Use your subject


Think about what 'using your subject' means to you and what you're really looking for. Do you want to apply your subject-specific knowledge or skills to the real world? Or maybe you want to continue to practice and develop these skills? Maybe it's a broader interest in your subject that you want to keep alive by working in a relevant type of organisation?

As a start, use the resources below to create your own list of career ideas to research.

Remember that the vast majority of graduate jobs are open to graduates of any subject.

  • Look at what alumni from your department have done using the DLHE data we collect and through the University of Sheffield alumni page on LinkedIn.
  • Search for and contact alumni in your subject through our Graduate case studies database.
  • Browse the career ideas for Philosophy graduates on Prospects and Targetjobs but keep in mind that these are not a comprehensive list of all the careers related to your subject.
  • Brainstorm ideas and do some initial investigation to find out about research, organisations, start-ups, government bodies and freelancers connected to your subject.

Some career options

Our information resources - Occupations section is a good place to start to explore the following occupational areas. However you are not restricted to these and you should also consider any other additional factors which are important to you for your future career using our Understand yourself and your options section.

Arts administrator

Manage activities events eg arts festivals or projects for community arts organisations, local authorities, arts councils. This will involve event planning, booking venues, performers, support staff and arranging catering, handling the finances and insurance. In addition the role includes marketing the event, liaising with the media, ticket sales and possibly arranging tours in the UK or abroad.

Other tasks to be undertaken include ensuring compliance with health and safety regulations and venue accessibility.

Use our Occupations section Culture and heritage work for more information and links to useful websites.

Charity administrator

Administrators in charitable and non-profit making organisations can be responsible for everything from fundraising, marketing, lobbying and communications to finance, recruitment and liaison with the public.

Specific responsibilities will vary according to the size and scope of the charity but if you have a commitment to a particular cause, want to make a difference and want to apply commercial acumen to a cause with a social conscience then this might be for you.

Use our Occupations section Charities and voluntary work for more information and links to useful websites.

Civil servant

The Civil Service Fast Stream is an accelerated leadership development programme providing graduates with the experience, skills and knowledge to become senior leaders within the Civil Service. It recruits graduates into a variety of administrative and policy roles via the Fast Stream or the general entry routes.

Through a variety of different placements or postings in government departments and agencies you’ll get experience of working in front-line operational delivery, policy and corporate roles and depending on the role potentially working with general public or senior government advisers or government ministers. If you want to influence decisions or make a difference on government policy and public service at a national level, enjoy analytical work, presenting persuasive evidence-based reports, scrutinising the implications of public sector policy and are eager to take on responsibility then you might enjoy the Civil Service Fast Stream.

If you are a language graduate you may be particularly attracted to roles/departments such as the Diplomatic Services Operational Officer in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Department for International Trade, the Department for International Development and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs which has a lot of links to Europe.

Departments of specific interest to scientists include Government Statistical Service, Government Operational Research Service, Science and Engineering Scheme and the Project Delivery Scheme, but there are many more.

Use our Occupations section Public sector administration for more information and links to useful websites.

Health service manager

Managers in the NHS ensure services are managed and delivered in the best possible way for patients and in a cost effective way. Besides general management opportunities you may specialise in particular roles such as finance, health analysis, human resources, policy and strategy.

All of these areas help the NHS to function so that they can provide a first class healthcare service, often in the ‘goldfish bowl’ face of media scrutiny. This role could be of interest to someone who enjoys analysing data to identify, present and implement evidence based solutions and make a difference to a public service.

Use our Occupations sections Health and Public sector administration for more information and links to useful websites.

Local government officer

From managing countywide projects to implementing local policy and strategy, you could take on responsibility and make a real contribution towards improving the quality, accessibility and efficiency of public services for a local authority area. While it is councillors who decide on local government policy, it can be the public sector administrators and officers who scrutinise and implement these plans and ensure local services are delivered correctly and within budget.

Local government officers could be working in many specialist areas including education, finance, social welfare, housing, leisure, regeneration or transport to name a few so there could be scope to pursue your interests within work roles. If you want to have an impact and made a difference to the public services offered within an area, be accountable to local community needs and work within financial and political structures this could be a career area to consider.

Knowledge of policy, project management, negotiation, organisation and communication skills are essential.

Use our Occupations section Public sector administration for more information and links to useful websites.

Marketing executive

Involved in planning and running campaigns to promote a specific event, product or service, handling the advertising, public relations and organisation, to communicate with the target audience. Liaises with product development teams, designers and printers, customers and the media to develops appropriate products and then create marketing campaigns to get the product to market.

You might be maintaining customer databases, organising photo shoots, involved in writing or creating and proof reading marketing materials, websites and managing social media profile, often in a fast-paced environment. You'll also evaluates the outcome of campaigns and assesses the success of competitors. Marketing roles can involve analysing data, evaluating market and commercial factors and finding creative innovative approaches.

Use our Occupations section Marketing for more information and links to useful websites.

Newspaper journalist

Researches and writes content for local, regional and national press on current events, politics, sports, arts and culture etc. Increasingly becoming a multi-platform operation requiring strong technical skills and effective communication. Uses a range of information sources and web analytics, to monitors new trends and reader interest.

May conduct interviews, investigate stories, attend press conferences, meetings, sporting events to obtain up to date content, although the role is increasingly desk based. Can be involved in on-line blogging for 'breaking news' stories.

Use our Occupations section Broadcast and journalism for more information and links to useful websites.

Politician / politician's assistant

Campaigns for and represents particular political views or groups at local, national and international level. Politicians come from a variety of professional backgrounds but are usually active in a political party or a representative body (eg a trades union or a campaign group).

Politician’s assistants provide administrative support and help with research, publicity and campaigning, and may also be referred to as parliamentary/constituency assistants, personal assistants, or research assistants.

Use our Occupations section Public sector for more information and links to useful websites.

Secondary school teacher (Religious studies)

Religious studies is a fundamental subject in secondary school curriculum as is citizenship. If you have enjoyed the aspects of your course and are energised by sharing your love of the subject with others and thinking of new and engaging ways of presenting your knowledge, you might enjoy teaching as a career.

Obviously depending on the age group and academic level of teaching you are considering, experience of and an ability to establish rapport with the relevant age group would also be a prerequisite as would good leadership and time management skills.

Use our Occupations section Primary, secondary and special needs for more information and links to useful websites.

Solicitor or barrister

Solicitors provide expert legal support and advice to clients including members of the public, public sector organisations or private companies. Barristers provide advocacy for individuals or organisations in court. Many law firms actively seek non-law graduates such as those with a History degree not least because of their ability to analyse and interpret large volumes of text and form coherent arguments. History graduates need to do a one-year ‘law conversion’ course in order to commence vocational training in either profession.

Use our Occupations section Legal careers for more information and links to useful websites.