No Career Week help for humanities students

Social science and humanities students struggle to find careers

A 2015 study showing the average earnings of social sciences and humanities degrees.
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Reported by Tierney Grattan

Co-op and Career Week helps students develop the skills to find employment after college, having a day set aside for most areas of study – noticeably absent is one for social science and humanities.

These degrees also happen to be the most difficult to find related employment with after graduation.

A 2016 Stats Canada report showed people aged 25-34 with degrees in humanities and social science often end up overqualified for their work.

A chance to speak with employers

Jennifer Reid, the organizer for Co-op and Career Week, said there is not a set day for these students because critical thinking is too broad a skill.

“You’ve got to keep in mind that the employers are never going to speak directly at one occupation or one discipline,” Reid said. “They’re going to speak in general to the skills that students need to have in that area.”

Accountants, computer programmers, business management professionals and engineering jobs are in high demand, according to WorkBC.

Employer interest in the business management and computer science programs were actually the catalyst for starting Co-op and Career Week, said Reid.

“You start small and you work with the people who either have some sort of practicum or internship or some sort of work experience already imbedded in their programs,” Reid said.

Langara has recently added a 61-credit program called a Diploma in Applied Social Sciences and Humanities aimed at helping students apply critical thinking skills to the business environment.

Good jobs don’t just belong to science students

Colin Mills, the department chair of DASSH, said it’s a myth all good jobs in the future belong in science and similar fields.

“Initially people that graduate with STEM often get really good jobs and people that graduate in social sciences and humanities often do start off in jobs that are below their credentials,” Mills said.

“In the long run, they continue to move upwards and they will find their place in the world.”

Mills said that maybe the social science and humanities departments need to put more emphasis on the skills students are being taught.

“When I do spiels for the DASSH program, I tell them that we are great at teaching people things, but we are terrible at telling them what we have taught them,” Mills said.

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