Psychologists – and other PPLS subjects – will be in demand in graduate careers of the future…

It’s hard to escape articles on the effects of robots and AI in the job market – speculation on which jobs will go, which will stay and evolve, where the new growth areas for graduates will be.

 A recent article on the AGR (Association of Graduate Recruiters) blog, titled ‘Graduate Careers of the future’ makes interesting reading for PPLS students and graduates. Here Tom Lakin, of Resource Solutions considers the jobs that graduates and schools leavers will be doing in the future.

Points of interest include:

  •  65 percent of today’s schoolchildren will eventually be employed in jobs that have yet to be created.
  • as we adapt to humans and robots working together, expect an increase in opportunities for psychologists – good news for psychology students
  • repetitive aspects of legal, financial and data analyst jobs will go to the robots
  • Regulatory and policy professionals, ethical advisers, virtual designers and professional coaches will all have an increased role – good for all PPLS students – many of you find your way into these professional areas.
  • key traits that will be valuable for employers are curiosity and flexibilityinnovation and entrepreneurship

Read the article in full for more ideas of what’s in store in the workplace of the future – and get working on your curiosity, flexibility innovation and entrepreneurship!

Posted in career areas, cognitive science, English language and linguistics, Mainly for Masters students, Philosophy, Psychology | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

After English and Linguistics – what next?

If this is a question that’s on your mind – there’s a great website to help you work out the answer- After English!

With blogs written by English students and grads on themes ranging from

  • Business and Enterprise,
  • Advertising, Marketing and PR
  • Publishing and writing
  • Media and technology
  • Teaching
  • and more….

…it’s a great place to start to explore your future direction.

And to make sure you take a path that works for you, there’s a whole section devoted to working out what this is! The Resources tab supports you to consider your skills, values, qualities, and more, to help ensure you take a direction that suits you.

And for an Edinburgh-focused approach – take a look at the LEL Padlet for examples of what recent grads did with LEL, and the resources here at Edinburgh to support you.

So take a look, and start answering that question – After English and Linguistics – What Next?



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Your philosophy skills in the workplace – what do they look like?

There’s lots of talk of all the great transferable skills you get from studying philosophy – but what does that really mean?

What are these skills, and what do they look like in action at work?

Happily for current philosophy students, philosophy grad Lee brings your skills to life in the workplace in the posters below, (with a little help from our great Creatives in the Careers Service!).

Now you can talk with confidence to employers about just how useful your philosophy degree will be to their business!

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Let’s get analytical – careers in big data and IT – take your psychology and LEL data-analysis skills beyond the obvious ….

  • Do you enjoy the stats/data analysis part of your degree?
  • Are you keen on quantitative analysis?
  • Do you actively enjoy using R or SPSS?
  • Are you interested in taking these interests into your career?

If so, then Big Data employers may be interested in what you’ve got to offer! It’s not just for computer scientists or informatics students. (eg – our annual Careers in IT Fair is open to all disciplines – as least half the employers attending recruit from non IT disciplines!)

Big Data employers  value students who can show they have knowledge of specific technologies (your R and  SPSS skills included) and have relevant transferable skills  (these may include curiosity, problem-solving, attention to detail, good interpersonal skills, business acumen).

Psychology graduate  Nick went straight from his psychology degree to work as a data analyst with Dunnhumby.

As Nick says – The statistics side of Psychology really helped, understanding how to get answers from numbers to prove that customers had changed their behaviour.’

Linguistics grad Laura works as a clinical systems analyst with TPP

‘As a linguistics and languages student, I learned to recognise patterns in unfamiliar texts. This experience has been really useful for the fast-paced work environment at TPP, and for getting familiar with the software itself.’, says Laura

Want more on the role of a data analyst? – read on

Interested in exploring graduate training schemes and internships with a big data theme ? Here’s a few to get you started –  check MyCareerHub and Data Scientist jobs for more.

