Doing an arts degree at uni is about to become a luxury option. The cost is set to more than double to $45,000, as the Government tries to steer students away from humanities and “incentivise” them to make “job-relevant” choices, such as IT, science, nursing and teaching, that lead to more “job-ready” graduates.
I did a Bachelor of Arts in journalism many years ago, so long ago that journalism seemed like a “job-relevant” choice.
No one tried to “incentivise” me to do anything else, which is lucky, because I don’t think I would have been happy in IT or science, or particularly good at them.
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Doing the degree taught me journalism basics like defamation law, but also encouraged me to think critically and argue coherently.
That’s helped in my journalism career, but would have helped in any career I’d ended up in. It’s kind of sad to think that my degree isn’t valued as highly as others.
Here, 10 women who did arts degrees tell Mamamia where it led them.
Elizabeth: “I did an arts degree at Melbourne Uni back in the early to mid-‘90s and did honours in English. I had no idea what I wanted to do but it definitely opened the door to a variety of jobs in the publishing industry over a number of years. Then 12 years ago I started working for a film company and have worked my way up to being a general manager there, so I’ve always stayed in the arts, even though my actual degree wasn’t a ‘job-ready’ one as such.”
Emily: “I majored in political science and international relations and minored in German and French. I did an exchange in Germany for a year and went on to study law as a post-grad. I now work for a federal government agency. Whilst it was my law degree that landed me the job, my arts degree gave me a really good basis for critical thinking, research and academic writing skills. I am also much more informed about the political system and current affairs as a result, which I see as a huge benefit.”
Sarah: “I completed a visual arts degree in 2012 and since then have established a contemporary jewellery gallery/workshop which, at the time of selling the business, supported over 45 (predominately female) makers through mentorship in managing small business, selling their work and providing workshop access.