English Grads: Less Useless Than You Thought

One of the problems with being an English graduate is having to deal with the quaint assumption that you are unemployable.

This is often manifested by some red-faced arsehole with halitosis who uses other peoples’ stock phrases, like ‘Mickey Mouse degree’, ‘airy-fairy and ‘where do you think that will get you?’

All of which is a roundabout way of saying ‘I am an insecure twat who compensates for his inadequacies by objectifying anything I don’t understand.’ Also, that they are incapable of independent thought. Also, they have not been punched in the face enough.

But is there any research on how unemployable an English graduate is? As it happens, yes. HE charity HECSU‘s new report, “What do graduates do?” is revealing. Or at least its unemployment rates are.

And it turns out that the humble English grads have a 9.0% chance of being unemployed. Sociologists (8.9%), architects (8.4%), language specialists (8.8%), geo/terrestrial scientists (8.7%), chemists (8.2%), lawyers (7.5%) and psychologists (7.8%) are all – somewhat unsurprisingly – less likely to be unemployed.

But the most employable degrees? It turns out that they are Geography (6.4%) and – err – Sports Science (6.8%). It’s a funny old world, but at least the local fitness centre is effectively staffed.

But what is more revealing is what degrees make you LESS employable than English. Can you guess what they are?

Well, if I told you that Accounting (11.8%) and Business Studies (10.1%) made you less employable, would you be surprised? They’re meant to be ‘proper subjects’ right?

Economics does scarcely any better, with an unemployment rate of 10.9%, while Biology slums it at 11.3%.

Even Maths is less job-friendly than English

 

Some of the worst offenders really are surprising (if you’re naive). Electrical Engineering sucks balls at 12.1%, Biology is only mildly better at 11.3% and worst still is – yes, it’s true – Computer Science/IT at 13.9%, which is actually worse than Art & Design (11.6%) and Media Studies (12.3%). Even Maths is less job-friendly than English, with 9.4% of graduates being left to find love on the dole.

So much for the alleged supremacy of the fabled STEM subjects, though anything favoured by that slap-head, gormless looking prat Michael Gove should always be considered suspect. His knuckle-dragging Eng Bac, which is proof if any was needed that Times journalists should be humanely destroyed before they escape back into the general population, neglects the arts in favour of ‘proper’ subjects.

But as bitter experience proves, that very British strain of philistinism doesn’t really have much to do with practicality. It’s just a sour, low-brow dog-in-the-manger mentality that suggests a society that’s afraid to think.

Meanwhile English graduates will no doubt sleep well in their beds, knowing their ‘proper’ degrees are more likely to get them a job than the frivolous vanity courses undertaken by those decadent electricians, those florid accountants, those foppish mathematicians and the decadent pseudo-intellectuals who work in IT….

Sidebar Image: Salvatore Vuono/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Alexander Hay
About Alexander Hay 75 Articles
Alexander Hay is a writer and polemicist based online and in print.

3 Comments

  1. Just looking at “unemployment rates” is a pretty useless measure. Who cares if 91% of English Lit grads are unemployed, if most of them are employed in McJobs.

    A better measure would be to look at how many are employed in fields relevant to their degree, or fields that they ,want to be in, or starting salaries.

    • ‘how many are employed in fields relevant to their degree, or fields that they ,want to be in’

      You’re right. But that could be applied to any degree discipline. We’re not in an economic period right now where the luxury of choice applies to many of our job options.

      And even if we were, since university entrance so often tallies with the subject choices we made at late secondary school stage, how many of us still want our jobs to be what we thought would be nice when we were 15?

    • You’re missing the point. Those Eng Lit grads are still more likely to be in a job of any kind than other ‘more practical’ subjects.

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