Reasons it Still Makes Sense to Get a Humanities Education
Coursework writing is a major part of most academic disciplines, but it is an especially large component of a humanities education. As our economy continues its march into the postindustrial age, it evolves from one that is (principally) a provider of goods and products, into one that provides mainly services (namely advanced services). A post-industrial society is based on technology, information, and value-added services like accounting, legal work, consulting, and money management (among others).
An humanities education is as important as any other discipline
As the advanced Western economies have become ones that are largely based on these types of industries and occupations, conversations surrounding the viability and utility of traditional humanities educations (things like history, philosophy, political science, anthropology) have become more and more important. “What is the point,” many people begin their arguments, “of studying something like history when employers don’t care about how well you can recall the Peloponnesian Wars?” They want skills that are going to help them analyze data, save them and their clients’ money, and be useful in a digital marketplace? Below are some of the reasons it still makes sense to get a humanities education (even if it’s just a few elective courses).
Better communication skills
One of the most compelling defenses of a traditional humanities education is that it hones written communication skills. Surveys of over 400 American employers have indicated that the majority feel American undergraduate students have “deficient writing skills.” Deficient writing skills carry major implications. When you graduate and begin working, especially if you are working in a professional setting, you are going to be communicating with other professionals on a daily basis. Sending emails, writing memos, providing written reports to colleagues and managers; if you are unable to articulate your opinions and thoughts, and your written communication skills make you look incompetent, and poorly educated, people will shape their opinions of you accordingly.
Humanities courses are reading and writing-heavy, with essay writing being a major component of coursework and learning. You will be given the opportunity to read and write critically, and have trained, academic eyes critique and evaluate your work, making you a better communicator. If you are willing to go into a course in the humanities with the goal of emerging a better writer and communicator, employers will take notice.
Better understanding of history and society
The humanities is all about the study of human societies and cultures, past and present. An overly technical discipline often leaves out this component of your education. If you are given the opportunity to take elective courses before and during a professional designation (such as something in the STEM fields), you should not pass it up. In fact, many colleges and universities require students to take humanities elective courses prior to deciding a major so that they have been sufficiently exposed to the full range of educational opportunities available to them.
Having a better understanding of history and society means you have a more macro picture of how your culture and the country, or region you live in became the way it is. This has the potential to shape you into a more astute and knowledgeable voter, a more engaged and responsible citizen, and a more understanding, humane person in general. Our global culture and economy is a complicated place, filled with important nuance, unpleasant facts, and historical truths. Being ignorant of all that means a less sophisticated view of reality, and less ability to resist mistruths, mischaracterization, and misinformation.
The humanities teach empathy
In an overly digital, often depressingly technological world, it can be easy to feel that people are slowly losing a foundational human capacity: empathy. In a January 2018 piece in Behavioural Scientist entitled “The Assault on Empathy,” MIT psychologist Sherry Turkle claims exactly that. Her research on school-aged children has shown that today’s kids are failing to develop age-appropriate empathy capabilities, spending an unhealthy amount of time on their phones, and avoiding the types of conversations and interactions which once defined elementary and middle school socialization.
The humanities are about human life, history and interaction. Believe it or not, there was a time in human history when all people had were each other, and human relationships were the focal point of daily life. A philosophy, communication, or history course is a terrific way to not only build and improve writing and communication skills, but provide insight into human nature, why you and your fellow human beings are the way they are, and to remind us of our moral and ethical obligations to one another, and to society at large.
The humanities teach skepticism and critical-mindedness
In a world filled with so much bias, spin, and dis/misinformation, our critical faculties are constantly being pushed to their limits. These days, anyone can say anything on the internet. Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, which are subject to mob impulse and emotion, have become main sources of news and information for many – especially young adults. Humanities coursework writing can help provide you with critical thinking skills you can apply in both your personal and professional life.
When you get a humanities education, much of the curriculum, while dedicated to a specific subject or discipline (19th century history, Greek philosophy etc.) asks you to build and respond to arguments and opinions. The point is to challenge accepted thinking and conventional wisdom, and present your own take on history, current events, human affairs, and moral questions. This is a skill set, and a form of thinking and arguing that is often left out of some of the more technical disciplines. The humanities teach you to navigate and engage with a world that is not cut and dried.
If you are currently in the process of choosing courses, or have enrolled in one or more humanities courses, and need some reassurance that you are making smart choices with your tuition money, hopefully the above paragraphs have helped make the case. And, if you require help with your humanities education, get in touch with Homework Help Global and let one of our knowledgeable, professional writers make your essay stand out.
(2009). “Businesses Find College Grads Deficient in Written, Oral Communication.” Cengage. Retrieved from: https://www.cengage.com/bcomm/guffey/newsletter/archives/2009-11/9113.html
Crossman, A. (2018). “Post-Industrial Society in Sociology.” ThoughtCo. Retrieved from: https://www.thoughtco.com/post-industrial-society-3026457
Turkle, S. (2018). “The Assault on Empathy.” Behavioural Scientist. Retrieved from: http://behavioralscientist.org/the-assault-on-empathy/Share: