Arts Sciences


Careers and the future of work

Professor Gregory Thompson explains more about the emphasis of the BA Creative Arts and Humanities programme on careers and the future of work.

SoundCloud Widget Placeholderhttps://soundcloud.com/ucl-arts-social-science/ucl-creative-arts-and-hum...

The world of work has changed, and is changing. The fourth industrial revolution is here: automation, robotics, machine learning, and biotechnologies are transforming commerce, communication, content creation, and consumption, as well as the professions, manufacturing,  medicine, and social care. There are fewer and fewer people that have only one job. Fewer and fewer people that study X and then are an Xer for their working life. Even those who have only two jobs are rare: studying X, working at X, and then managing Xers. Study X and become an Xer is less true than ever, and less and less true for those degrees that do not lead to a vocational qualification. Many roles in the new economy require people from a wide range of disciplines, industries, and professions to work together in new ways to create value. Many of today's graduates will have nomad careers - a series of connected jobs and positions - or portfolio careers - a set of different but simultaneous jobs. Graduates will use their skills across many roles and in several different industries. 

New technologies are both complementing production - assisting and extending the capacity of humans to make and do - and substituting for humans - disrupting and destabilising the labour market. When robots can do more and more and more and more work is automated, what will we pay humans to do? 

The task encroachment of new technologies will absorb most jobs that don’t require an essential element of creativity, humanity, or leadership. It is these essentially human qualities of creativity, collaboration, critique, and conscience that need recognising, developing, and enhancing.

The Humanities have always been a training for the many and varied careers where the skills of critique are essential, and the Creative Arts have always been a training ground for non-performers - for innovators in commerce, management, and the startup economy.

The BA Creative Arts and Humanities gives you training in four key areas to support your unique career: creativity, critique, collaboration, and conscience.

The BA Creative Arts and Humanities equips you to generate novel, surprising, and useful possibilities; to analyse and articulate different viewpoints; to hold space for contradictions; to cope with complexity; to celebrate experimentation; to tolerate failure and to take lessons from it; to consider the wider significance of a decision and its ethical implications; to set criteria; and to find ways in which people can work together in healthy, non-hierarchical systems. 

As problems and activities are broken down into more and more discrete parts, we need to develop the skills that can build parts into solutions. We need to be able to do what robots cannot: to dream, to care, and to synthesise.

For more information on the skills you will develop, likely employment destinations, and alumni support, please click here.