The humanities add meaning to the most profound moments of our lives, but they also bear burdens—notably, the myth that their study is inconsistent with a practical and prosperous career.
Experience shows us otherwise.
Keen students of the humanities can think critically and analytically. They express themselves persuasively in speech and writing (often in more than one language), empathize, mobilize diverse individuals and talents in teamwork and problem-solving, and boldly range outside the box as leaders in education, business, economics, law, and media.
For those students (and parents) still uncertain about the value of the humanities in higher education, here are a few points to consider.
It’s no secret that switching majors can increase the time and money a student spends earning a degree. But college officials say it’s a scenario more and more undergrads are now facing.
According to federal data, a third of all college students change their major at least once. Ten percent of students switch paths two or more times.
Carol Jean Vale, president of Chestnut Hill College (PA), attributes the shift to a rise in college access. As more first-generation students enter college, they need different types of support, she told The Hechinger Report.
Although most American degree holders believe they received a quality education, more than a quarter say they would attend a different college if they had it all to do over, a new national poll shows.
A survey of 89,492 US adults by Gallup and the Strada Education Network found that 28 percent of respondents wish they would have selected a different institution. And given the chance, 36 percent would have chosen a different major.
“We found some evidence that certain combinations of double majors confer advantages over a single major, but they weren’t overwhelming,” Joni Hersch, one of the paper’s authors, recently told The Wall Street Journal.