Students are often told, ‘Choose a job you love, and you'll never have to work a day in your life.’ But what if what you love is a fair and equitable society and a healthy planet? If you want to work in a career that makes a difference in the world, then studying a Bachelor of Arts at Deakin is the perfect place to start.

Build a career path with purpose

Many students aspire to careers that have a positive impact, but don’t know where to start. You might be unsure of what to study, or what steps to take. Or maybe you don’t even know the types of jobs that exist.

Luckily, you don’t need to have it all figured out right away. ‘Nobody decides on the course of their life all at once. You can’t skip to the end of a choose-your-own-adventure novel! The first step is to learn the lay of the land, and find a direction,’ says Dr David Boarder Giles, a lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Deakin.

‘The Bachelor of Arts offers you a kind of map of the cultural, political and economic worlds we live in. We study global issues, local realities and the ways they are evolving – and we give you the tools to make your own choices and evolve with them. You’ll have time to discover interests, build relationships and hone the critical thinking skills which enable you to find your place in the world, and discover how to change it.'

What if you know you’re interested in social, environmental or economic justice, or a specific cause, but you aren’t sure where it can lead? There are plenty of starting points open to you now where you can cultivate a sense of purpose and power, from working as an environmental policy adviser, fundraiser or a communications specialist for a non-government organisation (NGO). When you study a Bachelor of Arts, you’ll discover a wide range of career choices that align your personal values with the life you want to lead.

For self-starters like Deakin arts alumna Tanya Dontas, studying a Bachelor of Arts allowed her to create the change she wanted to see in the world. Tanya is the co-founder and chief operations officer of Vollie, an online marketplace that connects skilled people to not-for-profits, charities and social enterprises for online volunteering.

Tanya brought the idea for Vollie to Deakin’s SPARK Accelerator program, where she received the mentorship and funding to get started. Now, the organisation is unlocking millions of dollars' worth of value for not-for-profits, allowing them to create meaningful change.

We will hone the critical thinking, dialogue and leadership skills that empower students not only to survive in our evolving economy and society, but maybe even to revolutionise it.

Dr David Boarder Giles

Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Tackle global challenges

Deakin’s new Bachelor of Arts has a built-in focus on critical global issues. Throughout your degree, you’ll learn about some of the fundamental challenges that impact our societies, economies and political systems, from climate change to increasing global inequality and the erosion of democracy.

‘The humanities and social sciences challenge students to see a bigger picture. We look for the connections between ideas, economies, societies and politics, and we look for new ideas with the power to transform that big picture. The new Deakin Bachelor of Arts amplifies that by immersing students in global challenges from day one,’ says Dr Giles.

For many, like Deakin alumnus John Hyde, studying a Bachelor of Arts can lead to a diverse and meaningful career. John has worked as a teacher, journalist and member of parliament in Australia, before moving on to advocacy.

John's current role as an Anti-Corruption and Communications Consultant with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), has taken him to the Pacific, where he has worked since 2013.

Part of John’s role is working with governments, civil society, media and others, to fight against corruption and introduce best practices that help local communities to live fair, just and meaningful lives.

John believes a critical aspect of his work is being adaptable, particularly when you work in different countries and cultures.

Getting a broad understanding of how the world really works and problem-solving through an arts degree makes you adaptable.

John Hyde

Anti-Corruption Consultant, UNODC & UNDP

Learn how to take action

Dr Giles explains that the Bachelor of Arts does not just passively teach you about global issues, but also ensures that you have the empathy, humility and critical systems thinking required to understand those issues, facilitate meaningful collaboration and truly enable meaningful change.

When students enrol in the new Deakin Bachelor of Arts, they learn from leading academics and mentors who are actively collaborating on key social issues with grassroots movements, community organisations and industry partners. You'll be preparing for your future by proposing projects and learning how to connect with your community to take real grassroots action.

Students engage in practical learning experiences that complement their personal goals during their studies. They might choose from internships, volunteer opportunities with grassroots community organisations, study tours, or collaborative projects with industry partners and clients.

Dr David Boarder Giles

Lecturer in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences

Building the skills and confidence to work in a job that gives you a sense of meaning is incredibly rewarding. For career veterans like John Hyde, studying the arts allows you to hone your core values and find better ways to help communities achieve their dreams.

‘I love finding local champions and helping out where they want an added skillset that you might be able to offer,’ says John.

His top career advice for aspiring future advocates and change makers?

‘Listen to local communities and respond to their needs. You’ve got to be open to learning new things and ways yourself, and you must have a mindset that respects different cultures and be able to operate in that context.’

Want to find your purpose and develop the critical skills to make the world better?
Learn more about studying a Bachelor of Arts at Deakin.