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    Is There A Future In Humanities?

    By Yashodhra Arora
    10 Mar'22  8 min read
    Is There A Future In Humanities?
    Synopsis

    Humanities have traditionally been an underrated field, with the common person being doubtful about the opportunities they behold. However, the benefits of studying Humanities, and pursuing Humanities degrees are far-reaching, increasingly becoming more and more lucrative. Read this article to understand the benefits of studying Humanities and what the study of Humanities has in store for you.

    Is There A Future In Humanities?
    Synopsis

    Humanities have traditionally been an underrated field, with the common person being doubtful about the opportunities they behold. However, the benefits of studying Humanities, and pursuing Humanities degrees are far-reaching, increasingly becoming more and more lucrative. Read this article to understand the benefits of studying Humanities and what the study of Humanities has in store for you.

    Medicine or Engineering? This question has been asked by Indian students for ages, and it is also common to hear nowadays that, in the age of big data and STEM - Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths - Humanities degrees and liberal arts degrees are, well, relatively worthless and irrelevant. Economics and Commerce are only studied by those who do not get good grades. What can someone with a degree in English literature do besides teaching? This article will give you an overview of what the humanities are, and why they are important.

    Defining Humanities

    Humanities have always been the basis of human culture, and of our understanding of other cultures. As a discipline, it covers diverse areas like human interaction, and includes comprehensive and analytical methodologies to address social issues. Humanities also study human conditions based on socioeconomic and political contexts. By applying a critical, philosophical, and analytical approach, it comes up with answers, speculations, and premises about how we interact with other people. Furthermore, it helps you think critically and creatively, ask questions, and seek answers. Overall, it offers a broad foundation across multiple academic disciplines and is a holistic approach to education.

    Humanities are better understood as academic disciplines that study society and culture from a variety of perspectives. The areas include anthropology, archaeology, human history, ancient and modern linguistics, law and politics, literature, philosophy, religion, performing and visual arts, among many others.

    What Are The Benefits Of Studying Humanities?

    Often overlooked, there are multiple benefits of studying humanities and choosing to pursue a career in the stream.

    Hone Your Creativity

    Studying humanities can have a big impact on your ability to interpret things better and more clearly. As an example, if you see a piece of art, you might simply think, "It's just a piece of art", but if you are an ardent lover of humanities, you will be able to appreciate it for what it is, and you might be able to understand how little aspects of the painting can have profound meanings. The humanities provide insight into almost everything you see.

    Improve Social Skills

    Humanities studies help you understand people, and the world better. It allows you to interpret both written and spoken language better, greatly improving your communication skills. The subjects in the humanities studies complement other areas of study, and thus a degree in humanities would equip you with both, soft skills and hard skills, required to thrive in a competitive workplace in the future.

    Understand STEM Better

    The study of history, philosophy, and literature shows how far technology, science, and medicine have progressed, and how important they have become to people's daily lives. This way, one can see their future impact, and how each of these three aspects sustains the life of every human on a variety of levels. Furthermore, you will gain a better understanding of these fields, and be more open to experiments.

    Critical Thinking

    Humanities also help you develop critical thinking, creativity, and reasoning abilities, so that you gain insight into a wide variety of subjects. Humanities degrees are a valuable asset, and this knowledge has been used to study poetry, history, culture, and the arts.

    Career Options

    Humanities studies lead to a wide range of career opportunities after class 12. It is possible to switch from one field to another as well, since the contemporary industry is quite dynamic, and offers immense scope for exploring.

    Professional Skills

    Taking a Humanities course enables you to acquire transferable, marketable skills and qualities, that will be valuable to you in your professional endeavours. These skills and qualities include teamwork, communication, empirical and quantitative reasoning, social and personal responsibility.

    Interesting Careers After Studying Humanities

    Employers look for professionals who can formulate new approaches to problems, express themselves clearly, collaborate with others, and act with responsibility and ethics. These abilities are necessary for nearly every career path, and even many graduate-level programs. Your understanding of humanities will equip you with all these skills, and also make you eligible for some interesting careers like those mentioned below.

