There’s no other way to cut it: if you’re going to do an Arts degree, you need to have a plan. And by ‘plan’ we mean a clear career goal and path. So clear. Crystal. We want to see all the way through to the end, like deliciously greasy hot chips through paper.
In fact, “I’m going to do a Bachelor of Arts because I don’t know what to do with my life,” is the epitome of famous last words. Don’t do it.
There are three types of careers for Arts graduates and you need to know which type you are before you start your stationery shopping. So let’s break it down. Which are you?
1. You’re a creative/humanities-focused type aka your career requires specialist knowledge.
For some, the idea of working in a peach-partitioned office in ill-fitting Target ‘business attire’ fills you with existential horror. A career wearing the latest Gorman and subsisting on caffeine (for the creativity, duh) is the only thing you could envision from 9 to 5.
If this is you, do an Arts degree.
Career horizons can include titles like actor, art director, choreographer, film editor, playwright and writer. Or on the other side of the specialist knowledge coin are the humanities and social sciences gang. These graduates have titles such as research assistant, social researcher, anthologist, art historian, historian, sociologist, interpreter and translator.
If you fall into these categories, a detailed plan for majors will work wonders for your employability. For example, someone wanting to work as a French to English translator could major in French with a little Linguistics on the side. Perf.
2. If your career requires a degree, but nothing specialised.
These career goals require knowledge gained from majors, but not to the same extent as a specialised degree. These careers include museum or gallery work (such as an art curator or manager), work in human resources, government, media and publishing.
Popular postgraduate courses therefore include psychology, editing and publishing, marketing and social work. An Arts degree will give you a solid foundation, you’ll just need a little something extra to seal the deal.
3. You just want broad skills.
Many organisations are open to graduates of all disciplines. These employers are looking for the critical reading and thinking skills of an Arts degree in addition to the analytical and research skills these graduates are well known for – Arts degree holders laugh in the face of synthesising and communicating complex information. Been there, done that.
Employment areas for those who come under this category include administration, event management, public sector (i.e. government), management consultancies hospitality and tourism.
At the end of the day, anyone selecting an Arts degree should prepare to have a detailed, dedicated plan, work hard and potentially take on further study or experience. So… the same as most other degrees.
We’ll leave you with these successful people with an Arts Degree:
Conan O’Brien – Bachelor of Arts in History
Madeleine Albright – Bachelor of Arts in Political Science
Oprah Winfrey – Bachelor of Arts in Communications
Natalie Portman – Bachelor of Arts in Psychology
Desmond Tutu – Bachelor of Arts in Theology
Gail Kelly – Bachelor of Arts in History/Latin
Tim Minchin – Bachelor of Arts in English and Theatre
Sound like you? Find your arts degree here: