UCL Careers
  • Welcome

    The UCL Careers team use this Blog to share their ‘news and views’ about careers with you. You will find snippets about a whole range of career related issues, news from recruiters and links to interesting articles in the media.

    If you are a researcher, we a specific blog for you.

    We hope you enjoy reading the Blog and will be inspired to tell us your views.

    If you want to suggest things that students and graduates might find helpful, please let us know – we want to hear from you.

    Karen Barnard – Director, UCL Careers

    UCL Careers is part of The Careers Group, University of London

    Accurate at the time of publication
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    Please read our Guest Blogger Policy

  • Why arts and humanities degrees are valuable for your career: you can build on your degree

    By Weronika Z Benning, on 17 August 2016

    You can build on your degree

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    Your degree forms part of your CV, but potential employers will be just as interested – in fact, probably more so – in your work experience. Leaving university without having completed any internships, work experience, part-time work, or volunteering could leave you in a far rockier position than taking an English degree.

    Even if you don’t really know what you want to do when you graduate, it’s worth trying to get some experience under your belt around the edges of your degree. Doing a summer internship will act as proof to employers that you are motivated to work and have an understanding of being in a work environment.

    And the best thing about doing an arts and humanities degree is that you are very much in charge of your own time. You can certainly fit in some volunteering or work with societies around those five contact hours (and forty hours of reading) a week. Balancing your studies and other responsibilities can be tricky at first, but will set up well for the future.

    “Why arts and humanities degrees are valuable for your career” is a guest blog series written by Claire Kilroy.  Claire works as a content writer for leading graduate recruitment agency Inspiring Interns. If you’re looking to get a start in your career, take a look at their graduate jobs London vacancies, or for more graduate careers advice, head over to their blog.

     

    Why arts and humanities degrees are valuable for your career: you have a treasure trove of skills

    By Weronika Z Benning, on 16 August 2016

    You have a treasure trove of skills

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    Communication skills? Excellent command of written English? Innovative problem solver? Research and analysis? Organisation and self-motivation? Creativity? If you took or are taking an arts and humanities degree, then some or all of these must apply to you. These are the ‘transferable skills’ that your degree has given you.

    ‘Transferable skills’ is a buzz-phrase that you won’t emerge from your degree without hearing to the point of being sick of it. But happily, it is a genuinely useful way of marketing yourself to a potential employer. When you graduate, most employers won’t expect you to have huge amounts of specific industry expertise, but they will certainly be on the lookout for soft skills.

    In a 2014 survey by the National Association of Colleges and Employers, over 70% of employers surveyed rated leadership, team-work, written communication, and problem-solving as the qualities they look for first in a graduate job-seeker. These are skills that arts grads generally rate highly in.

    Just remember, writing a list of skills and sending it off won’t impress an employer – you need to provide examples from your experience that prove you’ve got the goods.

    “Why arts and humanities degrees are valuable for your career” is a guest blog series written by Claire Kilroy.  Claire works as a content writer for leading graduate recruitment agency Inspiring Interns. If you’re looking to get a start in your career, take a look at their graduate jobs London vacancies, or for more graduate careers advice, head over to their blog.

    Why arts and humanities degrees are valuable for your career: university is worth enjoying

    By Weronika Z Benning, on 15 August 2016

    University is worth enjoying

    Title: ILGWU Local 25 couples enjoy social dancing at the ILGWU Workers University, April 18, 1955. Arthur W. Calhoun is present. Image from the Kheel Center.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Image: ILGWU Local 25 couples enjoy social dancing at the ILGWU Workers University, April 18, 1955. Arthur W. Calhoun is present. Image from the Kheel Center.

    Getting a degree takes three or more years, so it’s definitely worth taking something you have a genuine interest in. Long hours in the library, all-nighters spent smashing out essays, and straining to understand complex theories all take their toll even if you love the subject; if you don’t, you could burn out.

    There’s also the fact that on the whole, we tend to enjoy the subjects we’re good at. If you’re choosing between a ‘sensible’ degree that you would struggle with and one you love and are good at, the latter is the better choice. Employers care to some extent what you studied, but they also care about what grade you received.

    Many graduate schemes have qualification requirements, such as excluding anyone who received less than a 2:1. Other employers might not specify grade requirements, but use them to filter applications. Of course those with lower grades often still manage to get the career of their dreams, but picking a subject that you know you’ll do well in is certainly worthwhile.

