Mismatch between degree and occupation is not confined to the humanities

Tags: Education Humanities

There is periodically reports in the media bemoaning the fact that humanities graduates are unable to find jobs in their fields. Often this kind of data is used to suggest that a humanities degree is "useless" or that humanities programs, including English Literature, need to reorient themselves towards developing skills that better align with the job market.

However, research from Spain suggests that a mismatch between degree field and occupation—called "horizontal mismatch"—is hardly confined to the humanities. In fact, horizontal mismatch was likely among graduates of language and literature programs but also chemistry, mathematics, and pharmacy programs.

  • See Mismatch between degree fields and occupation is a poor metricMismatch between degree fields and occupation is a poor metric
    Tags: [[Humanities]] [[Education]]

    Mismatch between one's degree and their career field—called "horizontal mismatch"—is sometimes cited as a fault. This is particularly common in attacks on the va...
    - It is not established that horizontal mismatch is a "bad" thing.
  • General degrees exhibit greater transferability than specialized degreesGeneral degrees exhibit greater transferability than specialized degrees
    Tags: [[Education]] [[Humanities]]

    A study of more than 30,000 Spanish university graduates found that those who came from more general programs, such as Languages and Literature, History, Politic...
    - Horizontal mismatch could be interpreted as a feature rather than a bug insofar as some degrees impart more transferable skills than others.


Salas-Valasco 2021