How will my Arts degree prepare me for a career?

You can develop the skills essential for employment in today’s fast-changing and globalised world.

Develop the skills that employers need

Employers want staff who can show initiative, think critically and creatively, make good judgements and solve their own problems. They look for well-rounded people who can manage their time, communicate well and help their organisations adapt and change. An Arts degree gives you distinct opportunities to develop these skills.

Creative and critical thinking

Arts study looks at questions rather than 'right' answers, and encourages you to challenge and question in order to push ideas further. Through writing, reading, discussing and debating, you will become practised at testing and structuring your ideas and those of others. Employers need these critical thinking skills in order to improve and innovate.


As society changes, problems need to be identified and solutions found. As an Arts student you have access to intellectual and cultural tools that advance your problem-solving skills. There are many possibilities for you to examine real-world at a high level and hone your skills by formulating solutions to them.

Adaptability and flexibility

Flexible thinking and adaptability are essential for you to be able to thrive in the professional world. Studying Arts subjects encourages you to move towards an exciting future by exploring and proposing different but equally valid viewpoints, working within constantly changing contexts and possibilities. This develops open-ended thinking and the ability to revisit, adapt and refine ideas.

Communication skills

Advanced communication skills are an essential workplace asset, whether you're emailing clients, giving presentations, creatively brainstorming or writing proposals. As an Arts student you need to develop sophisticated writing and articulate oral communication skills to present your ideas effectively. Studying Arts subjects is perfect for honing your communication skills, giving you practice in preparing materials that make compelling arguments including reports that present a clear and concise analysis of facts.

Time management

You will have as much work as students in other degrees. However, you will need to manage your workload within a less structured programme that gives you more independence. This develops the ability to be self-motivated and organised within less formally structured time, an important skill for all managers.

Enhance your skill set with a BA module

Develop skills that you can use in the workplace, stand out from other graduates and enhance your career prospects with a BA Module. Modules are a grouping of three courses on a particular theme. A Module focuses on a specific set of skills, or area of knowledge to benefit your future career path.

Open doors with our world class reputation

The University of Auckland’s reputation as New Zealand’s leading and internationally-ranked university means that you can graduate knowing that your degree is held in high regard by future employers.

We were the highest ranked New Zealand university for employability in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2015-2016.

Graduate employment data

The latest research released by Universities New Zealand - Te Pokai has found that:

  • Arts graduates earn around $1m to 1.3m over their working lives than non-graduates.
  • Arts graduates earn above the national median for salary and wage earners.
  • 90% of Arts graduates are in degree-relevant roles such as teachers, managers and policy and planning roles.

Earnings data is taken from the 2013 Census. Employment rate data comes from the Ministry of Education's 2014 'What young graduates earn when they leave study'.