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.
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.
How Long Does It Take to Complete a Degree in Humanities?
Many schools in the US, such as Stanford University, The University of New Orleans, New Jersey City University and National University, are offering degrees in Humanities. Students can enroll in a 4-year long Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in English and can specialize in Literature, Linguistics or Creative Writing. They can also pursue a 4-year long Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in Philosophy or Political Science. Some universities are also offering a 1 to 2 year long Master of Arts (M.A) in Religious Studies or a Master of Arts (M.A) in Religion, Politics and Conflict.
What Are the Requirements to Complete a Degree in Humanities?
Students enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in English Literature have to complete around 120 credits and they have to study courses like English Literature of the Middle Ages, Victorian Literature, Literary Theory, Modern Fiction and Modern Poetry. Those enrolled in the Bachelor of Arts (B.A) in Political Science have to complete approximately 120 credits and have to study modules like Comparative Politics, Politics in the US and Political Research. The Master of Arts (M.A) in Religious Studies requires students to complete a minimum of 45 credits.
How Much Can I Make after Completing a Degree in Humanities?
After graduating with a degree in Humanities, students can pursue jobs like Public Relations Specialists, Grant Writers, Researchers, Librarians, or Teachers. O*Net Online has reported that in 2018, Public Relations and Fundraiser Managers made a yearly median income of $114,800 and an hourly median income of $55.19. In 2018, there were around 81,000 professionals employed in this field. Moreover, it is expected that the number of job vacancies in this field will go up by 7,800.
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