What do you do with a BA in English? goes the song, asking humanities graduates if they have a future in their chosen career. Similar questions are asked to students who major in other humanities courses such as philosophy, art studies, and fine arts.
These questions stem from some common misconceptions about humanities courses. Because of these misconceptions, some parents are reluctant to let their child take humanities courses. Other people, because of a lack of understanding, look down on these courses because they are seemingly easy and useless.
But at Edukasyon, we’re here to debunk each of the following misconceptions surrounding humanities courses and find out the truth behind being a humanities major.
Expectation: It’s easy.
Reality: Professors will give you readings and writing deadlines like there’s no tomorrow.
Because there’s little to no Math and Science involved, people tend to expect that humanities courses are a piece of cake, and humanities majors have their life easy. This is far from the truth. Humanities majors are swamped with readings like The Odyssey, writing deadlines, topics to research about, and even other creative endeavors like painting that needs to be done. These need a lot of creativity and analytical and critical thinking.
Expectation: It’s useless.
Reality: It develops informed and critical citizens.
People tend to dismiss humanities courses because of their seemingly insignificant value. They do not think there’s a value to reading Shakespeare or writing poetry. What people don’t realize is reading and researching help an individual develop their critical thinking—a skill that is important in almost everything you do in life, from voting for the next President of the country to making an important life decision, critical thinking is involved.
Expectation: There are no job opportunities after graduation.
Reality: There are actually a lot of job opportunities after graduation, and a diverse one at that!
Many parents tend to discourage their children from taking humanities courses because of fear of their child not finding a decent-paying job. This affects some to expect that humanities majors end up becoming poor. This, of course, is not true. A humanities course develops your speaking, reasoning, reading, and writing abilities. This means being a humanities graduate opens up opportunities to become a politician, lawyer, broadcaster, journalist, or even a filmmaker!
Humanities courses can lead you to places you do not expect to go. Who knows? You might be the next big director in a popular production company or a lawyer in a big firm. It’s also definitely not easy, as being a successful journalist, for example, takes years of practice and expertise. Lastly, it’s definitely important, especially now more than ever, we need informed and critical citizens.