    Museum/Art Curation

    A Humanities degree may lead one to become a curator. Curators specialise in specific areas of art, such as western, Asian, or contemporary art. There are numerous tasks a curator is responsible for. Organising public events, writing grants, and raising funds are examples of what may be done by these professionals. They may also conduct research and write papers.

    Museums and galleries employ art curators to design, develop, and manage installations and exhibits. For this purpose, they are responsible for purchasing artwork, ensuring that the artwork is stored properly, and assisting in maintaining museums.

    Psychology

    The study of psychology covers a wide range of subjects including how the brain functions, how our memories are structured, and how people interact with each other. After learning the basics, psychology students are free to choose from a variety of specialisations, like clinical psychology, forensic psychology, industrial/organisational psychology, developmental psychology, counselling psychology, or sports psychology. Students in this field are eventually employed as counsellors, child psychologists, human resource specialists, family therapists, etc.

    Political Science And International Relations

    Humanities degrees pave way for lucrative careers in political science and International Relations. Political Science encompasses the study of political history and political systems of a country, while International Relations deals with the study of the relations between one's home country and other nations. These two subjects address issues like world peace, economic crises, poverty, unemployment, hunger, and malnutrition, among others, and seek to find solutions.

    Graduates in this field are employed as political analysts, research assistants, and diplomats, and can work for government organisations like the United Nations, World Bank, etc.

    Mass Communication And Journalism

    Mass Communication is an umbrella, that encompasses multiple avenues, such as public relations, copywriting, advertising, and so on, with journalism being one of them. Journalism is part of mass communication that involves gathering, analysing, presenting, and presenting information/news to the public. This is one of the most practical courses to look out for after a humanities degree.

    You can work with various media production houses as journalists, public relations officers, copywriters, event managers, etc.

    Content Writing (Blogging/Vlogging/Youtubing)

    After studying humanities, you may look at becoming a professional writer, given the huge demand for writers these days. Writing is a way for people to share opinions, knowledge, or ideas with others. There are numerous career opportunities in writing. As a content writer, you can develop content for various companies, voice your opinions on blogs, or even make videos about certain topics through vlogs. Also, there are more traditional forms of creative writing, including novels, books, anthologies, etc.

    You may find job opportunities as a content writer with various companies, blogs, websites, newspapers, online websites, etc. You might also consider becoming a social media influencer.

    Design

    Design involves visualising, expressing, and communicating ideas through images, sketches, layouts, etc. A design career includes multiple specialisations such as graphic design, animation, interior design, textiles, product design, fashion design, furniture design, jewellery design, etc. The industry awaits skilled and passionate designers, to bring about an aesthetic appeal to the various simple and fancy products, that are used by all of us for different purposes.

    As a designer, you may work with different textile production houses, boutiques, garment export houses as fashion designers, UI/UX designers, graphic and animation designers, etc.

    So, Time To Appreciate?

    The variety of career options we just spoke about, and the many others that exist out there, are enough evidence that there is great practical scope for those interested in Humanities and Social Science studies. Many years back, when the industry was not very accommodating and flexible, people found more solace in traditional career options, for the sense of security those options brought. However, carrying the same perceptions in today’s times may not serve any purpose, other than that of a mental block. Each student has their own set of natural strengths, interests, and desires, and is likely to create a satisfying life for themselves only when given complete space to pursue those ambitions.

    In fact, there shouldn't be an argument about which field is "better". STEM, Commerce, and Humanities are all important in their own right. As the Humanities and Social Sciences draw the blueprint for humanity's future, STEM works to construct it. It would be pointless to create a skilled workforce that is devoid of creativity and culture. We live in a time when the arts and humanities are inextricably linked to STEM. Both fields are symbiotic, and with today's rapidly changing world, the boundaries are blurring, with disciplines like Cognitive Science emerging and making huge contributions to human progress.

    We hope you can now see the importance that the humanities play in not just one’s career growth and personal development, but also in the world at large.

    Yashodhra Arora is a Counselling Psychologist. She holds more than 10 years of hands-on experience in HR, and behavioural and career counselling of high school students, in India and the USA.

    • Human activities
    • Branches of science
    • Education
    • Culture
    • Science
    • Cognition
    • Cognitive science
    • Psychology
    • Humanities

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