What can you do with that major?

What can you do with that Humanities Major? The Three C’s Response

Studying the Humanities is a long-term investment in the skills of future citizens, leaders, and professionals. To prepare graduates for the challenges of the twenty-first century job market, core departments in the Humanities, including Classical Studies, English, History, Languages, Literatures, and Cultures, Philosophy, and Religious Studies develop three skill sets that meet employers’ needs and make our graduates more likely to succeed in the labor force: 1) Critical thinking 2) Communication and 3) Collaboration. We call these the Humanities Toolbox.

Critical Thinking

Coursework in the Humanities highlights divergent perspectives and multiple narratives. In a History course, a student sees how the same evidence can be used to present different arguments of causation and evolution. In a Literature or Art history course, a student must contend with varying interpretations of a text or image. And in a Philosophy course, a student learns that an ethical dilemma must be understood from multiple points of view. Learning how to make informed judgments about opposing truths and when and how to reconcile them is a cornerstone of critical thinking.

Communication

The Humanities teach oral and written skills. The arts of argumentation, rhetoric, and delivery are essential to professional growth and leadership. From Religious Studies to Classics, the Humanities improve students’ writing and speaking by requiring them to submit essays, blog posts, and reports, and conduct oral presentations. Through practice, feedback, and models from the past, students hone their communication skills. And in such disciplines as Anthropology and in interdisciplinary programs like Environmental & Sustainability Studies, students learn how to apply their understanding of the human condition to the professional practice.

Collaboration

Professionals are increasingly challenged to work together in diverse groups in which interpersonal skills and emotional maturity are crucial. Since debate and peer review are at the heart of courses in the Humanities, our fields are poised to support this essential area of skill development.The Humanities also prepare students for collaboration by engaging their moral and ethical development. By nurturing students’ empathy in courses about other time periods, places, religions, cultures, and languages, the Humanities help our graduates to live and succeed in a globally-connected and diverse world.

At UNCG, collaborating Humanities departments and programs include African-American and African Diaspora Studies, Anthropology, Art, Dance, Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations, Music, Peace and Conflict Studies, Theatre, and Women’s and Gender Studies. For more information about studying the Humanities at UNCG see https://hnac.uncg.edu/about/.

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