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Arts degree a guarantee for future employment

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There’s a lot of uncertainty about what work will look like in the future but one thing is for sure; employers will be looking for flexible, agile thinkers... which is leading to a new regard for degrees like arts.

With the digital disruption sweeping through workplaces globally, employers are turning their attention to the new wave of Gen-Z school-leavers who, thought-leaders and policy-makers argue, need to possess more generalist or transferrable skills.

It’s already happening, newly released data from the 2017 Graduate Outcomes Survey-Longitudinal (GOS-L), one of the standard Quality Indicators for Learning and Teaching (QILT), show that three years out from course completion nearly 90% (88.5%) of Monash Bachelor of Arts graduates available for employment are in work.

Over the course of their lifetime statistics show today’s Year 12 students will work an average of 17 different jobs, employers in many industries regard arts graduates as highly mobile and agile, which are essential skills for a successful career cycle.

Monash University Dean, Faculty of Arts, Prof Sharon Pickering said future-proofing higher education choice is critical in terms of maximising opportunities for the globalising and evolving job market and encourages students to consider a Monash arts degree as a diverse option that can be as broad or specialised as the student desires.

“What we’re seeing from potential employers is a desire for graduates to be multifaceted and through a degree that offers around forty different majors and minors there is no better choice than a Bachelor of Arts degree at Monash University,” said Pickering.

“Enterprising and entrepreneurial skills such as digital literacy, cultural intelligence, critical thinking, creativity, teamwork and communication, what we’re calling Gen-Z career skills, empower graduates in terms of job opportunity and mobility meaning that in 50 years’ time an arts graduate will be as sought and relevant as they are today,” she said.

Founder of influencer marketing business Tribe, which connects some of Australia’s biggest brands with relevant social media influencers and their audiences, Jules Lund, said over the course of his varied career – which has spanned industries including graphic design, TV, radio and now marketing tech – it has been an overriding sense of curiosity and innovation that had driven him to succeed.

“When I was 18 my careers advisor and parents were guiding me towards career paths that already existed, but in reality what I’m doing now never existed back then and I think as Year 12 students prepare for their future it’s less about knowing exactly what they want to do but rather how they want to do it,” said Lund.

“Qualities I look for as an employer are the ability for staff to be curious about how things can be done better, a passion for innovation and hunger and appetite for learning,” he added.

Monash University has also just announced the launch of its new Global Immersion Guarantee in 2018 which will guarantee overseas experience for all Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Global Studies students who meet the eligibility criteria.

The Global Immersion Guarantee is the first initiative of its kind in Australia, with Monash University covering the cost of all airfares, accommodation and local travel associated with an intensive field trip to either Italy, Indonesia or Malaysia. Students will explore the interlinkage of the environment, society and technology as part of their field work.

“At Monash we’re known as offering the most global-focused higher education arts program in the country and we’re extremely proud to now be offering the Global Immersion Guarantee as a first-of-its-kind global study initiative to our students,” Pickering said.

The university has launched a new campaign, ‘What a Week’, where two Year 12 students were sent on a surprise, whirlwind, five-day experience to showcase the wide-ranging career pathways that can result from a Bachelor of Arts degree. From Australia to Singapore, cybersecurity to human geography and everything in between visit to view the campaign.


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