Considering a Career in Arts & Humanities?

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While it’s among the most popular degree choices, many Arts & Humanities students consider it just a stepping stone to a more specialised degree via further study. While it may be necessary to, of course, specialise for some skills and careers, there is still a vast amount of potential out there if you have a degree in arts & humanities; many employers welcome the broad range of knowledge and skills that it brings.


If you look at some of the disciplines which a significant proportion of arts students study, it reads like a veritable list of top career paths. Subjects such as humanities and social science, politics, history, languages, social work, maths, information studies, geography cover a broad range of skills that make very suitable companions for a successful career path. Most students pursue these areas because they have a genuine interest in them, but others use them as a launch pad for a career. If you’re studying a language and economics or information studies, for example, you’re going to have a lot of skills that employers are looking for; a second language and the ability to analyse and process data and information. If you’ve studied politics and geography you’re well set for either a possible career in semi-state organisations or government departments.

Vital Skillsets

The fact is that employers do value arts and humanities graduates, particularly in these days of tight competition in the recruitment sector. They look at those in this area as often having a multidisciplinary approach to their studies, which employers will want you to have in your work. Many working in the civil service, media, teaching and semi-state come from an arts & humanities background, while social science graduates are very prevalent in the social work, NGO and health sectors. If you can add a postgraduate business qualification to your arts and humanities degree then you would be well set for a career in marketing, business development or sales, HR or even the finance sector.

The Tech Industry

Multinational operators in Ireland, such as Facebook, Google, eBay etc are, in particular, desperately looking for capable graduates with language skills, particularly for business development, localisation or technical customer-service roles. If you’re an arts graduate with digital media skills and a language, you should be able to find several opportunities in this area.
Remember, many employers are looking for a 2:1, though with a 2:2 acceptable to a growing number. There are a great many arts graduates out there so be prepared for stiff competition for a good job. However, value the experience you have and the knowledge you have learned. As we have said, direct job opportunities do exist out there for arts and humanities graduates but if you can add a well-chosen postgraduate qualification to your Level 8 degree you can open up a whole new world of career opportunities.

Postgraduate Options

Every university in Ireland is well set to provide you with the postgraduate study options you need, so don’t just look to continue your study at the university where you have done your undergraduate degree. Sometimes it pays to make a change. If you haven’t yet entered third level but are considering studying an Arts degree, they are widely available at almost every major university. UCD has the most popular Arts course, but it has shifted more toward science-related subjects in recent years. NUI Galway has a broad arts and humanities range of courses including arts with creative writing, film studies, arts with performing arts and arts with human rights for example. Maynooth University, UCD, Waterford IT and UCC focus more on the social issues side with a broad range of social policy subjects and philosophy, politics and economics. Check in with each university for a full range of what’s available and how the programme is delivered.


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