Humanities majors are often pegged as being theoretical and disconnected from the real world. However, in today’s job market, having a degree in the humanities can actually be a big advantage for career-minded students. The demand for humanists is growing rapidly in many industries—and not just the ones you might expect. For example, employers are looking for people with strong communication skills across all departments and functions of their organization. This is great news for anyone considering a master’s degree in the humanities. A master of humanities degree offers a unique combination of theory and practice that will give you an edge as you enter the job market. Let’s take a closer look at why that is, along with some pros and cons of getting your master’s in humanities if you intend to make it your career path after graduation.
Why Employers Are Looking for Humansists Right Now
We can’t predict the future, but we can look at current trends to get a sense of what employers are seeking in job candidates right now. One of those trends is an increasing demand for humanists in the workplace. Humanists specialize in an array of subjects, including language, history, philosophy, and arts. Their knowledge of human culture, creativity, and language have made them key players in many industries, including business, healthcare, technology, media, and education. Humanists are essentially generalists who have the skills to apply their knowledge to a wide range of job functions. For example, a humanist who specializes in linguistics might help a technology company create and refine voice recognition software. A humanist who specializes in the history of the American Civil War might help a healthcare company create new protocols for treating patients who have been exposed to infectious diseases. Humanists who specialize in the arts are often employed as designers, graphic artists, and creative directors for advertising agencies and other businesses in the marketing and communications fields. Humanists with a background in philosophy can also find work in the business world as consultants and advisors.
Humanities Degree Holders Are More Employable
If you’re worried that getting a humanities degree might hurt your chances of finding a job, don’t be. A recent report by the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that humanities majors are becoming increasingly more employable. This report was based on surveys of over 250,000 employers, including Fortune 500 companies and academic institutions. The survey found that employers prefer to hire candidates who have humanities degrees over candidates who have degrees in STEM fields (science, technology, engineering, and math) and other technical disciplines. Humanities degrees are often associated with a strong critical thinking and communication skills, which are highly sought after skills in today’s job market. Employers value these skills because they make employees more flexible, adaptable, and valuable to the company.
Advertising and Marketing
Advertising and marketing agencies have long been a natural habitat for humanists. Recent technological changes have made the field even more attractive, with social media marketing and other new forms of marketing bringing new challenges and opportunities. As a humanities grad, you might be employed in any of the following capacities: copywriter, creative director, product manager, public relations manager. Your job will be to make sure your company’s message is clear and attractive to its target audience. This entails lots of creative thinking, market research, and the ability to translate all of that into a language that will appeal to the general public. Advertising and marketing agencies also offer excellent opportunities to those who want to do freelance work on the side. Plenty of agencies hire contract workers to help with the creation of ad campaigns.
Many people associate publishing with books, but publications of all kinds are what come out of this industry, ranging from newspapers and magazines to academic journals. You may find yourself working in any of the following departments: editorial, marketing and sales, management. Editors work closely with authors to turn their manuscripts into publishable work. This job requires excellent communication skills, as you will be working with authors from a wide variety of disciplines. Marketing and sales staff work together to promote the publications and sell subscriptions. This is another great field for those with both creativity and a strong interest in numbers.
Video Game Design and Development
Video games are a big business, and the people who design and develop them need a wide range of skills, including artistic and technical skills. This is another field where humanities grads can find themselves employed in departments such as art, design, programming. Those who work in the artistic side are responsible for designing characters, landscapes, and other elements that bring the story of the game to life. Those who work in design are responsible for creating the rule structure of the game, including things like how the controls work. Programmers are responsible for creating the code that makes the game run. It’s a challenging field that requires an in-depth knowledge of computer languages and software engineering.
Confidence to Jump-Start Your Career
Some people worry that a humanities degree might not give them the confidence to jump-start their career. However, quite the opposite is true: A humanities degree teaches you how to apply your knowledge to real-life situations. This gives you the confidence to pursue almost any career path you may want to take after getting your master’s degree in the humanities. This is especially helpful if you are unsure about your career path after graduation. A humanities degree gives you the freedom to be more flexible in your job search and helps you find a job that is a great fit for you—no matter what industry you’re looking at.
Negotiating Salary and Advancement
While having a technical degree can give you an advantage in some industries, it can actually be a disadvantage in others. Employers in business and other non-technical fields may see technical backgrounds as a red flag, indicating that the candidate is too narrowly focused. A humanities degree shows that you’re well-rounded and have a wide range of interests and skills. This makes you a more attractive candidate for management positions. Your knowledge of culture and language can also give you an advantage in negotiations. Your ability to understand your employer and your colleagues will make you a more valuable employee and help you get promoted faster.
The demand for humanists is growing in many industries, and this is great news for anyone considering a master’s degree in the humanities. A master’s in humanities offers a unique combination of theory and practice that will give you an edge as you enter the job market. With a humanities degree, you can pursue almost any career path you want to take after graduation.