A Few Reasons to Study Arts and Humanities

A Few Reasons to Study Arts and Humanities

When we look at today's best paid jobs ranking, we will find doctors, lawyers, engineers, and IT specialists there. Yes, these are the most well-paid professions now, and every day they are getting more and more popular. Chasing after good money and prestige, a lot of people choose to major in engineering or law and to build successful careers. This is great, and people who manage to do that are very lucky. However, there are students do not want to become either doctors or lawyers. They are smart and bright enough to choose one of these career paths, but they just do not feel like going in any of these directions. So, they prefer to become students of the Faculty of Arts in the school they have chosen. What does the Faculty of Arts offer students? What kind of specializations are there to major in? As an example we will use the Faculty of Arts of the University of British Columbia, one of the top Canadian and world schools. To begin with, it is noteworthy that the Faculty of Arts is the largest Faculty in the school which consists of 25 departments and institutions. This huge number makes this Faculty extremely popular because it offers numerous majors for undergraduate and graduate students and five degree programs:

  • Bachelor of Arts
  • Bachelor of Music
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts
  • Bachelor of international Economics
  • Bachelor of Social Work
  • Bachelor of Media Studies

This is a pretty exhaustive list that demonstrates that there are six different directions that students can choose within the Faculty of Arts. We can go further and look closer at all these degree programs that, in turn, contain various majors. For instance, a student who wants to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree can study social sciences or humanities. Social sciences include such specializations as anthropology, archaeology, geography, linguistics, political science, psychology, sociology, economics, computer science, mathematics, and education. Humanities include Asian Studies, Classical and Religious Studies, English and French, History, Philosophy, Romance Studies, etc. Let’s add fine arts here: Acting, Art History, Creative Writing, Music, Visual Arts, Theatre, and many other fantastic specializations to major in. Keep in mind that the Faculty of Arts also offers interdisciplinary programs such as Cognitive Systems (sounds great!), Critical Studies in Sexuality (very exciting), Environment and Society, International Relations, and a lot of other fantastic programs you could choose depending on your interests and goals. These were some of the programs offered in the University of British Columbia, and most of them will be offered in other institutions. We have just given you an example of a huge variety of possibilities that are open for you when you become a student of the Faculty of Arts. And all these majors give students a great chance to get educated and build a successful career. Now we would like to talk about Arts and Humanities.

So why should one study Arts and Humanities? In his blog, John Horgan, an American science writer, shared his thought about the importance of humanities. He wrote that the world gets dominated by science, and this is why we need Humanities so much. His idea is that people who study science deal with a big number of facts. These facts give people certainty. Humanities, on the other hand, let students doubt and ask questions and provide them with a chance to be uncertain and skeptical.

This is a brilliant idea. What Humanities give us is the ability to analyze. There is no universal truth. Look at philosophy: there are a lot of fantastic theories and really serious concepts, but we can agree with them or not. We can criticize great people with great minds. Thus, we challenge ourselves.

A lot of people may say that Humanities give a very broad set of knowledge whereas Business major, for instance, prepares students for building a career. This is true that Humanities students acquire a broad set of skills, but this only makes them more valuable on the market. Sometimes certain skills get outdated. With the technological progress a lot of great careers can just disappear because people will be replaced by machines. This saves a lot of money and fastens the production process. History can give us a lot of bright examples of jobs that do not exist anymore or are about to disappear because of the development of technology: stenographers and typists, flight booking agents, film processors, bookstore owners, stockbrokers, etc. Any of these professions belongs to the field of Humanities. Let’s go further. Forbes has given a great list of jobs that are highly affected by the technological advance. These are farmers and ranchers, postal service clerks, fast-food cooks, data entry keyers, computer operators, and many other brilliant jobs. Yes, technical (and even business) specializations are great indeed, but technological progress makes it possible to replace people with machines. Translators, writers, teachers, musicians and other representatives of the field of Humanities just cannot be replaced by computers. These professions require only human approach, and we doubt that this will change some time soon.

So if you are thinking about the Faculty of Arts, do not hesitate to choose it and keep in mind that the set of skills you will acquire will make you flexible and good enough for a lot of kinds of jobs. Follow your dream and become a successful student and employee.