    “Why arts and humanities degrees are valuable for your career” is a guest blog series written by Claire Kilroy.  Claire works as a content writer for leading graduate recruitment agency Inspiring Interns. If you’re looking to get a start in your career, take a look at their graduate jobs London vacancies, or for more graduate careers advice, head over to their blog.

    Why arts and humanities degrees are valuable for your career: you have plenty of options

    By Weronika Z Benning, on 12 August 2016

    You have plenty of options

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    Your career does not have to be determined by the degree that you take. So no matter how many times people ask you, studying English doesn’t mean you have to become an English teacher, and a Philosophy degree doesn’t condemn you to a life of writing intellectual homilies and trying to grow a distinguished beard.

    In fact, an arts or humanities degree sets you up to go into pretty much any career you want, except of course those few that, like medicine, demand certain qualifications. Unfortunately, ‘History graduate’ will rarely be written on a job specification, but there are lots of other ways you can fit the bill.

    As well as careers in anything from media, marketing, and finance, arts graduates can go on to have successful careers in the tech sector. It may not seem like the most natural fit, and you may encounter some raised eyebrows, but many leaders in the industry believe in the importance of hiring people with different academic backgrounds.

    In 2010, Steve Jobs attributed Apple’s success to the fact the company didn’t rely on technology alone, but rather ‘technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities’. Non-techies have to understand the technology they’re working with, but their ability to visualise multiple solutions to one problem, and to translate paragraphs of jargon into plain language makes them highly valuable.

    “Why arts and humanities degrees are valuable for your career” is a guest blog series written by Claire Kilroy.  Claire works as a content writer for leading graduate recruitment agency Inspiring Interns. If you’re looking to get a start in your career, take a look at their graduate jobs London vacancies, or for more graduate careers advice, head over to their blog.

    Why arts and humanities degrees are valuable for your career

    By Weronika Z Benning, on 11 August 2016

    Image: The Temple of the Liberal Arts, with the City of Bern and Minerva. From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Image: The Temple of the Liberal Arts, with the City of Bern and Minerva. From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository

    If you choose to study an arts or humanities subject, you’ll probably come across a lot of false assumptions about your degree. Some – ‘you never do any work’ – won’t put you off, but others can be a bit worrying, especially the idea that your choice of degree will make you less employable than someone taking a technical subject.

    Arts and humanities aren’t vocational degrees, and don’t lead straight to many clearly defined career paths. While you wrack your brains for ideas about what you want to do, there will be times when you envy a friend studying medicine for their certainty about what they want to do. There will be other moments when you wish you’d taken an engineering degree and had employers lining up to hire you.

    But there’s no reason to despair! Over the next week, we’ll be publishing a series of blog posts covering four great reasons why studying an arts or humanities degree can have a positive impact on your career prospects. Watch this space…

    “Why arts and humanities degrees are valuable for your career” is a guest blog series written by Claire Kilroy.  Claire works as a content writer for leading graduate recruitment agency Inspiring Interns. If you’re looking to get a start in your career, take a look at their graduate jobs London vacancies, or for more graduate careers advice, head over to their blog.

    “But I’m not studying computer science – can I still work in IT & Technology?”

    By Manpreet Dhesi, on 15 October 2014

    The answer is YES!

    IT & Technology is a broad sector which encompasses a multitude of roles and types of companies. In addition to the programming and developer roles typically associated with the sector there are also a wide range of other positions: project managers, business analysts, consultants, salespeople. For these roles, employers state that deep technical knowledge is often not initially required; what is important is an interest in technology, a desire to learn and possessing business-orientated skills such as communication and project management.

    Melanie Baldo graduated from UCL in Italian and Management Studies and is now a Project Manager at Bloomberg. Melanie states: “I never for one minute imagined when I graduated with a degree in languages that I would be working for a financial data company running some of their most complicated and important projects with high profile clients.”  Whilst in the Technology sector, Melanie’s role focuses on client relationships and project management and she encourages students from non-technical backgrounds to apply. Many technology based roles do not require a technology background and companies often provide training for these positions.

    The UCL IT & Technology Fair gives you the opportunity to discover how IT & Technology underpins business and the diversity of opportunities available.

    The UCL IT & Technology Fair on Thursday 16th October 2014 is kindly sponsored by Cisco