Job Search and Application for Humanities and Social Sciences: 12 Tips for starting a career


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Even if social change is a change in employers' minds, the labor market for minds and social scientists is still tense. What is the reason and what can the graduates do?

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisherConsultant and head of the Institute's job pictures Yourweb.

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Just in the trend?

In the past you often heard that humanities and social scientists can only become taxi drivers. Today, as the signs are increasing in times of globalization and digital transformation, that a purely economic thinking does not help us socially, the positive signs for these graduates are increasing.

Do you believe that futurologist Dr. Eike WenzelHumanities and culture are even in vogue. Commercially successful examples of this are the book sales of Richard David Precht or Peter Sloterdjik. And the British private channel Classic FM came to 4,2 million listeners a week within four months, providing explanatory lyrics to classical pieces of music. The secret of success was in all cases to translate the highly specialized background knowledge for normal consumers and thus to make it suitable for everyday use.

Hot desire looks different

But they are not very much in demand, on the contrary, many humanities and social sciences are considered as orchid subjects. They are the exotics among the university offers and rarely found in the course catalog - such as egyptology, sinology or art education.

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But whoever thinks the low competition opens up better chances on the labor market, is wrong: apart from a limited special area the chances are rather bad. But what do you do if you do not get this niche?

First explain what you have studied

Among the subjects listed at the Potsdamer Small Subjects office, the humanities are the largest group. And those are also the ones with the biggest problems finding a job after graduation. Even if only a few scholars decide on an orchid subject, there are still too many for the few places at universities, museums and cultural institutions.

In the free economy, however, one must first explain what one has actually studied: For what Company desperately looking for the designated expert in Comparative Literature or Religious Studies? Because even if many companies like to advertise full-bodied, be open to creative career changers: In practice, no one likes to buy what he does not know. Besides, in Germany you just have to do what you have learned and not something else! The exotics often do not fit into the thinking of most employers and are eyed accordingly suspicious.

The location is difficult, but not hopeless

But even if the situation is difficult, hopeless, it is by no means: Already 2004 pleaded with the Hamburg Professorin Dr. Martha Meyer-Althoff in an interview Spiegel Online for finally stopping the collective whining about the bad job prospects and pointing out constructive solutions. I got the time for my book The Optimal Career Entry, which deals with the same target group, researched extensively on this subject.

By the way, she explicitly meant her colleagues at the universities, who would also like to greet her orchid student with the words: "What do you want here - you will all be unemployed anyway!" However, such inferiority complexes do not help, on the contrary: Meyer-Althof's recommendation to the graduates was also to make clear which job-related skills you acquire in your studies - to sell them confidently when looking for a job.

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Humanities scholars can do more than Professorthink

That it is a lot is also known Dr. Monika Wulf-Mathies, who made a career as a historian in the Chancellery, at ÖTV and DHL: “Basically, every course imparts key and basic skills that enable you to structure facts, systematically develop new topics and apply your knowledge in different areas. Humanities scholars also develop important skills, from language to culture, society and life in general to good writing and sensitivity to SoftSkills that are useful for many jobs. ”

The fact is that many exotics can do more than they believe - as the many examples of successful graduates show. About Juliane Meyer, which, with the study of comparative studies and book sciences, had made it into the editorship of an economic publishing house. Or Stefan Zeilinger's Profile, who as a technology and science historian landed not in the technical museum, but as a patent expert in a law firm.

Spiritual scientists use their chances

A recently published study by the Institute for Labor Market and Vocational Research entitled “Labor market opportunities for humanities scholars. Analyzes, Perspectives, Starting a Business ”shows: Humanities and cultural scientists take advantage of their opportunities in a wide range of fields.

However, this occupational group appears to be more frequent than others in precarious employment, and the monthly average income is about 600 Euro below that of other academic groups. Therefore, the exotics professional success usually define about work satisfaction and self-realization.

12 Tips for getting on the job for spiritual scientists

Anyone who has studied an anthropological orchid study has a lot of explanatory needs in the free economy and not necessarily the best cards.

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What else can you do to find a job? These 12 tips will help you:

  1. The right minor subjects: If already an orchid subject such as Islamic studies or comparative literature - why not with a minor subject such as law or economics? This increases your chances of a publishing career or the external service considerably.
  2. Looking beyond the box: Many exotics know only the universities and have no idea at all, what other possibilities still offer. Just think a step further!
  3. Gain Practical Experience: Get Out of the Ivory Tower and gain as much hands-on experience as you can during your studies - then you have a good chance to find a job outside of your niche.
  4. Gaining experience strategically: This is shown in many studies by those who know at an early stage where they want to go and acquire specific skills in this area.
  5. Show initiative: In the economy: You have to persuade art workers of their abilities - not the other way around!
  6. You can believe more than you! In their studies, they have not only learned the subject, but also analytical thinking, organizational skills, teamwork, and many more, which helps in the labor market.
  7. Self-awareness is a good thing: Make yourself aware of what skills you have acquired during your studies, which can help you score points. You must bring it over!
  8. Conquering thirsty stretches: If it does not work out the way with the dreamjob, you can use the time to reorient yourself.
  9. Caution! So many a man who has heard again and again, he could only be taxed after graduation, sinking into a kind of intellectual defiance, if the dream job does not work out right away. This is unfortunately the wrong way!
  10. If you can not score with your qualifications, you have to acquire new ones: for example, in a targeted postgraduate course or further education in an economic sense. There are numerous offers from universities or the IHK.
  11. Alternative Entrepreneurship: Start-ups can be an alternative to realize your own ideas. But every good idea needs a market to sell. So do not start too blue-eyed, but let yourself be informed and advised in advance.
  12. Search for examples: orient yourself on how other successful spiritual scientists have succeeded. On too Best of HR – Berufebilder.de® You will find interviews, CVs and many more tips sorted by subject.

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    Labor market for humanities scholars:

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