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Becoming a global citizen: The power of a social science degree

Source: School of Social Sciences, Nanyang Technological University

Many countries have seen growing pressure to produce STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) graduates. While scientific knowledge is important in our increasingly technologically-advanced world, there’s still a need for social science graduates for the development of countries and businesses.

The workforce is undergoing massive transformation and technology threatens to automate jobs, but countries and businesses are grappling with new forms of problems and issues that require a different set of competencies from science graduates.

For example, the marked increase of refugees in the world calls for international relations specialists; mental health problems have skyrocketed in recent years and are prevalent among university students, and we need mental health professionals, such as counsellors and psychologists, to facilitate treatment – all of which are things robots can’t do and are typically roles done by social science graduates.

Unsurprisingly, the future workforce needs graduates who are creative, possess excellent communication, analytical and critical thinking skills to work in this malleable environment. Even key figures at Microsoft believe such graduates will be essential to unlocking the full potential of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in the future.

Source: University of Adelaide

Social science is a field that encompasses a broad range of specialisations such as psychology, communications, law and economics, among others. A social science degree can equip you with an arsenal of skills, including verbal and written communication, critical thinking, creativity and problem solving, among others, preparing graduates to work in a diverse range of fields worldwide, be it in the private or government sector for a diverse range of roles, from journalism to public relations, and beyond.

If you’re looking for a study abroad experience to pursue social science studies, here are three institutions worth considering:

SCHOOL OF SOCIAL SCIENCES – NANYANG TECHNOLOGICAL UNIVERSITY, SINGAPORE (NTU SINGAPORE)

Prospective students seeking an energetic environment for interdisciplinary and innovative study will find NTU Singapore ideal. A research-intensive public university, NTU Singapore is ranked 12th globally in the 2019 QS World University Rankings, and 51st in the Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2019.

On top of this, NTU’s campus is frequently listed among the Top 15 most beautiful university campuses in the world. It has 57 Green Mark-certified (equivalent to LEED-certified) buildings, of which 54 are certified Green Mark Platinum. ​

Source: School of Social Sciences – Nanyang Technological University

The School of Social Sciences (SSS), like NTU, is a young and dynamic institution. The School’s individual subjects are ranked either Top 50 or Top 100 in the world. This achievement is a testament of the accomplishments of the SSS faculty who are highly dedicated teachers and top-notch researchers.

SSS offers four subject majors at the undergraduate level—Economics, Psychology, Public Policy and Global Affairs, and Sociology—while Master of Arts (MA) and/or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) by research are available in the four subject areas at the graduate level.

Those with a preference for coursework may be keen to pursue one of SSS’ several interdisciplinary graduate coursework programmes, such as the Master of Science (MSc) in Applied Economics or MSc in Applied Gerontology.

Prospective students keen to delve in to public governance can take up graduate programmes offered by the Nanyang Centre of Public Administration (NCPA), such as the Master of Social Sciences in China and Global Governance or the Master of Public Administration. The NCPA is a premier institution in Asia that provides public governance and administrative development.

UNIVERSITY OF ADELAIDE – AUSTRALIA

Do you want an education that prepares you to become a leader of tomorrow? This southern Australian university produces some of the most employable graduates, according to the QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019.

Source: University of Adelaide

Their Faculty of Arts offers a range of undergraduate and graduate programmes for students. Their social sciences undergraduate courses include anthropology, cultural studies, environmental policy and management, politics, and more. Meanwhile, some of the study areas for their graduate courses include an MA in Interpreting, Translation and Transcultural Communication and Master of Environmental Policy and Management, among others. The university boasts a 96.1 percent employment rate for graduates.

As a research-intensive university, Adelaide offers future studies the platform to further their studies with a Higher Degree by Research while developing expertise and skills in their chosen field. From humanities, to social sciences, education and music, the Faculty of Arts has a reputation for outstanding research in a wide range of fields.

The University of Adelaide also offers students the chance to enhance their studies with final year internship opportunities, granting them hands-on industry experience prior graduating, in an area related to their degree and career aspirations.

That’s not all – students of the Faculty of Arts also have the chance to study overseas. There are many options to consider, including an exchange with one of the school’s partner universities, a short-term study trip or even the chance to design their own overseas experience.

To boot, Adelaide is among the safest, cleanest, greenest and most affordable Australian city in which to study. It has a Mediterranean climate, a multicultural population, and its people lead a relaxed but vibrant lifestyle, in addition to having a particular love of fine wine and food.

UNIVERSITY OF WAIKATO – NEW ZEALAND

New Zealand is famous for many things, including the country’s breathtaking scenery, its rugby team and its indigenous people, the Maori. But apart from that, the country is also home to some of the world’s top universities, including the University of Waikato.

Source: University of Waikato

Ranked 401–500th in the THE World University Rankings 2019 and 274 in the QS World University Rankings 2019, the University of Waikato has been steadily climbing the ranks. Students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences will have a variety of undergraduate programmes to choose from, including psychology, professional writing, political science and international relations and security studies, among others.

Meanwhile, graduate programmes include environment and society, media and creative technologies, and more. Here, postgraduate study can be taught or research-based. In addition to having a wide range of programmes and certifications, Waikato’s academic staff are also leading experts in their respective fields, and are widely published in top academic journals and print.

Waikato is unique, as the university offers smaller class sizes, better access to lecturers, affordable living and a wide range of support services. There are also dozens of student clubs available on campus, which will make your student experience at Waikato dynamic and distinctive.

The university also ensures graduates are industry-ready by offering over 2,000 industry placements and internships, regardless of whether they are an undergraduate or postgraduate student. Partnerships and networks offer future students a unique opportunity to embed themselves in local or international organisations as part of their learning experience.

*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International

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