A lot of people make jokes about taking humanities as a major because it has “no skill’ and “no value for money.” Degrees in science and mathematics are respected in societies that have been gripped by the economic downturn. Literature, languages, writing, and other courses that make up the bulk of a humanities degree are not really seen by many in a political or economic context that can yield significant returns or benefits to the degree holder.
But in the defense of humanities degree holders, they are excellent writers and great communicators. Those skills can, in fact, easily be transferable to a plethora of possibilities, employment-wise.
Specializations, quantitative brainteasers, and General Point Averages (GPAs) are becoming increasingly insignificant as the sole basis for employment with companies such as Google and IBM. Instead, emotional intelligence, adaptability, and persistence are characteristics which are being sought out by companies because of the motivation these eventually bring out in employees and which subsequently increase productivity.
A degree in humanities is a good option for the student who may have struggled with math or anything technical in his/her secondary education. This is because most things which are admittedly hardest to outsource or computerize are the skills that have to do with human interaction such as reacting to situations, sociability, writing, empathy, and analyzing; skills that don’t develop from proficiency in science or math.
Possible Careers for Humanities Degree Holders
A humanities degree helps develop and strengthen the student’s ability to write, analyze, reason, and communicate. These skills will endure even when the individual switches occupations, learns some other task or train for proficiency in a field that is just developing. These skills are all taught in humanities programs and may prove to be better than excellence in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM).
Humanities graduates are well-trained to become professors, instructors, and teachers. Their communication skills are superior, making them effective advertising and marketing agents. Because they have been trained to write well, humanities graduates make successful technical writers, editors, foreign correspondents, journalists, copywriters, and web content aggregators.
Humanities graduates can have careers that require not only strong writing skills but interpersonal skills as well such as public relations, tourism, event organizing, museum curating, translation, nonprofit management, interpreting, social work, education administration, grant proposal writing, and advocacy. Humanities graduates make good lawyers, law enforcement personnel, historians, lobbyists, and librarians.
Top Schools for a Humanities Degree
In the U.S., the top schools that offer the best humanities degree programs include (in no particular order) Harvard University, the University of California-Los Angeles (UCLA), Brown University, Rutgers, the University of California-Berkeley, Yale University, the University of Chicago, Columbia University, the University of Notre Dame, New York University, the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, and Georgetown University.
Overseas, the educational institutions that have the best humanities degree courses include (again, in no particular order) the University of Oxford (UK), University of Toronto (Canada), Kings College London (UK), Australian National University, the Ghent University (Belgium), University of Edinburgh (Scotland), Ludwig Maximilian University Munich (Germany), Sapienza University-Rome (Italy), and Aarhus University (Denmark).