Graduates gain essential skills and knowledge

It's not only society that benefits from Arts and Humanities graduates, the individuals themselves leave university with a well rounded set of skills and a sense of self and purpose. This unique combination creates active citizens who often embark on meaningful careers with impact.

A photo of two students sat by their laptops listening to a lecturer in a seminar

Some of the highly sought after skills Humanities graduates obtain, according to recent research, include:

Narrative, storytelling and communication skills

A project run by the Centre for Skills, Knowledge, and Organisational Performance (SKOPE) at Oxford University, has exposed the increasing demand from businesses for their employees to have narrative, storytelling and communication skills:

"Put simply, how does a business explain itself? And how do its employees at any level within it explain what they are doing and what they want to do? Narratives humanise data. Stories clarify, captivate and compel. But, until now, the business case for narrative skills and storycraft has been signally missing."

Even if a business has a scientific focus or product, in order for it to be a success, employees will need to be able to explain the mission, promote the products, inspire stakeholders and customers etc. This is recognised by the 34 business leaders, most of whom are CEOs of FTSE100 companies, who contributed to the report:

"[A] narrative is necessary for a business to communicate its purpose and values. This reflects dramatic societal and economic changes this century by which society as a whole and employees, especially younger ones, expect businesses to live and operate by positive values. The old corporate objective of focusing on maximising shareholder financial returns is no longer sufficient."

[SKOPE, ‘Storycraft: The importance of narrative and narrative skills in business’, read full report]

Philosophical and ethical thinking 

In their recent report Forbes explains how the skills provided by humanities degrees are highly sought after for AI innovation. Skills such as the ability to analyse, question and monitor innovation are essential in order for technology to serve humanity effectively.

With the rise of artificial intelligence, machine programming, and the ever-more rapid automation of technical skills, many companies are seeking just the creative and humanist thinking that emerges from a study of the liberal arts.


The Arts And Humanities Deliver Untapped Value For The Future Of Work

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Microsoft presidents confirm the necessity of having Arts and Humanities graduates in the development of AI, stating "Languages, art, history, economics, ethics, philosophy, psychology and human development courses can teach critical, philosophical and ethics-based skills that will be instrumental in the development and management of AI solutions." [Microsoft president Brad Smith and EVP of AI and research Harry Shum writing in their book "The Future Computered"]

Resilience and flexibility

In our new world of flexible working, the constant development of technology in the workplace and a global financial crisis, the World Economic Forum explains how employers are becoming increasingly aware of the need for employees to have skills in "self-management such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility." Skills which are all recognised in Arts and Humanities graduates. [World Economic Forum, ‘These are the top 10 job skills of tomorrow – and how long it takes to learn them’ read the full report]

Research at the University of Oxford has shown that humanities graduates are of the most resilient and adaptable, meaning they are equipped to navigate our ever-evolving world. "Students, graduates and employers noted that the resilience and adaptability developed during a humanities degree is particularly useful during big changes in the labour market – whether that’s triggered by a global financial crisis, changes caused by the rise of automation and AI technologies, or indeed a global pandemic." [University of Oxford, ‘New research shows how studying the humanities can benefit young people’s future careers and wider society’, read the full report]

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