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5 Reasons Your Humanities Major will Take You Far in Life


The humanities—or the study of human culture—are a broad term that can encompass a variety of majors. Whether you’re working toward a degree in art history, anthropology, philosophy, literature, performing arts or visual arts, your humanities major will take you far in life. While you’ve probably heard over and over that you’ll never get a job out of college, and may have even joked about it yourself, you also know that you didn’t go into your field for the money. Here are five benefits of a humanities major—share these the next time someone questions your path.

1. You have excellent communication skills

No matter where your specific major falls under the humanities umbrella, you are constantly improving your oral and written communication skills. Your ability to relay information in a succinct and persuasive way will help you out, regardless of what your future career ends up being.

Kristen Fowler is a junior English major at the University of Alabama who switched her major from mechanical engineering because she missed being able to express ideas through writing. “In my experience, communication is the most important skill to have in the workforce,” she says. “Studying English has honed my writing skills and my public speaking skills, which will help me succeed after college. I look forward to papers and presentations instead of dreading them, because I know I have the ability to express myself clearly.”

Malory Weber is a sophomore at the University of Utah majoring in both international studies and linguistics. “Not only am I learning languages that are always useful,” she says of her linguistics studies, “But I am learning to analyze the impact of languages on the way people think, the choices they make and the opinions they have. That analytical factor stimulates the logic-based part of my brain that most people would turn to math or science for.” Malory plans on attending law school, where these strategies will be extremely beneficial.

2. You can approach a topic from a variety of different perspectives

In your classes within your humanities major, you learn to look at the world from a number of perspectives other than your own. You study various cultures, languages and bodies of work that other majors may not have even heard of. This gives you an advantage when you enter the “real world.”

Royall Bryan is a junior at Christopher Newport University majoring in sociology/anthropology and minoring in writing. “I chose anthro because it’s so versatile,” she says. “I can adapt to most positions because the concepts I’m learning help me understand people’s actions. Learning company culture, assisting dignitaries with customs and just learning about who we are as people were some of the things that drew me to anthro.” Royall is able to combine her love of both knowledge and writing through her humanities major and minor.

Related: What To Do With Your “Impractical” Major

3. You are an avid reader

Due to the nature of your major, you probably have a lot of reading to do for class. Knowing you, though, you already loved reading long before you came to college. Your thirst for knowledge and your passion for literature are going to take you far, trust us. Plus, reading exposes you to different people and ways of thinking, which can make you more empathetic toward others.

Shereen Jeyakumar is a sophomore at Florida Atlantic University minoring in literature. “I absolutely love to delve into written masterpieces,” she says. “It’s always been a great joy of mine. I can’t tell you how many times reading a poem or short story for a literature class has lifted my spirits when I was bogged down with complicated physics equations and organic chemistry reactions.”

Shereen is able to balance her pre-med and literature courses just fine. “Medical schools encourage students to major in the humanities,” she says. “It lets admissions officers know that you’re both open-minded and well-rounded. Even if you don’t end up looking for a career in the humanities, college is a safe space where you can explore your greatest passions, whatever they may be.” We couldn’t agree more.

4. Your creativity is off the charts

While you write papers like a pro (thanks to your awesome communication skills!), you would prefer to complete assignments using the medium you are most passionate about. Whether it’s writing a play or a short story, filming a movie or creating a sculpture, your talents ensure that your homework goes above and beyond what is expected.

Kristen is also pursuing minors in journalism and creative writing. “Studying creative writing has opened me up to an entirely new outlet for creativity,” she says. “Knowing how to write engaging and meaningful creative pieces is a transferable skill. Pairing this minor with my other minor, journalism, I'm preparing myself to succeed in fields such as advertising and marketing.” Did we mention that humanities majors are versatile?

5. When you put your mind to something, you are unstoppable

Most humanities majors require that you write a senior thesis, or create a final, cumulative project of some kind. You will put your heart and soul into this task, which happens to be a pretty serious undertaking. This culmination of your years at school will prove to yourself (and everyone else) that you are a force to be reckoned with.

“I’m an English major with a focus in writing, and I think that the humanities are completely underrated,” says Reilly Tuccinard, a senior at the University of South Carolina. “My major has prepared me with an arsenal of skills, from learning to speak my opinion to interpreting a text or situation. They are skills that can be applied to a slew of careers, and skills that will make me a well-rounded candidate in my career and the life I want to pursue. There’s a lot more to it than just reading books, and that’s a misconception that many people can’t grasp. I dare those people to write a 15 page paper exploring the theory of fictional reality, or delve into some of the most prolific novels ever written and maintain their prior sentiments—flipping pages isn’t the only thing we do all day (although it’s one of my favorite parts)!”

It’s pretty clear that majoring in the humanities is a worthwhile choice. “My humanities majors are helping me improve skills that I will need not only professionally, but in every day life,” says Malory. “And they make me unique, because they aren’t typically the majors that people jump to.” No matter what your dream job, you’re sure to achieve your goals—in school and in the workplace. You chose a challenging major, and you are killing it. 

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