Literature review

Future humanities workforce: literature review

Humanities Arts and Social Science (HASS) Australia

Australia’s humanities sector makes a vital contribution to the prosperity of our nation. Through research and teaching, humanities disciplines drive social and cultural understanding, enable effective international engagement, and contribute to economic and social innovation.

To ensure the continuity of this contribution into the future, we need a deeper understanding of the demographics and capacity of our humanities workforce, the challenges faced by this workforce today, and strategies to secure its ongoing capacity and productivity.

The Future Humanities Workforce project approaches this task through an examination of the humanities research workforce, which is comprised of both the university-based academic workforce and the wider postgraduate-trained workforce. This cohort plays a key role in preserving and advancing deep disciplinary knowledge in the humanities; in creating opportunities for knowledge exchange between academia, government and industry; and in training future generations of humanities graduates for working in Australia’s largest and most productive industries.

The project consists of three inter-related streams of enquiry:

  • support systems for early career researchers in the humanities;
  • the skills, capabilities and knowledge that will be needed by the future humanities workforce, including digital and data literacy; and
  • workforce diversity and gender equity

These areas are all critical to the ongoing prosperity of humanities disciplines in Australia.


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