The field of humanities refers to the study of the human condition through the disciplines of art, philosophy, literature, history, languages, religion and more. It does not involve the study of mathematics or the sciences and is generally considered to teach intellectual skills as opposed to professional ones. Humanities degrees whether at the undergraduate or graduate level can provide a wide range of career options depending on your area of interest.
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Areas of Study in a Humanities Degree
Humanities degrees at the Bachelor’s and the Master’s levels are offered at a number of universities all over the world. While studying for a degree in the humanities, you will learn more about a variety of disciplines such as classical studies, which is the study of Ancient Greek and Roman arts and culture; literature, including the classics and comparative literature as well as studies pertaining to religion among others. Humanities students will also learn about the performing arts such as theatre, music appreciation, dramatic theory and more. The visual arts are also taught which include painting, drawing, photography and sculpture. Art history is another subject which is part of a humanities degree. While many may choose to do a general humanities degree, some students may focus on a particular area of interest out of the many subjects that are part of the field of humanities.
Skills of Humanities Degree Graduates
Humanities degrees equip a student with a number of invaluable skills and abilities. A humanities student will have the ability to learn independently and will be able to analyze intelligently. Research, writing and communication skills of such students are also well-developed. Humanities graduates are culturally sensitive and have a historical understanding which is very useful in order to understand religions and cultures different from one’s own. Humanities students are experts in time management and have the ability to work productively when faced with tight deadlines.
Humanities graduates can also enroll in a vocational program which can couple their humanities degree with a more professional certificate or degree which can lead to a career in law, journalism, human resources and other fields.
Careers for Humanities Graduates
Many humanities graduates can find employment in the health and social welfare areas, as well as in the corporate world at managerial positions. Teaching is an area which is also popular with humanities graduates. The media industry is the one that employs the most humanities degree holders. This field includes the areas of journalism, publishing, radio, television, film, music and theatre. Other areas of employment are in public relations, advertising and marketing. The field of human resources is yet another area where humanities graduates do well as it involves the use of excellent communication skills. Computing is another area where humanities graduates with a postgraduate vocational degree are working. Technical writing, administration and strategizing are some other fields where someone with a humanities degree can succeed.
While humanities degrees may not provide you with a particular profession’s expertise, the skills acquired are useful for employers in a wide range of industries.
What can you do with this degree?
A degree in humanities could help you prepare for exciting careers in different sectors such as social welfare, social services, media and publishing, public relations, marketing, education and teaching, advertising, theater and arts, event management, etc. You could choose a career that reflects your interests and preferences. Here are a few job options and their 2012 salary information provided by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Middle School Teacher
Median annual income: $53,430
Advertising and Marketing Manager
Median annual income: $115,750
Public Relations Specialist
Median Annual Income: $54,170
Crafts and Fine Artist
Median Annual Income: $44,380
Meeting, Convention and Event Planner
Median Annual Income: $45,810
Median Annual Income: $44,200