Arts and humanities courses lag behind other disciplines in the provision of work experience. This may make it more difficult for these students to find suitable employment. Most employers are not interested in students' understanding of Thomas Hardy, but they are interested in their ability to analyse and critically evaluate written texts and communicate the ideas cogently. Students need to be taught to identify and articulate these key skills.
The PhD was never designed to prepare candidates for teaching; how much more so is it now? PhD students need better preparation for employment in any area. To that end, we are developing a pilot to evaluate a student preparation for employment programme to give some an opportunity to gain valuable exposure to the world of work and to develop the employability skills they are going to need.
Karen Powell-Williams Managing director, National Centre for Work Experience What's up postdoc? p26