What can social science graduates offer employers?

Five recent graduates in social science subjects talk about what graduates can offer employers. The five are case studies in the Campaign’s recent report on graduate employment

Read the five’s advice to people thinking of studying social science
Read the five’s thoughts on how social science help graduates in their work

“Social scientists are in a great position because they have a very broad perspective. Unlike many natural science degrees, a social scientist learns about complex problems at lots of different levels, e.g. individual, societal and cultural levels. Given that everything hangs together in society, we have to have some understanding of economics, psychology, and politics.”
– Elinor Owe, Social Psychology graduate (2008, 2009, 2013)

“Most social science degrees […] involve primary research, which gives us hands-on experience of data collection, data analysis and writing research reports. This experience is useful not only for research roles but promotes independent thinking, communications skills and organisational skills.”
– Elinor Owe

“[W]hat a sociology or other social sciences degree can offer in particular is a very different and specialised way of looking at things. It teaches you to look beyond the surface and really analyse interactions and behaviours. This inquisitive approach is definitely put to use in a social/market research role, and is vital in enabling you to really look at and understand the data. More and more our clients are looking for deeper insight in the findings we provide, so it’s key to be able to approach a research project in this way and ask the “right” questions at all stages, to be able to provide the client with meaningful and actionable data.”
– Elisabeth Brickell, BSc Sociology (2007)

“Rather than being a pure arts or science subject, economics combines a broad range of skills from numerical, to verbal reasoning, to analytical. Upon graduating, students have a large, transferable toolkit of resources they can take with them into a wide range of professions and sectors.”
– Gosia Slominski, BSc Economics with German (2012)

“Social science graduates pay attention to the facts and figures whilst being unafraid to scrutinise, question and challenge them.”
– Michael Payne, LLB Law (2008)

Considering the human impact of policy decisions is crucial in my role as a councillor – the broad skills set I learnt whilst reading for my degree have helped me to do this.”
– Michael Payne, LLB Law (2008)

“Their smaller proportion of contact hours can make them effective at managing their own time. They are used to reviewing large amounts of information quickly, aiming to get the key facts without drowning in the details. And they often have a better appreciation of the larger political and economic environment within which many decisions are made.”
– 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