  • Accenture – Analytics innovation centre
  • Atos – French multinational IT services corporation. ‘Whatever your degree discipline, our technical graduate schemes will launch your career in the technology industry‘.
  • Keyrus – specialist Big Data & analytics consulting firm
  • Capital One – Financial services company
  • Centrica – British multinational utility company
  • CGI – Leading independent information technology and business process services firm
  • Cisco – American multinational corporation, world leader in IT solutions
  • Dunnhumby – Customer science company (see psychology-grad-Nick’s profile)
  • HP – Multinational information technology corporation
  • IBM – multinational technology and consulting corporation
  • PwC – Data Analytics
  • Sainsbury – Humanalysts,  Sainsbury’s data and analytics centre of excellence
  • TPP – Healthcare software specialists – ‘looking for bright, geeky graduates from all disciplines for our Software Developer and Graduate Analyst roles – no experience is required’ (see LEL grad Laura’s profile)

Fancy getting some practice and experience to test this career idea further? Try some of the ideas below.

  • Coding practice – not sure how to code? Or want to develop your skills? Try free online coding practice websites.  Codecademy  is a good place to start
  • Meetups – big data or start up meetups are a great way to network in a fairly informal setting. Useful in learning more about the sector, getting to know people, working out whether this really is a sector for you, and getting your face and name known.
  • Big data week –  events in cities across the world, including London. Even if you cant make it to an event, interesting to see what’s going on.

Related ideas?

The games industry? – psychology and LEL skills can be put to good use in many aspects of the games industry. Explore data-related work experience via our Computer Games Careers Information. If you find work experience or internships advertised, then great, apply! If not, try  speculative applications.

 So think beyond the obvious – unleash your PPLS skills and abilities from the predictable.

Posted in career areas, cognitive science, English language and linguistics, Psychology | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Experience for psychology careers – Edinburgh students’ experience with SLV.Global in Bali and Sri Lanka

Some of you will know of SLV .Global from their presence at the BPS student conference this March.

Others may have read the student blog post on her experience in Sri Lanka. 

Or you may have read the case study of a student who got support for her SLV.Global placement via the Principal’s Go Abroad fund! 

So some of you know already about this great opportunity to gain relevant  psychology-related experience (possibly with a little help from the Principal’s fund !)

And now here’s another student who’s headed off with SLV.Global – this time to Bali! Read of her experience, see whether this is something you could see yourself doing – ad if so – check out the opportunities on the SLV.Global website (and don’t forget the Principal!)

University of Edinburgh student heads to Bali to pioneer a placement to help those with mental health issues.

Last summer, University of Edinburgh student, Alice Calder, travelled to Bali to bravely pioneer a Mental Health Placement with SLV.Global, a graduate-led volunteering organisation, which focuses on providing opportunities for psychology students and graduates to gain valuable, practical experience within the mental health sector. Although SLV.Global have been doing similar work in Sri Lanka for the past six years, summer 2016 was the first time volunteers were sent to Bali, Indonesia to work within the local community and provide much needed support for mental health services, which are often under resourced.

During her placement the University of Edinburgh student and other volunteers from all over the globe ran therapeutic activity sessions in psychiatric facilities for individuals suffering from a range of mental health concerns. In addition to their time at the hospital, volunteers also worked at numerous government run schools and social initiatives for children with disabilities and taught English in the local community.

Today’s psychology students are all too aware of how important it is to gain hands-on work experience in order to stand out in an incredibly competitive field. In our multicultural society having a working understanding of global mental health is a huge benefit. The significance of understanding and respecting different cultures can’t be overstated if you want to pursue a career in psychology. Throughout her four weeks volunteering with SLV.Global in Bali, Alice has not only acquired much sought after experience, but also procured a knowledge of Balinese and Indonesian culture which can only be achieved through a completely immersive experience, which included living in a local village with a Balinese family.

Being part of a pilot placement in a totally different culture and country is not without its challenges. As some of the first ever foreigners to work in these facilities, the importance of delivering interesting and stimulating sessions for service users was paramount. Volunteers had to be innovative and creative in addition to drawing on theoretical knowledge from their studies and previous experience to ensure that the sessions were meeting the expectations of the staff and families of service users. Volunteers also had to combat a language barrier and live away from home in fairly basic conditions for a month.

