Why is studying the Humanities important? Many have asked that question because to be honest many have also argued that studying the liberal arts or the humanities in general is a complete waste of time. Others would even argue that the Humanities are the unwise path for college students to take because non-technical degrees tend to have unemployment rates compared to those who are studying to be engineers, accountants, or business people.
Dr. Elwood Watson, in his article at diverseeducation.com, has discussed why studying the humanities always will be important. Dr. Watson said, “To minimize the value of the humanities, or any other area of academic inquiry for that matter, to one’s ability to earn an ample salary is to misunderstand the purpose of what such an education is about.”
The humanities provide students with the ability and vital ingredients necessary to think critically and holistically about an overabundance of issues, including business, science and technology for that matter. And, in an article by Scott Samuelson of the Wall Street Journal, businesses and employers were aggressively seeking to employ graduates who possessed “a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly and solve complex problems.” Therefore, discrediting the argument of some about the irrelevance of the humanities and how students who study it will not earn as much as those who study other hard sciences.
In addition, Clayton State University, on its departmental website, listed the top 10 reason for people to study the humanities:
- To practice the analytical thinking skills you need to be a successful student and employee.
- To improve your skill at oral and written communication.
- To see the interconnectedness of all areas of knowledge ― how it all fits together.
- To develop a global perspective by studying cultures throughout the world.
- To deepen your understanding and appreciation of other’s cultures and other’s points of view.
- To support and strengthen your local arts community by learning to appreciate the importance of creativity.
- To clarify your values by comparing and contrasting them to what others have thought.
- To deepen your sources of wisdom by learning how others have dealt with failures, success, adversities, and triumphs.
- To appreciate what is enduring and to be able to tell the difference between the meaningless and the meaningful.
- To be inspired by some of the greatest minds and thoughts of the ages.
The humanities are the cornerstone of any and complete well-rounded education because it provides a good, solid foundation in critical thinking skills. The importance of the humanities should not be dismissed.