How my humanities degree is preparing me for a range of careers

CRAIG METSCHEarning a degree in the humanities seems to get a bad rap in recent years, and some have called it impractical or even flat-out unemployable.

Conversely, a humanities degree is the exact opposite. Earning such a degree opens the door for students who may not be set on one concrete career. For example, I’m a history major. The most common question I’m asked is if I want to become a history teacher.

Surprisingly for many I have no interest whatsoever. That’s not meant to be a dig at teaching. My degree has taught me valuable critical-thinking, communication, and writing skills that will be absolutely necessary in whatever field I end up in. I don’t feel like I’m pigeonholed into one career.

Personally, I am looking to apply for jobs in government, public relations and communications, and non-profit organizations after I graduate this spring. Essentially, the value of a humanities degree is that the student learns skills that will prepare them for a variety of fields post-graduation.

A humanities degree also helps the student focus on learning and retaining important soft skills, including  the ones I mentioned ones above. These skills are necessary for any type of career and that’s why the idea of earning a humanities degree should be celebrated more than frowned upon.

As a result of completing this type of degree, students come out of college as well-rounded people and learners. Plus, when students attend a school like Illinois to study the humanities they are provided plenty of resources.

This includes the Life + Career Design Lab. This new initiative within the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences helps undecided students with both their collegiate and post-graduation plans. With the skills, resources, and job opportunities that come along with earning a degree in the humanities, it’s a wonder why more haven’t followed this educational path.

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