Campaign shows creative and economic value of English degrees

Campaign shows creative and economic value of English degrees

The University of Aberdeen has joined a national campaign to highlight the value of English degrees.

The #EnglishCreates campaign, running from June 3 to 7 demonstrates that far from a ‘low-value degree’, English degrees provide skills vital to today’s growing markets in the creative and arts sectors, and language-based systems and industries like AI. Yet the popularity of some English literature and language courses has fallen in other parts of the UK due to misleading myths about job prospects and skills, professors say.

Led by University English in association with the English Association, the campaign shows how young people can create a difference in the world through English literature, linguistics and creative writing degrees, and futureproof their skills for life, work, and social change.

University of Aberdeen graduates featured include Booker-shortlisted author Ali Smith, national journalist Rory Buccheri and Scottish Refugee Council Media Officer and campaigner Chris Afuakwah.

Others sharing the stories of their success are novelist Rachelle Atalla, Sunlife’s Head of Marketing Communications Beth Paterson, and linguistics graduate Lucia Mackova who now works in web development and AI.

You can read more about how Aberdeen graduates are futureproofing their skills for life, work, and social change and how former students are making  a difference to the world around them through their careers.

In demonstrating the value of English the campaign highlights that:

  • English creates crucial skills for employment and social change in Communication, Critical thinking, Collaboration and Creativity. Together, these are described as Storycraft, skills highly valued by business and social leaders.[1]
  • English is a key contributor to the creative industries, the fastest growing part of the UK economy.[2]
  • Arts and Humanities graduates have the same employment rate as science graduates.[3]
  • Average graduate starting salaries are up to £23,000, comparable with Psychology, Law, Business Studies and Chemistry.[4]
  • English graduates enjoy the joint fourth highest annual average wage growth, at 6.2%, higher than graduates of Physics (5.9%), Business (5.8%) and psychology (5.6%) [5]

Dr Shane Strachan, a successful author who is leading the campaign at the University of Aberdeen said: “The #EnglishCreates campaign has been a great opportunity to showcase the life-changing impacts our degrees have. Our talented graduates have been successful in a wide range of careers across multiple industries and sectors thanks to the versatile skillset they develop during their time at Aberdeen which has led to them being highly adaptable to an ever-evolving jobs market where communication, critical thinking and creativity are now key.

“It’s been particularly heartening to be able to shout out about how great English literature, linguistics and creative writing degrees are as someone who has personally studied across all three disciplines at the University of Aberdeen and who now lectures here as part of the exciting career path I’ve had thus far in creative writing and education.”

The #EnglishCreates campaign is supported by successful English graduates, including comedian David Baddiel, poet and novelist Patience Agbabi, writer Jeanette Winterson, and children’s author Francesca Simon.

English graduates and supporters are encouraged to share their own stories on social media channels using #EnglishCreates.

Visit universityenglish.ac.uk/englishcreates-campaign-events for more information.

 For further graduate stories:

https://www.abdn.ac.uk/stories/EnglishCreates/index.html

https://www.abdn.ac.uk/stories/EnglishCreatesAberdeen/index.html

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