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What do Cambridge graduates do?

Each year between a quarter and a third of HSPS graduates from Cambridge undertake further study. A further 6% will commence a law conversion course, currently the first step towards qualifying as a lawyer in the UK. For those who go straight into employment, the most popular sectors are: the public sector, e.g. civil service, NHS, local government, social work; communications, management consulting, and teaching.

Will employers want my degree?

Most employers will be more concerned about your grades and the transferable skills you have developed through your studies, extra-curricular activities and any work experience you might have gained, than they will be about the specifics of what you studied. The range of knowledge and skills which HSPS graduates develop will vary from one person to the next. However core skills are likely to include oral and written communication, critical reflection and analytical and evaluative thinking, the ability to deal with inter-disciplinary work, time management and organisation, and, for some subject choices, qualitative and quantitative research methods, or even experience of conducting research-based fieldwork.

Want to know what role would suit you? Try looking for ideas for help with identifying your personal strengths and preferences. Then search Handshake for internships, jobs or graduate schemes you are interested in. Note the selection criteria that usually focus on "competencies” rather than having studied a certain subject and see which ones are a good fit.

Using my degree

The HSPS tripos gives you the opportunity to focus on, or combine, one or more subjects, your choices may be an indication of your career interests, e.g.

  • a focus on Politics and International Relations might indicate an interest in working in public policy or diplomacy
  • a focus on Social Anthropology may be leading towards a career in development work
  • a specialisation in Sociology might be chosen with the intention of becoming a social researcher
  • or selecting the Criminology option may be a step towards a career working in a charity or campaigning organisation on prisoners’ or victims’ rights, or restorative justice , or reducing reoffending.

However, as we have seen above, HSPS graduates can chose to develop careers in the business world too. Network with alumni who studied HSPS, or your area of specialism.