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What else you can do with your degree: Arts and Humanities

Last month we took a quick look at what you can do with you degree. In this series, we’ll be looking into specific degree groups to explore just what you can do.

“The humanities—including the study of languages, literature, history, jurisprudence, philosophy, comparative religion, ethics, and the arts—are disciplines of memory and imagination, telling us where we have been and helping us envision where we are going.”

The Heart of the Matter (Report of the American Academy of Arts & Science’s Commission on the Humanities and Social Sciences to the U. S. Congress in June 2013)

It’s widely viewed that if you’ve graduated from an Arts or Humanities degree that you’re going to be a teacher of your subject, but there is so much more than can be done with this kind of degree. You’ve acquired a unique set of skills that other graduates won’t have.

Your skills

Aside from the usual skills that a graduate comes away from university with, Arts or Humanities degrees have their own bespoke skillset. You’ll come away with:

• An eye for detail
• A creative streak, which also aids problem-solving
• An appreciation/understanding of other cultures
• A keen interest in language (perhaps even a second language)
• Great people skills
• The ability to form and communicate arguments and ideas effectively, either orally or through writing

So, what can you do?

So, as well as being well versed in your subject, your degree has given you a great set of communication and problem-solving skills. These traits can be translated to a whole host of careers, both in a formal and creative capacity. You should consider looking into areas like these:


Writing and speaking are a huge part of a humanities degree, which translates really well into teaching. Regardless of the academic level, your skills will play a huge part.

When looking into a career in teaching, you will need to obtain QTS (Qualified Teacher Status) or a TQ (Teaching Qualification) if you’re in Scotland. Just how much additional training you require will depend on the level of education you’d like to teach at, your qualifications and your experience.


A humanities bachelor's degree is a perfect starting point for someone who wants to be a counsellor. Most counselling positions require completion of a master's degree, and licensure is often necessary as well.

If you’d like to start a career in counselling, you’ll need to undertake a training course or diploma. There are a lot available, but make sure the one you choose is registered with the Professional Students Authority (PSA) or the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP).

Art Gallery/Museum Curator

If you have a passion for art, then working surrounding it must be the dream!  Museums need graduates to fill a variety of positions, from Tour Guides and reception staff to researchers.

Working at a Museum or At Gallery requires no additional qualifications, but if you’d like to climb the ranks and Curate, you will probably have to undertake a postgraduate course in Museum Studies.


HR (Human Resources) deals with employee’s needs, handling everything from hiring and firing to organising training programmes.

There is quite a lot of paperwork involved with HR, meaning your written communication skills will really come into play in a career like this. No training is needed for this role though there is always the option of studying towards a Chartered Institute of Personal Development (CIPD) qualification.

Social work

Use your anthropological side to aid people of all ages in less fortunate situations.

As you haven’t completed a degree in social work, you will still need a little more training, however, you don’t have to head straight for a Masters. There are a couple of hands-on training programmes (such as Step Up to Social Work or Frontline) that allow you to qualify on the job.

Or, for something a little more off-the-wall…

Why not become a Special Agent? Now, while the position may sound like it has come straight out of a crime drama, Humanities graduates, in particular, would be well suited. Combining your knowledge of anthropology, other cultures and ways of communicating; you could find yourself in a career that’s perfect for you.