Arts students cop an awful lot of flak. Between the graffitied “Arts degrees here!” over too many of your uni’s toilet paper dispensers, hilarious jokes like “what’s the difference between a large pizza and an Arts degree? One can feed a family”, and basically being the laughing stock of the university world, arts graduates put up with a lot. Humanities degrees are sometimes consider a ‘stepping stone’ to further, more specialised degrees (or for the truly cynical, an expensive path to unemployment), however an arts degree is worth a lot more in the working world than our snooty science major friends would have us believe.
Dean of Monash University’s Faculty of Arts Sharon Pickering explains that “employers keep telling us that they’re looking not only for a breadth of critical understanding and skills, but also a depth. We know graduates now are likely to have multiple careers and multiple employers and are more likely to be located within a global working environment. All of the transferable and enterprising skills that they’ll need, is ideally what a BA equips students with”. Here are 7 career paths you can follow with a Bachelor of Arts, allowing you to follow your passion while utilising all the transferrable skills you’ve honed over the past three-ish years.
The Australian Public Service is where many arts graduates find jobs after uni. Areas include communications and marketing, engineering and technical, economics and finance, human resources, intelligence and security, legal, management, and business and admin. Jobs in these sectors are as varied as journalists and event organisers, to cyber security experts, magistrates, librarians, and even meteorologists! Check out the Australian Public Service Jobs website for more details.
2. Non-Government Organisational Roles
A non-government organisational role is a non-profit group that functions independently of government, generally serves specific social or political purposes, and is usually non-commercial. Examples of NGO groups are those which support human rights, promote improved health, or encourage political participation. These roles are a great fit for arts graduates, who spend three years finely tuning their social and political skills.
3. Higher Education
Higher education positions including tutoring and student support services are great for students who either want to take a break between multiple degrees, or those who wish to work in a non-teaching role in the educational sector. If you loved your time at uni and want to make a difference for future students, a higher educational career might be your perfect fit!
4. Media and Communications Organisations
The nature of an arts degree means that arts graduates have their finger on the pulse of modern media and communication. Media and communication careers such as journalism, advertising, marketing, online content creation, events management, and film, television, and radio roles require a range of intellectual skills as opposed to specific vocational knowledge, making this pathway a natural fit for arts graduates.
5. Arts and cultural organisations
Though creative arts and humanities degrees are often confused for each other, you do not need a fine arts degree to work in this industry. Arts and cultural organisations include museums and galleries, performing arts organisations, industry and cultural development, and festivals. This pathway would be perfect for those who thrived in performing and visual art units while studying their Bachelor of Arts.
6. Graduate Programs
Got a degree, but not quite sure what you want to do with it? A graduate program is for you. Organisations such as Coles, L’Oréal, Kraft Heinz, Westpac, Caltex, CSIRO and PwC employ graduates from all disciplines to work in various roles within different sectors of business, usually culminating in a fast-tracked permanent position with the company. With a graduate position you’ll receive extensive training and education in sectors such as marketing, finance, human resources, and operations, all while working with likeminded grads and getting paid for your hard work. Check out GradAustralia for a detailed source on Australian graduate programs.
7. Graduate Coursework
Part of arts’ charm comes from the ability to tailor your degree to your specific interests, especially if you’re still figuring out what those interests are. While a small percentage of high school graduates know what they want to do for the rest of their lives, many of us head to uni with a few vague ideas about things we’d like to try, and an undergraduate arts degree is a great means of personalising your tertiary education. Plenty of arts graduates leave university with their bachelor degree and go straight into the workforce, but graduate coursework focuses on specialisation in areas including teaching, law, creative arts, and psychology. Look into graduate coursework if you require a further qualification on top of your undergraduate degree, or you want to continue building upon your arts education.