for the first time the skills that graduates at University of Hertfordshire develop by studying arts, humanities and social science (AHSS) degrees.

Researchers from the British Academy identified the core skills of arts, humanities and social science graduates:

  • communication and collaboration;
  • research and analysis;
  • independence and adaptability.

The report found that these skills were often the same as the qualities in demand from employers.

The British Academy reportThe Right Skills: Celebrating skills in the arts, humanities and social sciences also investigated the destinations of AHSS graduates, and found that their core skills equip them to work in a wide range of jobs, from web design to the civil service, teaching to financial services.

With the type of jobs likely to change in the future, flexible and adaptable graduates, many of whom have AHSS degrees, were highly valued by employers, even when their degree was unrelated to the business.

At the University of Hertfordshire 95.8% of the School of Humanities graduates, and 95.3% of the School of Creative Arts graduates are in employment or further study within 6 months*.

Humanities graduates work at a number of top companies including the BBC and ITV and Creative Arts Alumni include Flux Pavilion, a DJ, EDM producer, singer-songwriter and label owner, and Harriet Riddell, a textile performance artist.

Chair of the British Academy project, Professor Sir Ian Diamond FBA FRSE FAcSS said:

“The question every arts, humanities and social sciences student has heard at least once is: ‘what are you going to do with that?’ Today our research proves that these graduates have the potential to adapt to almost any career in an increasingly globalised and uncertain world.

“Our research has defined for the first time the skills shared by arts, humanities and social sciences (AHSS) graduates, and looks at their careers in almost every sector of our economy, from the booming creative industries to financial services.

“The arts, humanities and social sciences are a strong choice for any prospective student – these subjects create well-rounded and adaptable graduates, equipped with the skills employers demand for the twenty-first century workplace.”

*DLHE 2015/16