The Practical Purpose Of A Humanities Degree

Posted on Jan 21 2014 - 6:26pm by Editorial Staff


There’s a great deal of chat in the UK at the moment about the price of a degree. Is it fair? Will you get a job at the end of it? How will you be able to pay back that massive loan you took out for your studies?

An unfortunate consequence of the discussion about the economic worth of your qualifications, be it from an online degree or a bricks and mortar university, is that it’s left the study of humanities out in the cold.

While engineering or finance degrees have a clear vocational path ahead of them, and validate themselves through this, the humble English or politics student has to justify their degree in more abstract ways.

Without the obvious financial gain of such a degree, or even a guarantee that you’ll find a job relevant to what you’ve actually studied, there’s become a need in this austerity driven culture to legitimise your course through the means of how it can drive the economy forward.

Now, imagine the scene – you’re a budding humanities student, and you’re being badgered on theactual purpose of your choice of study. How exactly can you find a way to validate it?

Knowledge itself has an inherent value

While medical or science students are mining for very specific traits of knowledge, the realm of humanities provides a wider umbrella of facts and concepts, in which everything ranging from geopolitical notions to the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche’s theory of the infinite loop is thrust into your eager brain.

Although it might seem like you’re holding a potentially useless series of facts, this broadening of your knowledge actually has inherent value in that it allows you to bring multiple worldviews to the table in the realms of problem solving and creativity.

Where science or mathematics students think purely in terms of rigorous logic, the humanities student can provide a workplace with more abstract concepts and solutions, turning their fountain of knowledge into a transferable skill.

You might find an interest you love

It’s always interesting to see the number of students in law or finance who drop out once they find that they can’t hack the dry subject matter in the name of a job with a hefty pay packet.

Compare this to the humanities and you’ll find that you can simply change your initial subject to another, testing the water for what actually interests you until you settle into something you really love.

The job market is yours for the taking

While many people will argue that the lack of a specific vocation in the realm of humanities is usually argued as a case against it, the truth of the matter is that humanities features a number of transferable skills that can aid you in the hunt for a wide range of employment opportunities.

And, with the essay writing skills you’ve picked up over the course of your degree, you’ll find that you can write ace covering letters that can stretch any skill you have into the remit of a job specification.

Although you won’t be able to talk your way into a medical or financial profession without specific qualifications, you can make sure that you have enough discursive and communicative skills to land yourself in a position as impressive as the degree you have.

About the Author

Editorial Staff at I2Mag is a team of subject experts.