Arts degrees and your future career

By Sarah Talty

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Sometimes I feel like the world is divided into two types of people: people who think it’s okay to study Arts and people who don’t. But a lot of the time these people are misinformed or their career route is so straightforward they can’t see past a college degree. If you’re doing something like nursing or teaching, the thoughts of finishing a degree, like a BA in Arts, and not having a set title might terrify you.

But an Arts degree gives you a lot of freedom! I know that seems like just something people say at open days to try and entice you into their course but it’s true. When you graduate with a Nursing degree, you’re going to go to a hospital and be a nurse. And that’s great if you want to be a nurse. But if you don’t really know what you want to do an Arts degree can be a great way to learn some valuable skills while you figure it out. But with the likes of an Arts degree, a lot of the time, it’s what you make it. With a journalism degree you can become a Journalist, Editor, Technical Writer, Public Relations, TV Journalist, Broadcaster.

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That was a big thing for my dad when I was trying to decide what to do. I didn’t really have a head for maths or business or science. I went through the whole prospectus for UL, trying to find the course for me through the process of elimination. Eventually I found myself mostly left with the Arts section. I was looking at doing a BA in Arts, English and New Media, Journalism and New Media or Business. Dad’s question to each of these was: ‘what are you going to be after?’

He wanted me to say I’m doing Law so I’m going to be a lawyer or I’m going to be a primary school teacher. He didn’t get it. I actually went for Journalism in the end so when I graduate technically I’m going to be a journalist. But simply having a degree doesn’t make you a journalist. Having articles regularly published, loving writing and having an interest in what’s happening in the world around you does. Just because you have a degree as a primary school teacher, doesn’t automatically mean you have a steady stable job out of college. There’s a certain amount of work that goes into trying to sculpt a career for yourself after college that everyone has to go through no matter your degree.

Here’s a list of successful (American) people and art degrees they hold:

  • Howard Schultz, Starbucks CEO: B.S. in Communications, Northern Michigan University, 1975
  • Andrea Jung, Former Avon CEO: B.A. in English Literature, Princeton University, 1979
  • Michael Eisner, Former Walt Disney Company CEO: B.A. in English Literature and Theater, Denison University, 1964
  • Richard Plepler, HBO CEO : B.A. in Government, Franklin & Marshall College, 1981
  • Carly Fiorina, Former Hewlett-Packard CEO: B.A. in Medieval History and Philosophy, Stanford University, 1976
  • Susan Wojcicki YouTube CEO: B.A. in History and Literature, Harvard University, 1990
  • Conan O’Brien, TV Show Host: Bachelor of Arts in History

All college degrees are hard work, no matter what they are. You could be whizz at an Engineering course but struggle to get through English & New Media, simply because your strengths don’t lie in understanding literature. Everybody is different and if everyone was the same the world would be a boring place.

Find out more about our courses at www.ul.ie/artsoc/future-students.

Details of our new BA can be found at ul.ie/arts.

sarahtalty

Sarah Talty is a 3rd year BA Journalism & New Media student at the University of Limerick. From Clare, Sarah loves books, chocolate, Netflix, napping and writing, not necessarily in that order.

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Arts?

By Tom Wright

Untitled design (20)We live in hard times, we suffered one of the biggest financial crashes in history. For most of us, if you are like me, it was completely out of our hands, there was in essence nothing we could have done.  The world changes around us and all we can do is march on. We humans are strange creatures, capable of wonders and brilliance while at the same time we lay the foundations for our undoing. Over the last decades we have brought the globe together, globalisation has connected us like never before. We built a financial system that spans the globe, using business genius and scientific wizardry we created something astounding and colossal in its magnitude. But as the crash of 2008 showed us we lost control of it. It is a system without thought or empathy. Callous and uncaring in the pursuit of profit…..

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Were was our humanity? At what point did we stop putting our heart into our thoughts and actions? Perhaps we never stopped and it is just me. I cannot help but see a system that has no heart and empathy to it anymore. This is why I will write. This is why I want to speak for and advocate the humanities at the University of Limerick. This is my first blog as ambassador for AHSS and it will not be my last. I believe that we need the humanities, in my eyes it is the study of what we as human beings live for. We don’t live for money or cold calculations. We live for passion. This is reflected in the great works of our writers and artists. In the words of our leaders, those precious few who do not stumble and give into corruption as the might of the system bears down upon them.

I believe in the arts and I can think of nowhere better to study than at the University of Limerick. It is a place full of ideas and people who come from all around the world to study, UL is an experience as much as it is a place of learning. In a way UL is a reflection of what we study in the Arts, we study something that is profound and difficult sometimes to articulate. In other words the human experience. And believe me when I say that UL is one hell of an experience.