Roz talks about feeling that she didn't pick up any genuinely transferable skills from her degree
Chapter details: Roz thinks that the sorts of skills you need in the workplace can only be learnt on the job and sees transferable skills simply as things to jazz up a CV
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Roz
Subject: English Literature
Student status: Home, Graduate
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Transcript:

I don't think that they are transferable skills anyway, I think once you get into the workplace it demands a completely different set of skills that they'll give you. You don't get them being at university, you don't get them from some cheap facsimile that an academic that's never been in the workplace is trying to give you. 

But then you did mention earlier that you felt English Literature had given you some transferable skills but you felt disgusting saying that.

Yes but I was being tongue in cheek.

Oh were you?

Well no, I think ostensibly transferable skills. The thing is when I think about transferable skills I don't think about things that I will take into the workplace with me that will make me a better worker, I think about things that I can put onto my CV. I think they sound like they'll be transferable skills but in reality you can't know what's going to be a transferable skill because you can't know what any given job demands of you. It's ridiculous to imagine that you can. With a graduate scheme I guess it's slightly different, I'm speculating wildly here because I've never been on a graduate scheme but I suspect that they're geared more towards smoothing the transition between university and being a proper worker. Generally I don't think that you can know what a given job will demand of you so I think it's ludicrous to imagine that these are the skills that some people suspect that you might need in a given situation can be somehow engendered within you in an artificial environment. So no, I think it's bollocks, is the short answer.

So it's only useful in, like, you can put things on your CV?

Yeah something on your CV, definitely, I think you can say … I definitely, I can say I did an English Literature degree and so I have excellent oral and written communication skills, I have the ability to communicate with people at all levels including in group projects. Able to work alone and as part of a team, you know and all the rest of it and it's the kind of bullshit that one imagines that you would get from doing an English degree but what am I supposed to say my skills are? I did an English degree so I can sit here and I can talk about Foucault all you want for two hours, I can write you an essay on Restoration Literature til the cows come home. I can do these things and these things and these things, none of them are going to help me run your marketing company. So the skills that you actually get from doing a degree have no bearing whatsoever on the skills that you get in the workplace and the skills that are expected of you in the workplace.