Advice to social science students

Five recent graduates in social science subjects give advice to people considering studying for a degree. The five are case studies in the Campaign’s recent report on graduate employment

Read the five’s thoughts on how social science helps graduates in their work
Read the five’s thoughts on what social science graduates can offer employers

“I would say choose something you are really interested in. Do not choose a degree because your parents want you to or because it seems easy.  Without a fundamental interest and passion for the subject you are likely to struggle or be bored for three years!”
– Elinor Owe, Social Psychology graduate (2008, 2009, 2013)

“Find out as much as possible about the degree beforehand, for example speak to current students about their experience. This will give you an idea of whether it is something for you. Social science is really fascinating, but everyone may not think so, so it’s important to know as much as possible about what the degree will involve beforehand.”
– Elinor Owe

“If you haven’t considered studying sociology, do! It’s such an interesting subject that we can all relate to in some way as it’s all about understanding the world in which we live in. If Sociology doesn’t sound quite what you’re looking for then look at other social sciences too. Besides being interesting I think they can offer a lot of transferable skills and knowledge to take forward too.”
– Elisabeth Brickell, BSc Sociology (2007)

“I’ve had good feedback throughout my career on my written style in reports and liaisons with clients and I’m certain that this came from the many hours of preparation for my sociology exams – with the many conflicting sociological theorists to write about we were often told there was no right or wrong answer, but whichever one we were giving needed to be delivered in a clear, concise and convincing way.”
– Elisabeth Brickell

“Another benefit of a social science degree is the wide variety of career opportunities it can lead you into […] including social research, media research, HR, PR, teaching, policing, social work, charity and community based work.”
– Elisabeth Brickell

“A degree in social science will equip you with a wealth of skills to help you throughout your career, whatever you want to go into. The opportunities open to you upon graduation are far reaching, and in my experience looked upon well by employers across many professions. If you are not sure if it is for you then I would advise reading around the subject. In the case of economics it is also important not to be put off by the maths!”
– Gosia Slominski, BSc Economics with German (2012)

“Social science degrees are just as important as degrees which lead directly to a specific profession or vocation. The skills you learn, the people you meet and the knowledge you accrue from a social science degree are invaluable in future life.”
– Michael Payne, LLB Law (2008)

Find something you enjoy doing and pursue it. Social Science graduates are very flexible between many careers and shouldn’t feel their selection of subjects, at school or university, should shoe horn them into any specific field. Their transferable skills in writing, researching and critical thinking can be of huge benefit to employers in a wide range of careers.”
– Tom Holder, BA Politics, Philosophy and Economics (2007)

Photos: clockwise from top left – Elinor Owe, Tom Holder, Michael Payne, Gosia Slominksi, Elizabeth Brickell

Report collage

Report collage