Humanities students feel ‘less prepared’ for the workplace

Humanities students feel ‘less prepared’ for the workplace according to a new survey.

The study shows that a quarter of students in humanities and arts feel much less prepared for the jobs market than their college peers, saying they have “never” explored how to apply their learning in the workplace.

The vast majority of third-level students find college to be a valuable experience, noting that it has given them “marketable skills and knowledge”.

23 per cent of students in humanities and arts said they believed college life had contributed “very little” to preparing for the workplace.

Science, maths and computing students 15 per cent of students responded likewise. This is compared to just 6 per cent of students in education and training, health and welfare, and services.

Jenny McCormack, a DCU Economics, Politics and Law student in her final year, said she feels unprepared for the jobs market due to the absence of an organised work placement in her degree.

“The absence of Intra in my degree puts extra pressure on us to find our own work placement while we’re studying to gain an advantage entering the jobs market.”

Saoirse FitzGerald, final year Contemporary Culture and Society student has similar doubts about her degree.

“I feel so unprepared for my future. Maybe it’s my own fault for not choosing to do science or business. I feel like I’m not sure what I will be actually qualified in. How will I explain that to an employer?”

The Irish Survey of Student Engagement (, will run annually after following a successful pilot year last year when it received almost 20,000 responses from students across 30 higher education institutions.

The authors have said that the study aimed to provide data on the quality of third level teaching and learning will take several years “to show a clear picture of Irish student’ experiences.

Elaine Carroll

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