How an arts degree will make you job and future ready

Each student who studies a Deakin Bachelor of Arts degree brings with them a unique combination of skills, experiences and qualities. At Deakin, we recognise and celebrate this individuality. Through our employability sequence, we aim to help amplify your existing accomplishments and equip you with the tools, opportunities and guidance necessary to make informed decisions about your future career.

How to be successful both personally and professionally

Employability means a set of achievements – skills, understandings and personal attributes – that make graduates more likely to be successful both personally and professionally.

Deakin’s employability sequence is embedded into our humanities, social sciences, communication and creative arts programs. It’s about your capacity to navigate your career journey, perform effectively across various work environments, and positively contribute to the communities in which you live, work and create.

Why should you prepare for your future career now?

At Deakin, we believe in starting early and starting strong. From your first year of study through to your last, we support you in uncovering and aligning your professional objectives with your personal values and skills development.

'We appreciate that everyone’s career journey is uniquely their own,' says Dr Katrina Clifford,  Associate Professor in Communication and Director of Employability at Deakin's Faculty of Arts and Education. 'That’s why our employability sequence is designed to give students the flexibility to curate a learning experience that aligns with their current stage of that journey and assists them in enhancing the skills essential for career success.'

'Employability learning and work-integrated learning can often be an add-on during the final year of a degree. However, we consider it an integral part of the university experience, providing students the opportunity to focus on their career goals and future-readiness from day one of their studies,' Dr Clifford says.

We consider employability learning and work-integrated learning an integral part of the university experience, providing students the opportunity to focus on their career goals and future-readiness from day one of their studies.

Dr Katrina Clifford

Associate Professor in Communication and Director of Employability, Faculty of Arts and Education

How does the employability sequence at Deakin work?

Our program comprises three units of study throughout your degree. In your first year, we help you explore what employability means to you, reflecting on your strengths, interests and values relative to your career aspirations.

'We also connect you to resources such as DeakinTALENT, our careers and employment service, which remains available to you for the rest of your working life as a Deakin graduate,' Dr Clifford adds.

Recognising that this is a personal journey for you, by mid-degree, you’re able to tailor your learning through a choice of units. These units allow you to explore your leadership capabilities, what it means to be an entrepreneur and an intrapreneur, and how to communicate and collaborate effectively across diverse work environments. We also offer opportunities for real-world experience through internships, overseas study, and networking with industry experts and peers.

In your final year, we focus on developing your personal brand. You'll create a compelling narrative that showcases your unique capabilities and experiences, giving you a distinctive edge to the story you tell about your professional identity and achievements. Alternatively, you have the chance to continue building your practical experience through internships and other work-integrated learning opportunities.

Another crucial component of the employability sequence is helping students develop the skills to be resilient and adaptable to a future world of work we haven’t even imagined yet.

Dr Katrina Clifford

Associate Professor in Communication and Director of Employability, Faculty of Arts and Education

Why is adaptability important in the job market?

The career landscape is continuously evolving, driven by technological developments, economic trends and global events. An arts degree fosters a broad and versatile skillset, enhancing your career prospects and ability to adapt to changeable work conditions.

The rapid evolution of artificial intelligence (AI), which is reshaping industries in unpredictable ways, serves as a timely reminder of the importance of adaptability and the value of a humanities education. 'Arts graduates are uniquely equipped to assess the social and ethical implications of technology – an increasingly coveted skill in today’s tech-centric world,' Dr Clifford explains.

'Our employability sequence cultivates these qualities by exposing students to industry experts and peers from a range of disciplines, encouraging them to view issues from different perspectives and inspiring them to become lifelong learners.'

Why are arts graduates in demand?

A 15-year study by Google* concluded that the most important definers of worker success are communication, empathy, critical thinking, problem solving and being able to make connections across complex ideas – precisely the skills gained from an arts degree.

This is echoed in the World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs Report 2023, which reveals a rising demand for workers adept at critical and creative thinking, with these skills projected to increase in importance by 72% over the next five years.^

'Critical thinking equips you to navigate complexity, change and ambiguity – it means you are open to new ideas, capable of identifying potential risks and able to learn from experiences. It is an integral part of an arts degree and a cornerstone to the effective functioning of workplaces,' Dr Clifford says.

It's hardly surprising then that two thirds of the Australian workforce have a humanities background.# After all, complex issues necessitate a comprehensive understanding of the world.

Deakin double degree graduate (Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Commerce) and current PhD candidate Lincoln James reflects, 'Arts enabled me step back and look at the bigger picture: why is this politician or leader making these statements? What is the context of what they’re saying? What are the broader implications? But also, what are they not saying and what does that imply?'

The skills and experiences you gain from our employability sequence, blended with your critical thinking arts training, will help you stand out from other graduates. An arts degree at Deakin is not just an academic pursuit; it’s a stepping stone towards shaping a successful future.

Ready to prepare yourself for future success?

Find out more about studying arts at Deakin


*The surprising thing Google learned about its employees — and what it means for today’s students The Washington Post
^The World Economic Forum’s The Future of Jobs Report 2023
#The Dassh report HASS and the Future Workforce – DASSH