Friday, June 21, 2013

Can Humanities Majors Still Be Relevant

I was not a humanities major but since I am highly verbal and auditory I think I have always been attracted to many aspects of the humanities. Yesterday, Business Insider had an excellent interview with Darrell Bracken, CEO of Logitech, who graduated from Hendrix College in Arkansas with a degree in English.

Mr. Bracken provides a much more succinct explanation of why and how humanities majors can be relevant using himself as a case study.  Since I have worked in higher education at a liberal arts university, I have had the opportunity to observe first-hand some really talented humanities majors. I have always said that the real key to being successful post-graduation is early evaluation of post-graduation goals.  This is more critical for humanities majors than any others because for the most part, the majors are non-vocationalized. That is, they are not attached to a specific job as would be an accounting major.

With the earlier planning in mind, humanities majors can then seek the vocabulary necessary to communicate their skill sets. They can create portfolios of work that will be attractive to future employers.  Finally, and most importantly they can seek internships related to their career goals -- the practical experience combined with the educational background is the lynchpin that makes the difference between being underemployed at graduation and having the necessary cache' to be competitive at a higher level.

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