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The University of Southampton
Economic, Social and Political Sciences

Bright prospects for social sciences graduates

Published: 15 November 2013

Students of social sciences at Southampton look set for successful careers after university, according to a new report on employment prospects.

Graduates of the social sciences are more likely to find employment after their first degree than fellow students who took science and arts subjects, and a higher proportion of them quickly achieve posts described as ‘managerial and senior officials’. The statistics come from the Campaign for Social Science which analysed data from higher education surveys on graduates three years after they left university.

Results showed that 84 per cent of social science graduates had found jobs, compared with 78 per cent with STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) qualifications and 79 per cent who took arts and humanities subjects. More STEM graduates go on to further study.
“We are not surprised as we know our graduates go on to successful careers in a wide range of professions,” says Professor David Owen , Head of Politics and International Relations at the University of Southampton. “Studying the social sciences enables people to understand complex issues, research, analyse and evaluate data critically, question assumptions, understand people, systems and processes of change and communicate clearly to a diverse range of audiences. Our degree programmes both challenge our students to address important issues and develop essential skills for the world of work.”

The Higher Education Statistics Agency data on 62,205 graduates completing full or part-time degrees in 2008/9, the latest results available, also show that 7.6 per cent of social science graduates in work were classed as ‘managers and senior officials’. This compares with 3.6 per cent of STEM graduates and 6.2 per cent of arts and humanities graduates.

The report was launched at a public lecture in October organised by the Campaign for Social Science.

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