How to make the most of a humanities degree
Humanities, or liberal arts, majors get a bad rep. Many people believe that a degree in English, art, music, history or other such subjects is worthless and won’t lead to a high paying job. This can be the case if you fail to plan and simply choose a major because it interests you. But with some research, planning and strategic action, you can use your liberal arts major to your advantage. Keep reading to learn five smart ways to make the most of a humanities degree.
1. Do Your Research
First and foremost, you will want to research your area of interest. Start with your careers advisors, and get a counsellor to provide you with the types of jobs available in your desired field. You should also look at demographics, such as the geographic areas with high demand for professionals with that academic background. Websites such as Prospects are very good at explaining the types of careers that are out there. You could also consider taking a major aptitude test like Find Your Context to help you see if there’s a major that would work better for your interests.
2. Gain Practical Experience
In any competitive job market, you want to find ways to stand out from the crowd. Luckily, Arts and Humanities courses give you a wide range of skills that will be useful for a range of careers. Gaining practical experience through an internship or volunteer position can help to show your dedication and that you have hands-on knowledge. This type of experience is even more important in a humanities field, that may have fewer openings.
3. Add Another Major or Minor
Sometimes it may benefit you to add a second major or to choose a minor concentration in order to have a more practical skill to offer employers. A journalism major, for example, may wish to also pursue a technical area of study such as graphic design or computer science in order to gain a competitive advantage.
4. Market Yourself Well
A big advantage a humanities degree offers is soft skills such as writing, critical thought and interpersonal competence. These are abilities that employers crave, so be sure to include them in your resume, and be on the lookout for publishing opportunities where you can showcase your work and start building a portfolio. Keep a record of your work as you progress through your degree, it will make the job hunt much less daunting.
5. Have a Plan
Make a plan early on when choosing a liberal studies major. Map out the types of classes and electives you may wish to take in order to gain valuable skills. Begin to look for volunteer experiences early so that you’re not scrambling to add experiences to your portfolio at graduation. Learn all you can from mentors and faculty regarding the inside scoop of your intended career. These gems can prove useful when job hunting. Finally, be sure to nurture those valuable connections in order to begin growing your network. Networking plays a huge role in obtaining a career in your desired field.
These five tips should help you on your way toward the steps needed to get the most out of your humanities degree. This type of degree produces well-rounded students with marketable skills. With planning and effort, you’ll do great things.
Article submitted by Dixie Somers. Dixie Somers is a freelance writer and blogger for family, home, and business niches. Dixie is the proud mother of three girls and wife to a wonderful husband.
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