New research on 'The Value of the Humanities'

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The University of Oxford has published a report on 'The Value of the Humanities' which used an innovative methodology to understand how humanities graduates have fared over their whole careers – not just at a fixed point in time after graduation. 

The report followed the career destinations of over 9,000 Oxford humanities graduates aged between 21 and 54 who entered the job market between 2000 and 2019, cross-referenced with UK government data on graduate outcomes and salaries. This was combined with in-depth interviews with around 100 alumni and current students, and interviews with employers from many sectors.

The research found that studying a humanities degree at university gives young people vital skills which benefit them throughout their careers and prepare them for changes and uncertainty in the labour market. 

The report’s key findings include: 

1) Humanities graduates develop resilience, flexibility and skills to adapt to challenging and changing labour markets. 
2) Humanities careers open a path to success in a wide range of employment sectors. 
3) The skills developed by studying a humanities degree, such as communication, creativity and working in a team, are “highly valued and sought out by employers”. 
4) Humanities graduates benefit from subject-specific learning. 
5) Studying humanities helps graduates to make “wider contributions to society”. 
6) Humanities graduates have high levels of job satisfaction and many said their primary motivation for studying their subject was not financial. 

Find out more and read the full report on the University of Oxford website.