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Social sciences degrees explore the many different aspects of human society – including the way people behave, brain functions, political and economic systems, and social trends.
What this means is that although many social sciences degrees lend themselves to obvious careers (such as an Anthropologist, or a Behavioural Psychologist), the huge range of skills that are taught will actually open the doors to many different career paths for graduates.
If you’ve studied Psychology, Sociology, Anthropology, Political Science or Economics, the skills you’ll have learnt during your degree will make you attractive to a huge range of employers, and well-suited to many different careers.
So, what are some of the career options for graduates with a social sciences degree?
One of the most popular career choices for graduates with a Psychology degree, Human Resources graduate jobs involve hiring, co-ordinating and managing a company’s employees.
Because a Psychology degree has a large focus on understanding human behaviour, a Psychology graduate is likely to possess the skills required to manage a company’s employees – like being able to empathise with different kinds of people, and remain impartial and objective when issues or incidences arise.
A Project Manager directs and co-ordinates a team of employees to work towards an end goal – so a Psychology graduate’s understanding of people’s motivations and behaviour would be extremely helpful in such a people-centric role.
As with many of the social sciences, a Psychology degree has a huge focus on critical thinking and problem-solving – and being able to think critically and form an unbiased judgment on situations is an enormously important skill in project management.
The aim of public relations is to manage a company’s reputation using different forms of media and communication – so the ability to communicate effectively (both face-to-face and in writing), is a must-have skill for someone working in PR.
In order to deal with enquiries from the public and the press, liaise with clients and journalists, and sometimes even speak at press conferences and interviews, someone working in PR needs to be able to communicate with anyone and everyone.
Therefore, a thorough understanding of how different societies, organisations and cultures work would stand a Sociology or Anthropology graduate in great stead for a job in PR.
The job of a Recruitment Consultant involves matching a company looking for a specific type of employee with an individual looking for a job.
In order to successfully do so, a Recruitment Consultant needs to be able to understand the needs of both parties – so an awareness of human activity, and different societies, cultures and groups would make someone who’s studied Anthropology or Sociology a great match for graduate recruitment jobs.
Graduate research jobs involve collecting, assessing and co-ordinating information and opinions on a company’s services or products – and backing up the findings with solid data.
Of all the social sciences degrees, Political Science is arguably the one that requires the most analysis – as it involves using a range of different sources to gather information, and analysing this information in order to identify details and trends.
Naturally, having studied a heavily research-focused degree would make a Politics graduate a perfect match for market research jobs.
A Political Science degree often requires students to engage in debate and make reasoned, well-founded arguments – developing self-confidence, communication and negotiation skills.
These kinds of highly transferrable skills will all come in useful in graduate sales jobs, where the role requires speaking to companies and persuading them of the benefits of using a particular service or product.
But for a mathematically-minded grad with an Economics degree, a role that requires collecting, interpreting and reporting on huge data sets could be a great alternative.
The kinds of skills learnt on an Economics course (such as analysis and logic) will make an Economics graduate the ideal candidate for analyst jobs.
Because of the varied nature of the course, and the range of skills that are taught, an Economics graduate also has the option of less numbers-focused roles.
From studying economic theories, models and concepts, and applying them critically, economics graduates also develop excellent problem-solving and critical thinking skills.
These transferrable (and highly sought-after) skills make a graduate with an Economics degree a great match for a career in logistics – a role that tends to involve the moving of materials, equipment and consumer goods from place to place, and overseeing the management of transport and distribution.
The ability to come to well-reasoned decisions, and the capability to think outside of the box to overcome any issues or roadblocks that arise, are key skills in logistics.
If you’re a graduate with a social sciences degree, you’ll have learnt a range of hard skills (like academic writing, data analysis, and project management) and soft skills (such as communication, logic and leadership). So whatever your particular interests, the skills you'll have learnt in your social sciences degree will open the doors to many different graduate jobs, industries, and career options.