Classics careers

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What skills will a degree in classical studies, greek or latin give me?

Classics graduates know how to think. The ability to think in abstract terms is a desirable and transferable skill in today's job market. A trained mind can be applied to any situation.

The skills of a mind trained in the Classical tradition include:

  • strategic and tactical thinking – the ability to anticipate outcomes from hypothetical situations
  • systematic analysis – the ability to work methodically through information in order to identify what is relevant
  • critical judgement – the ability to prioritise information for effective decision making
  • political awareness – an understanding of how power differentials between groups are used to achieve desired outcomes
  • understanding of the etymological roots of English and other modern languages – this typically results in enhanced confidence in verbal and written communication
  • the ability to construct a logical argument
  • the ability to identify cause and effect
  • the ability to spot the difference between rhetoric and substance.

The study of Classics, in its comparison of other civilisations with our own, will broaden your perspectives. Classics graduates also possess a range of generic graduate skills, including:

  • intellectual curiosity
  • adaptibility and mental flexibility
  • research and information-gathering skills
  • confidence in exploring different points of view
  • decision-making skills
  • experience in presenting ideas
  • attention to detail
  • ability to work under pressure and meet deadlines
  • organisational ability
  • well-developed communication skills
  • the ability to set realistic goals
  • the desire to achieve.

Where do classics graduates work?

Classics graduates have rarity value – yet they are found everywhere. According to recent graduate destination surveys Classics graduates work in a wide variety of jobs, including events management, conference organising, banking, research and consultancy, records management and librarianship.

Recent graduates of Victoria work in radio, marketing, travel, museums, archaeology, and a range of Government Ministries.

Various sectors find that Classics graduates have just what they seek in their staff. For instance, the government and legal sectors appreciate that:

  • Classics graduates have a conceptual map of how modern legislative and judicial institutions work
  • Classics graduates have analysed action and consequence over time and in the context of highly complex social systems – ideal for policy formulation which demands high levels of abstract reasoning
  • policy advice or analysis involves the combination of those strategic and operational thinking skills honed by Classics graduates
  • Classics graduates typically possess excellent communication skills, problem solving and analytical abilities.

Similarly, the education sector values Classics graduates, as Classical Studies is taught in many secondary schools and most universities. Knowledge of Latin and Greek can support ESOL training and teaching. Educational travel is a developing area of business, with guided tours around the ancient world increasingly popular.

In the arts, modern theatrical, artistic, literary and architectural forms are saturated with references to Classical, especially Greek, prototypes. Understanding of Classical themes is a distinct advantage in the creative worlds of theatre, art and architecture.

Recent Classics graduates have become:

  • a programme developer at Te Papa
  • a strategic planning manager for a bank
  • an assistant instructor for a scientific diving programme in California
  • (with a law degree) a law clerk.

Other skills and experience

You can add value to your Classical Studies, Greek or Latin degree by developing additional skills and experience, or associated qualifications, such as:

  • legal skills and training
  • computer skills, including database management and desktop publishing
  • research
  • photography
  • education qualifications.

A double major within your degree, in Classical Studies, Greek or Latin combined with Education or Art History, for example, will be useful for particular careers.

Remember - a Master's degree is valued in the workplace for the level of independent thinking and research skills it demonstrates.