STUDENT LIFE / DEC. 27, 2013
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Humanities Majors Offer Vital Skills That Employers Highly Appreciate

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Humanities majors have traditionally had a bad reputation for their perceived inability to lead to a decent job, creating what Bracken Darrell, the CEO of Logitech, calls an “endangered species”. However, as the US economy recovers and companies continue adding jobs, employers won’t necessarily seek for finance or technology competence from new hires – it is communication and critical thinking skills they’ll be after. These soft skills are an integral part of a Humanities major and graduates of this field are expected to develop impeccable communication and critical thinking skills.

Communication Skills Matter More Than Choice of Major

The National Association of Colleges and Employees reports that the quality employers most want from applicants is the ability to communicate effectively. This is in line with Georgetown University’s finding which revealed that information studies majors had a higher unemployment rate (14.7 %) than English majors (9.8 %) or history, religious studies and philosophy majors (9.5 %)

The ability to think and write well, along with interpersonal skills, problem-solving and analytical abilities and other high-touch skills such as empathy, are all highly valued by today’s best employers, and they’re found sorely lacking among today’s college graduates. After all, these soft skills can’t be outsourced or automated.

In a recent survey of business and nonprofit leaders, the Association of American Colleges and Universities reveals that 93% of employers believe a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly and solve complex problems is more important than [a candidate’s] undergraduate major.

The Career Options for Humanities Graduates are Vast

The research, analytical and interpersonal skills gained in a humanities program can lead to a range of career paths – many of which can be outside of the field. Surprisingly, among those accepted into medical schools in 2010, 51% were humanities majors. That same year, nearly half of those in Stanford’s business school entered with an undergraduate degree in the humanities.

What’s more, Forbes reports that a study by a Chicago State University professor found that the top 10 majors with the highest law school acceptance rates included philosophy, anthropology history and English.

All in all, a Humanities major can open many doors in different areas thanks to the numerous soft skills graduates develop after finishing their studies. As the world of employment has become more competitive and demanding, employers do not merely consider candidate’s credentials when recruting but they also place emphasis on how well candidates can judge, solve problems and use their emotional intelligence and critical ability in creative ways for the benefit of the organisation.

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