Monday, July 03, 2006

A great article for all the Arts, social sceience, and humanities graduates

First of all, I want to send million kisses to whoever wrote this article. The article definitely,
Confronts the myths with insightful evidence for what our employable degrees can provide. A good read and a great boost!

What can I do with a Bachelor of Arts Degree?: Myths and Facts
Myth #1: A Bachelor of Arts degree is not enough to find a well-paying, interesting job. I need to go to graduate school, Law School, the Faculty of Education, or a technical training institute to be competitive for professional employment.
Myth #2: A Bachelor of Arts degree will get you a job flipping burgers and not a whole lot else!
Myth #3: A Bachelor of Arts degree is a waste of time and money. Those who specialize in Engineering, Technology or Commerce are the ones that get the jobs and earn the most money.
Myth #4: If Arts students just 'do what they love' in terms of their academic course work, career planning can wait until later or after graduation.

A main reason for the skepticism about the labour market value of an Arts degree that we sometimes hear in the media or from family and friends is the frequent lack of an obvious correspondence between majors and specific jobs.
For example, a Computer Science major is likely headed for a career working primarily with computers, thus applying the technical knowledge and content directly from his/her coursework. However, because a History major will not necessarily get a job as a historian after an undergraduate degree, many students worry about how an intimate knowledge of medieval Europe, for example, will translate into a satisfying, challenging and well-paying career after graduation.
For many students, parents and peers alike, this uncertainty has spawned many myths about an Arts degree. While these myths are potentially damaging, reality does not support them. In fact, graduate outcome surveys and research show that Arts undergraduates are equipped with transferable skills that are highly desirable to many different employers. Such a high level of marketability allows for great career versatility and success. This skill set, along with the corresponding benefits, is unique to Arts undergraduates, and the key strength of the degree.
Photograph taken by Matthew Celuszak
Myth #1: A Bachelor of Arts degree is not enough to find a well-paying, interesting job. I need to go to graduate school, Law School, the Faculty of Education, or a technical training institute to be competitive for professional employment.
Fact #1:
Further academic study is not a pre-requisite for finding lucrative and interesting employment immediately after completing a Bachelor of Arts degree. Arts students should not feel they need to pursue further education simply because they do not know what else to do or feel they cannot secure a well-paying job without it. According to a survey conducted in 2001 by the University Presidents' Council of BC, BC Arts graduates are employed with an average salary of $46,000 annually within 5 years of graduating, without having any further college or university study.
The reason for this is that most professional careers fall outside of the mainstream or traditional jobs of 'Lawyer', 'Teacher', 'Doctor', or 'Professor'. Many are within Arts students' reach upon graduation, particularly if they have already identified their unique interests and abilities, researched occupations, networked with industry professionals, volunteered or worked in related fields, and rounded out their academic education with other activities. The following are examples of job titles held by Arts graduates, ranging from non-profit, to private business, to government:
Analyst
Events Planner
Advertising Executive
Marketing Professional
International Developer
Corporate Trainer
Technical Writer
Graphics/ Web Designer
Entrepreneur
Program Coordinator
Vocational Counselor
Advisor
Facilitator
Manager
Director
Supervisor
Although many of you may find that you desire more formal academic or specific education as you advance in your career, it is not necessary or even advisable to pursue further education immediately after graduation unless your career exploration activities have pointed you in a direction that requires further specialized education. Participating in career exploration and research activities guided by UBC Career Services and/or Arts Co-op will provide the direction, information and opportunities needed to gain experience in fields that spark your interests.

Photograph taken by Stephanie Tait
Myth #2: A Bachelor of Arts degree will get you a job flipping burgers and not a whole lot else!
Fact #2:
Based on recent statistical analysis conducted by UBC Professor of Economics, Dr. Robert C. Allen, Liberal Arts graduates readily find jobs and generally earn high incomes. Arts graduates are often employed in a professional or managerial capacity (50 - 81%). This compared favorably with those in Commerce (60%) and those with technical or vocational diplomas from colleges and technical institutes (24 - 35%).
According to a study conducted by the Social Science and Humanities Research Council of Canada, Arts graduates have a high earning potential. From their 20's to their 50's, students that graduate in the Humanities see their annual income rise on average by 78%. Graduates in the Social Sciences see their income rise 106% over the same period. This compared favorably with a 47% increase in income for community college grads and an average 76% increase for university grads across all fields.


