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What’s the use of an Arts based, Humanities or Social sciences degree?

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What could it possibly lead to?
Well you …
  • are encouraged to think for yourself
  • learn to present particular information and argue or write about it – communication & working with others
  • question and evaluate evidence, including ‘fake news’ – we know there can be several different aspects/angles to look at any event and learn to make evidence based decisions
  • become skilled at using information systems properly – digital & physical (libraries)
  • learn to understand the smart economy not just technologically but the cognitive smart economy
  • study subjects which teach the skills we need in civilised society
  • seriously interrogate what’s before you and thus you learn to think for yourself
  • learn the life of the Ordinary People
  • ultimately you prepare yourself for independent life-long learning which you can channel into any career you pursue

The value of an Arts Degree?  –  it is flexible and it can take you anywhere; just look at some of the people who have come up via an Arts degree – starting  with US President Barack Obama, Musician & Producer Fat Boy Slim, Financier George Soros, Writer & Orator Oscar Wilde, nearly 60% of FTSE Top 100 Executives and so many others.

also check out;  ‘Why social sciences matter‘ – article from Prospects Luminate, Aug 2018

originally adapted & amanded from: “Miriam Meets” RTE1 radio interview with historian Diarmuid Ferriter and archivist Catriona Crowe, Oct 2009

How to make the right university / college choice

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The key to choosing is having the right information about yourself, about what the course involves and where it will take you in the future.

Don’t underestimate the importance of doing this prep work, it could inform the best decision you’ll ever make.

Knowing yourself;   Simply put have you identified what you like to learn; which activities or particular subjects you are good at?  Will you be challenged enough with your choice – does it make the most of your personal strengths, skills, talents and aptitudes?  Is it  really going to help you get to where you want to be in life?

Course information, don’t assume you know it all;    Yes hopefully by now you know what you’d prefer to learn and what type of qualification you’re going for.  Now make sure that you’re clear on what’s involved.  Read the course content thoroughly.  Go online for detailed information to be sure you know what you’re letting yourself in for.   Be informed on more than just subject names, check out the modules you will be studying, how they will be assessed and if there is a work based placement or opportunity to study abroad – does this match what you want from a course?

Life after the Degree?  It may sound obvious but a surprising number of students report that they made the wrong course or university/college decision.  They took a course they didn’t like or didn’t really know where it’d take them – what career or postgrad options would be open to them.  Check out the career outcomes listed for a course by doing a career specific search.  If your degree leads to a very definite career, an example being Dentistry, inform yourself about the ‘life as a Dentist’ – is it what you really want, is it right for you?

Now tell others.  To be confident you’re heading in the right direction you need to discuss your plans with the important people in your life.  Stating your target to others can help you motivate yourself  so you can happily go make it happen.

What learners must know about themselves

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Know your mind –

How your mind sees the world around you;  how you interpret and understand stuff; how you learn best.    Try to identify what you’re really good at – can you be specific on the skills, talents or multiple intelligences you love using whenever you get a chance?

Know your preferences –

What you love;  what catches your attention at home, when you’re out & about, at work, school or uni/col, in the newsagent or bookshop, the library or on the net, inside or outside.   What do you love pursuing, what catches your imagination?  What do naturally feel an affinity for or gravitate towards, what do you most like to find out about.   How can you translate that into learning for a particular career, job role, qualification or leisure activity?

Know your self –

What sort of things do you love doing, what activities, tasks and experiences make you feel happy, alive or content in yourself;  how do you love expressing yourself;  what pursuits give you the most thrill, delight or pure satisfaction.   Trust yourself and choose to express the real you in what you pursue – the rest will eventually follow.

Parents DIY Career Guidance course – how to help your son or daughter make the right choice

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  • First principles on How to Choose a career or a university/college course
  • How to make sense of the huge range of courses
  • The key to understanding and interpreting their talents, Multiple Intelligences and Aptitude Strengths
  • How to relate their strengths to their interests
  • Recognising their preference for Learning so they can do something they’d love

learners – get thinking


Have you ever sat down and thought about what you like to learn.   Your choices should reflect your preferences.   Success depends a lot on being interested, learning and becoming skilled in what you choose to pursue.   Your level of interest and skill will be reflected in your ability to understand the problems, learn the jargon and do the tasks involved – you must learn the language of that course/career/job.

There are many kinds of language;

  • for Communication – written or spoken, or for Literature,
  • for Art / Craft / Design,
  • for understanding Human behaviour,
  • for Music,
  • for Business,
  • for Mathematical sciences including the maths of business,
  • for Life sciences,
  • for Physical sciences,
  • for Technologies of all sorts including ICT,  etc
  • for Technical Crafts & more.

Do we all speak the same language?   Each topic, subject, discipline,  job or career has it’s own language.   Which do you want to use, know and work with?


Act on the wise words of Ludwig Wittgenstein —

“The limits of my language mean the limits of my world”

Find your language for understanding, knowing, communicating & performing in this challenging and wonderful world.

This way you’re more likely to find happiness, success & fulfillment in what you do.

Short nap will make you smarter

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