A comprehensive degree with skills highly sought after in the workforce

“I didn’t know what I wanted to do with my life” are words often said by students pursuing degrees in the arts and humanities. And it is understandable why they would choose this field of study if they are unsure of their long-term career path.

The wide range of subject choices means that graduates have a wide variety of fields to choose from, as opposed to a fixed, linear path.

While this is an advantage for many potential students, for others it can actually be a deterrent, said Loretta Brady, recruitment project officer for the College of Arts, Celtic Studies and Social Sciences at University College Cork (UCC).

“As humans, we like certainty. That’s where engineering and pharmacy et cetera give people a level of security and certainty. Art is really the opposite in that it is about giving you a choice,” she said.

“It’s a comprehensive, open-ended degree that leaves you with a lot of postgraduate study options and career options. But I think this difficulty for students and parents can give them a sense of anxiety.”

However, Brady said that the fact that it is not a “cookie cutter course” should be viewed favorably, allowing students to explore their interests in a broader sense before deciding on a particular career. .

He said that the Leaving Certificate course is quite systematic in terms of its subject offering.

Moving into an arts degree at the third level allows students to try new things they may have never encountered before.

“You’d be surprised by the number of students who actually choose these subjects, like philosophy, sociology, archaeology, or whatever,” she said.

“The number of students who come for those subjects when they come in contact with them, and this can lead them to a completely different trajectory in terms of postgraduate studies or career options. I think it is quite important if you don’t know what you want to be.”

In recent years, in particular, the focus has been on the race for CAO points for many university courses. In 2021, even those scoring a maximum of 625 marks were unable to find a place in their top course choice due to rising demand and point inflation.

However, points of access to arts courses are generally on the more accessible side, which is another reason for their popularity.

At UCC, for example, this year the marks for the arts degree ranged from 300 to 601, while at Maynuth University, the bachelor of arts requirement was 338.

University College Dublin (UCD) has three streams of arts degrees: three-year combined honours, which required 381 points in 2021; modern languages, which required 320; and a humanities degree, which includes a year abroad, a research project or internship, and which requires 397 points.