Have you always been interested in what differentiates human groups and the complex cultures that people develop? Do you find the concept and the study of culture fascinating and something that you would like to be part of your life once outside of the classroom? Studying Humanities will help you grasp the social, moral and aesthetic values that define diverse human cultures. Drawing in part from a background of history, literature, culture, art, religion and philosophy, the Humanities major exposes you to an interdisciplinary approach to learning in an attempt to probe the complexities and variance of the human experience.
Below is a sample list of some future choices to explore following studies in Humanities. This list is not exhaustive but it provides a solid idea of what fellow graduates have gone on to do and what potential careers a degree can offer. Some options are more directly associated with specific areas of Humanities than others.
- Art Dealer
- Brand Strategist
- Career Advisor
- Canadian History Professor
- Children’s Rights Activist
- Communications Consultant
- Cultural Consultant
- Cultural Program Director
- Education Policy Consultant
- Ethics Board Director
- Event Planner
- Financial Advisor
- Fundraising Coordinator
- Immigration Office
- Legislative Aide
- Market Analyst
- Marketing Director
- Media Correspondent
- Museum Curator
- Non-Profit Organization Director
- Political Advisor/Consultant
- Public Relations Representative
- Public Policy Researcher
- Retail Strategist
- Social Service Worker
- Song Writer
- Speech Writer
- Television Producer
- UN Representative
Some of these career choices may require additional education or preparation in the form of graduate studies, experiential education or professional formative courses and exams. For a more in-depth description of some of the careers mentioned above visit Career Cruising (login information can be found on the home page of the Career Centre's online system) or the National Occupational Classification website.
Skills Developed through a Humanities Degree
A background in Humanities ensures that you develop the skills and mindset to tackle many different professional challenges. Here are just a few of the skills a Humanities degree can help you develop:
Core Humanities Skills
- The capacity to identify and question the principles, ideas, and values of texts and of the cultures from which they come.
- An ability to appreciate cultural diversity by emphasizing the values that support the dignity and integrity of all human beings.
- In light of the above, the ability to function effectively in a knowledge economy and globalized workplace.
Communication, Data Gathering and Organizational Skills
- Deduction of information from various sources and the ability to concentrate on relevant resources
- The ability to evaluate and integrate new information and apply this to professional demands
- The capacity to analyze problems critically, think creatively and make sound decisions while considering different sides of an argument
- The ability to explain complex ideas clearly to others and to apply complex theoretical concepts to everyday practice and professional dilemmas
- The skills to collect various types of information, assess them, analyze and incorporate potential linkages from different fields, put them into writing and efficiently convey your message and the goal of your work
Management and Teamwork
- The ability to interpret and analyze information presented by peers and efficiently and constructively support or challenge their proposals, theories, ideas and reports in order to achieve a project’s intended and successful end result
- Skills enabling you to work effectively in group situations, partake in decision-making, lead and contribute in various capacities to the ultimate success of the team and task
- The ability to debate, persuade, mediate and present your thoughts and opinions to others, as well as the capacity to recognize and incorporate other potential solutions or applications to given problems
- The capability to identify priorities and proper courses of action, to plan the execution of tasks and to determine and delegate responsibilities to group members to most effectively carry out projects
Professional Associations and Organizations
Knowing the industry and how to excel in it after receiving a degree are key elements of future success. University study sets up the building blocks you will need to develop and enhance your understanding and knowledge in your career. Being part of a professional organization or network and gaining further insight through training are excellent ways of increasing your knowledge of the field. The following is a selection of organizations related to the field of Humanities that you may want to visit as you research career options for Humanities graduates.
- Humanities Education and Research Association (www.h-e-r-a.org/)
- Federation for the Humanities and Social Sciences (www.ideas-idees.ca/)
- Canadian Society for Digital Humanities (http://csdh-schn.org/)
- Alliance of Digital Humanities Organizations (http://adho.org/)
- York University Humanities website (http://futurestudents.yorku.ca/program/humanities and http://www.yorku.ca/laps/huma/huma/)