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Social science graduates are more likely to get a job

By River Reporter Nov 22, 2013

Students who graduate in social sciences, are more likely to obtain a job compared with those who studied arts, sciences, engineering or technology, according to research by the Campaign for Social Science.

Data gathered from the study showed that 84 per cent of graduates from the field were employed, compared to 79 per cent from Arts and Humanities and 78 per cent from science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

This goes to show that the perceptions towards social sciences are changing.

Roses Leech-Wilkinson, campaign administrator at Campaign for Social Science said: “ The report analysis data on the employment activities of graduates on 26 November 2012.

“At that point, social science graduates who had completed courses 3.5 years earlier were employed in higher proportions than STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) or arts-humanities graduates from the same cohort.

“These findings are consistent with the previous survey which took place two years earlier. Both surveys were conducted in the aftermath of the recession, when national unemployment levels had already risen.”

She clarified that the findings from the study did not indicate that the job market had become docile towards other fields of study. However, the study merely reflected on how the social science graduates’ were viewed by employers.

Change of attitude

The Campaign for Social Science is an organisation that promotes social science throughout the country and is supported by 69 universities. Although the difference between each field of study isn’t much, it is a noticeable attitude change by society towards the social sciences.

Victoria Jackson, Kingston University Employability Consultant, said: "The balance is changing and increasingly what is considered as ‘essential criteria’ isn’t the degree discipline but candidates who can demonstrate a broad range of employability skills, developed through other interests and activities.

“A social science degree will enable students to develop some of the most highly sought-after employability skills graduate employers are looking for. This includes the ability to work collaboratively with others, problem-solving, analysing, evaluating and communicating complex information, developing new ideas and coupled with a natural interest in the world and people.

“Candidates with this skill set are very attractive to employers and I believe the findings from this report reflect that shift.”

However, science and engineering degrees are still in demand and according to her, the current Government’s policy to increase the number of STEM students encourages the field of study. They still recognise “scientific discovery, high-technology, manufacturing and knowledge-intensive services” as it influences GDP in the country.

The Campaign for Social Science hopes that the report will be acknowledged by students and admissions, in order to encourage the growth of social sciences.

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