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What Does a Career in Humanities Entail?
Humanities degrees don’t exactly come with the same reputation as STEM degrees or with as clear a career path. That said, a humanities degree program isn't useless. These days, degrees in liberal arts and humanities majors and humanities disciplines are on the decline due to the misconceptions that they do not provide a good basis for a career, and that’s a shame because humanities degree program graduates have a versatile credential and interdisciplinary education that can lead to a wide range of options in the job market, with decent salaries, benefits, and fulfillment. Students interested in a variety of fields find that a humanities program supports their interests very well.
The challenge with turning a humanities major into a career is that there’s no clear-cut path, like when you study nursing or computer science. Instead, you’ll have to blaze your own trail and make connections, whether you do so with a liberal arts degree, foreign languages, social sciences, or another in-person or online humanities degree program. Here’s what you need to know about pursuing a degree in the humanities and the opportunities available.
The humanities are a wide-ranging class of disciplines, often referred to as interdisciplinary education. This area includes everything from music to religious studies, art history, literature, philosophy, anthropology, foreign languages, writing skills, and more critical skills for nearly any career. A humanities degree—in any discipline—comes with some core employability skills. For example, those who do well in their classes will have good communication skills such as reading, writing, and speaking; will be analytical, with critical thinking skills, and will be versed in research. With those skills under your belt, you can be successful in a wide range of fields; from writing and marketing to teaching, law, and working in the public sector and social sciences.
Still, your options are somewhat dependent on the specific major you select within this discipline. For example, art majors will bring project management, problem-solving, and design know-how into the mix. Philosophy majors may well turn that natural curiosity into a writing career, teaching, or decide to go to law school.
Anthropologists and art historians may work in the museum world in some capacity or find work at a college or university. Technical writers and marketers, as well as communications, can present you with a rewarding career in business, you might just need to do more networking than someone with a business degree. And online students can earn a Bachelor of Arts in a liberal arts program without moving or even leaving home. They could even finish their general education courses in an associate degree program and complete their online bachelor's degrees at local community colleges.