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Corey Ross - Employability & Applicants

Last Updated:

11th June 2013

Upon graduating our students go into a whole range of different jobs and careers. Some of them follow the research and teaching route, and sort of continue, as it were, in the academic community. A number of them go on to work in NGO's. Some move into the civil service. Some go into teaching. Some go into law. It really is a broad, broad range of jobs that people move into.

One of the reasons for this, I think, is because of some of the skills they learn while they're with us. Unlike, say, many of the natural sciences, and I would know I actually studied natural sciences as an undergraduate, in these more humanities and social sciences based subjects that we do in history and African studies there are often not right answers to questions. There are more and less plausible answers to questions. There are different interpretations and perspectives one can put on questions. There are different ways of ordering what is a chaotic amount of information into something coherent and understandable.

These are skills that managers find very attractive in people, because in real life employment situations there very often aren't right and wrong answers. There are better and worse answers. These are the kinds of skills that our students leave with.

The kind of applicants we're looking for are the kinds of students who want to find out more than they already have. The kinds of students who, in their final year at university, perhaps thought, oh I'm just leaving when it's starting to get interesting. In many ways I think that is the case. People are often only just getting really good at this in their final year. They're just finding that the questions they're asking are getting more and more interesting, and then they graduate.

Doing a year or two, or more, of postgraduate study gives them an opportunity to pursue those questions and also to embark on a kind of new relationship with the academy and with the staff who populate it. Because the relationship between staff and postgraduates is quite different from that between staff and undergraduates. It's more collegial. It is more based on parity. It's more based on teamwork than it is at undergraduate level, and many postgraduate students really value that.

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