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Three-quarters of respondents said that ‘realising

Discipline matters: in Brighton, Arts and Humanities

their own ideas’ and ‘being their own boss’ were

graduates are twice as likely to work in arts

very important reasons for starting their own firm.

organisations as the average respondent. We see

Making money was somewhat less key, although still

similar results with the location of STEM/computing

important with just over half describing it as ‘very

graduates in digital technology firms; with business

important’. One founder described how he had been

studies graduates in KIBS; and design graduates in

spurred to set up his first company after he became

design service firms. Yet degree subject does not

frustrated with his former employers equating his

wholly drive destiny. Senior positions are held by

salary with his young age (Interview, 29/02/2012).

7.4% of Arts and Humanities graduates in digital technology companies, and by 17.6% of STEM

2. An interdisciplinary cluster

graduates in content firms. Digital agencies and marketing services firms have founders and senior

Brighton’s fusion is consistent with the diversity of

managers from across a range of disciplines and

disciplines we see in our respondents. Almost a third

we see graduates of all backgrounds spread across

of the sample (31.4%) report that they studied an

firms with varying levels of ‘fusion’.

Arts and Humanities subject at university, followed by almost a quarter who studied STEM subjects

This interdisciplinary approach is also reflected in

including computing. 16.5% studied a design subject,

the drivers of competitive advantage identified by

including both web design and graphic design.

our respondents. Although arts and humanities graduates put a stronger emphasis onto artistic

Figure 13: Respondent subject of study 0%



and creative expertise, and STEM graduates onto



technological facets, both groups recognise ‘the other part of fusion’.

Art and Humanities Business/ Management/ Economics


Figure 14: Competitive capabilities by discipline background (% indicating as important)


Design STEM/ Computing Other










Arts and Humanities Business/ Management/ Economics Design

Art and Humanities. 31.4%. Business/Management/Economics. 11.0%. Design. 16.8%. STEM/Computing. 22.9%. Other. 17.8%.

STEM/ Computing Other Managerial expertise

Creative expertise

Market expertise

Technological expertise


The Brighton Fuse  
The Brighton Fuse