The volunteers on this pilot placement pushed themselves and really lived out of their comfort zones for much of the week. The weekends, however, were a different story. Volunteers on the Bali Mental Health Placement had their weekends free to roam the lush, tropical island and uncover its many secrets. From water temples to monkey forests there was always something new to discover and enjoy. Volunteers climbed active volcanoes, slept in treehouses, learned to cook traditional cuisine and, of course, checked out the numerous beaches, which Bali is famous for.

It is largely due to the hard work and dedication of Alice and her team that SLV.Global will be returning to Indonesia next year to continue to run its Mental Health Placements. You can read what Alice said about her time in Bali below and if you have any questions you can check out SLV.Global on or email them on

“Over summer I was given the opportunity to be part of the pilot Mental Health Placement in Bali, where over the 4 weeks I gained invaluable experience in the psychology field. It provided me with insight into mental healthcare and the opportunity to work with service users in a clinical setting, whilst being able to explore Bali and learn more about its culture” – Alice Calder, University of Edinburgh

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Speech and language therapy, art therapy and other allied health professions…

 …these are career area explored by many  psychology and language science students. An interesting presentation came my way this week, from Edinburgh’s Queen Margaret University, which runs many of these courses – Diagnosing future careers in the Allied Health Professions  .

The presentation offers useful advice to students considering allied health professions, wherever they choose to apply in the UK, including what you should be able to demonstrate in the personal statement in your application

Personal Statements should show:

  • Motivation to work in specific field
  • Interest in helping others
  • Detail relevant experience
  • Evidence skills required of the role
  • Team working and leadership
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Personal qualities relevant to the profession: empathy, understanding, patience etc

In order to demonstrate your suitability for these professions, you’ll need to be adding to your experience throughout your time at university. Useful activities include:

The presentation also covers the advantages of working in allied health professions – which include:
•Varied working environments
•Work as autonomous professionals and as part of a wider team
•Opportunities both nationally and internationally
•Mixture of science and humanity – Facts, problem solving, analytical, technological, science – People, emotions, uncertainty, caring, life & death
•Over 95% Graduate Employment rate

– plus information about funding such courses – including the new postgraduate loans now available in Scotland.

Want to explore further? – read all the presentation via the link below

Diagnosing future careers in the Allied Health Professions

and take a look at our online information and advice covering these professional areas.

Posted in career areas, English language and linguistics, Psychology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s not just what job you do, it’s where you do it………

…….and who benefits from the job you do, too!

When thinking of your future career-direction, it’s easy to get hung up on the job area – marketing, finance, advertising etc, and make decisions – to consider an area, or dismiss it –  without fully considering the many different types of organisations you could work for, or who your work might benefit.

Not sure what I’m getting at? Let me give you an example:

Some students are keen to work in the Third Sector (not for profit, charity sector, social enterprise etc) and overlook work in finance or marketing and advertising, as not being in keeping with their particular mindset.

However, the Third Sector needs its accountants, advertising and marketing professionals to ensure they can function, and to get their messages across to people. There may be fewer opportunities to train within the Third Sector, (though there are public sector accountancy training opportunities with the NHS, local government and more, plus some grad schemes such as Charity Works and Cancer Research UK); however, making the move after gaining training and experience in the private sector, or working for the agencies that work with the sector, is certainly one route to making a difference in this sector.

Another example – read  how advertising is a social as well as an economic force for good in Scotland via our recent Inform.ed blog post. 

So when considering your direction – make sure you also think about the type of organisation you want to work for, as well as the type of work you want to do – it can make a world of  difference to whether you enjoy your work or not.

Our Career.Ed workbook, and the Career Assessments on MyCareerHub (under the Resources tab) can help you work out the type of organisations that may fit best with you.

Of course – you may just want to work in an area because you’re passionate about advertising, marketing, finance ….etc – and that’s fine too!


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