Photograph taken by Arts One
Myth #3: A Bachelor of Arts degree is a waste of time and money. Those who specialize in Engineering, Technology, Science or Commerce are the ones that get the jobs and earn the most money.
Fact #3:
In the long run, graduates with Arts degrees are often just as successful as their counterparts in other, more vocationally specific degrees. This is because Arts graduates emerge with highly developed research, communication, creative problem-solving and critical thinking skills that are in high demand because they are difficult to teach in the workplace. Many employers want this type of well-rounded employee, who can be trained for more specific skills.
In January 2001, 30 top executives of major Canadian high-tech corporations released a joint statement to the Canadian HR Reporter articulating the merits of a Liberal Arts background in the dot.com economy:
"It is impossible to operate an effective corporation in the new economy by employing technology graduates alone. We have an equally strong need for those with a broader background who can work in tandem with technical specialists, helping create and manage a corporate environment."
The statement also said that in order for Canadian companies to compete and prosper internationally, they need to employ leaders who are creative, possess critical thinking skills, and who have learned how to keep learning. In fact, many CEO's of successful technology companies have undergraduate degrees in Arts.
Here are some other examples of successful UBC Arts graduates working in a range of professional occupations:
Susie Biro, Certified Professional Coach, Speaker and Seminar Leader, BA Psychology
Suzanne Boyd, Team Leader, Attraction & Recruitment, HR Business & Performance Consulting, Human Resources Division, VanCity Credit Union, BA Sociology/ Women Studies
Pat Carney, BC Senator, politician, author, planner, BA Economics/ Political Science
Ben Heppner, Tenor, BA Music
Gillian Moran, Program Manager, GLOBE Foundation of Canada, BA International Relations/ Canadian Studies
Robert Mundell, University Professor, Columbia University, BA Economics
Linda Ong, Program Marketing Co-ordinator, CBC, BA English Literature/ Sociology
Jonathan R. Pagtakhan, Financial Adviser, CIBC Imperial Service/ CIBC Investors Services Inc., BA Economics
Judi Piggott, Director, Training and HR Development, Alliance for the Arts, BA Psychology
Alison Stringham, VP Operations, Hot Tomali Communications Inc., BA English Literature
Jasbir Uppal, Regional Program Officer, Associate Regional Executive Head's Office, Human Resources and Skills Development Canada, BA Political Science/ French Language
An Arts degree is a "good ticket" to long-term career success because Arts students develop permanent "soft" skills in research, analytical-thinking and flexibility and often experience greater workplace variety as a result. In a report released in June 1999, the Ottawa Citizen revealed that that Arts graduates tend to be more satisfied with their jobs than the technology graduates 5 years after graduation.
If you want to obtain some ideas about possible careers for your major after graduation, click on "What can I do with my major" from UBC Careers Online.

Photograph taken by Ka-Kei Law Photography
Myth #4: If Arts students just 'do what they love' in terms of their academic course work, career planning can wait until later or after graduation.
Fact #4:
We encourage students to pursue what they are most passionate about in life. The trick is to turn your passion into your career by planning your career path strategically starting right now! Although the first step towards creating a career you will love begins with finding and focusing on the subjects you are most interested in, doing what you love while planning for the future will turn your passions into tangible career realities.
By starting to plan for your career while you are pursuing your studies, you will experience an easier transition from your academics into the workforce after you graduate. Instead of waking up after your graduation ceremony and asking yourself, "Now what?", you will have a clearer picture of what kinds of work you are interested in, where to search for or create such employment, and how to secure the position. Also, the sooner you start this process, the more networks you will develop which could provide you with leads to unadvertised job openings or ideas on how to create your own employment.
Starting early will also provide you with valuable experiential learning opportunities to test out the kind of activities you think you would enjoy doing for a living before you have to commit to them full-time. Spreading your career exploration over the duration of your studies could save you valuable time, energy and money in the long run.
You are totally employable with your Arts degree. Why wait until you have graduated to figure this out?!

from http://www.arts.ubc.ca/What_can_I_do_with_an_Arts_deg.436.0.html


:)

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