Humanities students seek job opportunities

Humanities graduates with more focused and professional qualifications are more likely to be recruited by companies compared to humanities students with a more general degree. 
STUDENT career fairs hosted by CCDU are not providing opportunities for BA and Humanities students on the basis that they are less appealing to recruitment companies than specialised degrees.
Counselling and Careers Development Unit (CCDU) at Wits are the main organisers of career fairs where companies ordinarily come to recruit students for work opportunities.
CCDU career development educator Raj Naran said they support humanities students with job search skills programme and career councelling services in the same way they do for students in other faculties.
However, Naran explained that “it is very rare that companies would specifically recruit BA graduates”. Generally, smaller companies who have specific interest in BA graduates do not see student recruitment as part of their strategy.
There is a higher demand for students with IT, engineering, commerce and mathematical science qualifications, although this does not mean there are no opportunities for the humanities graduate, according to Naran.
Naran said that the BA degree requires the individual to develop it further with a more focused professional qualification.
“It is imperative that individuals understand the general nature of the BA degree and the need to cap it with a more focused postgraduate/professional or skills-based qualification, this would enhance the individual’s appeal to employers,” he added.
Postgraduate BA Law student, Zoe Wein, said while her undergraduate BA degree taught her specific literary skills as well as general writing and reading skills it was not at all useful for job opportunities.
“I don’t think you can get hired off a general BA, which is why my postgraduate degree is corporate based, I did a legal degree so I didn’t have to rely on my BA to get me hired,” she said.
While doing a BA enhances creativity and originality, many students say they cannot find the job opportunities that relate to their specific field of study.
Fourth-year publishing honours student Tazmin Morgan said doing a BA degree gives one a broad scope in terms of career choices, however career fairs have not aided in realising the opportunities available.
“Getting a degree is one thing, but making it have worth and applicability is difficult when you not exposed to enough opportunities,” she said.

Related Articles Wits Vuvuzela: No career fair for Humanities May 2013

Wits Vuvuzela: Big companies shun Humanities Careers Expo August 2012

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