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What Can I Do With a Degree in Humanities?

May 15, 2021

According to research site Nature, there has been a steady devaluation of Humanities studies for the last four decades. The trend has been caused by a more pronounced emphasis on business management, science, technology, and math. However, not everyone agrees with this thinking, and many authorities in business and education believe that a Humanities degree is not only a valuable stepping-stone to a career but provides essential skills that are critical to society. 

The Focus of Studies 

One of the benefits of a Humanities degree is that it offers far more choices than most other disciplines. Students delve into areas outside the hard sciences. The diverse humanities programs are concerned with creative life and culture, and primary areas of study include:



Languages and Literature 




Types of Degrees 

Students typically pursue either an Associate Degree or Bachelor's Degree in Humanities. Both are tools that prepare them for a range of careers, but in general, a graduate with a Bachelor's Degree can expect to make more money. Some colleges also offer graduate degrees. 

1.  Associate Degree 

Ideally, education is a tool that allows students to prepare for careers that match their interests. With that in mind, many now opt for an Associate Degree in the Humanities because it gives them a broad range of choices. Because the emphasis is on communications, literature, writing, and history, graduates are well-prepared for entry-level work in many fields. 

According to the online education guide WorldWideLearn, an Associate Degree is excellent preparation for a Bachelor's Degree. It can qualify graduates for entry-level jobs in areas like education and publishing.   

2.  Bachelor's Degree

A Bachelor's degree in Humanities is a handy tool that can open doors in many highly sought-after fields. Students learn communications, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. Many schools allow students to create course studies that mirror their ambitions. Graduates often use their degrees as stepping-stones to further law, journalism, medicine, or business studies. 

3.  M.A. and PhD Degrees

Some colleges, like the University of California Merced, offer graduate Humanities degrees. They often attract graduate students who want to take the study of history and people to new levels. Students get a deeper understanding of cultures, world events, and revolutionary concepts. Common courses include religion, art history, the revolution of humanity, world history, and gender and religious studies. 

Doctoral Humanities degrees, also known as Ph.D.s, are less sought after than other types. Generally, students who pursue doctoral degrees either plan to enter the academic world or further their careers..  

The Job Outlook for Humanities Graduates

There is a pervading belief that degrees in the humanities are not as valuable as career-specific degrees. In fact, no fewer than two-thirds of Humanities graduates find jobs in the private sector. Also, about 60% of CEOs have Bachelor's Degrees in Humanities. 

Former Forbes technology writer George Anders had this to say about the current bias toward Humanities studies, “I realized that the ability to communicate and get along with people, and understand what’s on other people’s minds, and do full-strength critical thinking – all of these things were valued and appreciated by everyone as important job skills, except the media.”

While it is true that many college graduates struggle to find jobs in their chosen careers, Business Insider experts report that the job outlook for Humanities majors is actually better than some others. The number of underemployed graduates with Humanities degrees is roughly on par with most other majors. In fact, business majors are the most likely to be underemployed.

Common Career Paths

Because Humanities graduates get such a broad education, they are often qualified to work in many fields. Some of the most common career paths include: 

1. The Social Sciences

Graduates with Associate Degrees can enter entry-level jobs in the social science fields. These include positions such as library assistant, preschool teacher, and social work assistant. 

A Humanities Bachelor's Degree opens up a huge array of possibilities. Depending on their areas of study, graduates frequently have the skills to enter fields that include education, the media, business, and communications. Those with advanced degrees may fill roles as school counselors, economists, and political scientists.  

2. Advertising 

Advertising professionals need to think creatively and get people to react positively to advertising messages. As a result, the field is an easy fit for Humanities graduates who study communications, literature, culture, and society. 

3. Publishing and Journalism 

It is becoming trendy for journalists to work toward Humanities degrees instead of Journalism degrees. Humanities studies provide them with essential analytical and communication skills required to cover the news. 

Humanities courses also teach students how to spot great narratives and develop an eye for details. Both qualities are sought after in the publishing industry.

4. International Relations 

Students who focus on specific cultures have a good chance of finding jobs at other countries' embassies. Graduates with a strong background in multicultural studies are valuable assets because they can understand other cultures and represent their own. Those who majored in International Relations have an even better chance of landing the ideal position.

5.  Teaching 

A Humanitarian degree that includes diverse studies can prepare students for rewarding teaching careers. It's an especially appealing choice for those who are passionate about particular subjects. They get a chance to gain academic prestige while sharing their knowledge with a new generation. 

Some of the highest-paying jobs for Humanities graduates include:

1.  Content Strategist

A graduate with a degree in Journalism can enter a job as a content strategist and create powerful editorial and marketing strategies. The average salary for this job is $87,000 per year.

2. Content Marketing Manager 

Humanities students have the communications skills required to plan a company's marketing strategy. These in-demand professionals develop marketing content that helps businesses grow. They typically make an average of $76,000 per year. 

3. Proposal Writer 

A graduate with a degree in English Language and Literature is well-qualified to become a proposal writer. They tap into their writing skills and creativity to get funding and financing for various projects. An average salary in the field is $65,000 per year. 

4. Technical Writers and Editors

Humanities courses often include a strong emphasis on literature and English Language, which qualifies graduates for work as technical writers. They can apply the same skills they used to interpret complex language studies to help make technical terms easy to understand. Jobs pay an average of $71,000 per year.