Careers for Humanities Majors

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Information provided by the National Humanities Alliance.

Humanities grads gainfully employed and happy

A 2018 report by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences “shows humanities grads to be gainfully employed and holding positions of authority, and finds that only a slightly smaller share of them than of their better-paid counterparts think they have enough money. When it comes to measures of career satisfaction, humanities grads are as satisfied as those who majored in STEM.”

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Humanities majors outperform their peers in several measures

Humanities majors achieve substantially greater gains than business and technology, engineering, and math majors in writing ability, complex reasoning, and critical thinking—skills that today’s employers are actively seeking.

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What do business leaders and entrepreneurs say about the Humanities?

“It’s in Apple’s DNA that technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields the results that make our hearts sing.”
—Steve Jobs (cofounder of Apple Inc.)

“If we really want to reinstate a true state of innovation in the United States, we have to find a new way to bring the humanities much more forward into our thinking.”
—John Seely Brown (former chief scientist, Xerox Corporation)

“There is a need for creativity and innovation of a different type that might not simply come from math and [the] sciences.”
—Condoleezza Rice, former US Secretary of State

Businesses want workers who have “the ability to think, the ability to write, the ability to understand the cultural or historical context of whatever business decision they’re making.”
—Rachel Reiser (assistant dean for undergraduate student experiences and services, Boston University Questrom School of Business)

Humanities majors “can often more accurately understand the human dynamics that drive stock market flows.”
—Daniel Rasumussen (founder, Verdad Fund Advisors; Forbes “30 Under 30” [2017]; holder of a BA in history and literature

“I believe humanities majors make the best project managers, the best product managers, and, ultimately, the most visionary technology leaders.”
—Vivek Wadhwa (distinguished fellow, Harvard Law School)

“In my experience, a background and aptitude in linguistics or philosophy has always been a superb marker for a successful hire. I have found the conceptual and analytic skills honed by these disciplines to be better predictors of success than any particular technical skillset.”
—Dan Rybeck (systems architect, Wells Fargo)