Science, Commerce and That Other Stream – Why an Education in The Humanities (Or Arts) Is Now More Lucrative Than Ever
Submitted By Vibha Kagzi, ReachIvy
The Arts stream has seen a fair share of stigma attached it over the years. Even in being classified as a non-essential field, to being one that offers to future, it has stood its ground and continues to drive change. Read on to understand this state of affairs better.
Put a bunch of humanities graduates at table and ask them about their experience when they revealed to others that they wished to take up this stream of study. Chances are, 3 out of 5 will come back at you with at least one story of a long pause, a “but why”, or disapproving straights faces What do you think extracts this reaction?
More commonly known among the Indian population as the “Arts”, there is much to be said in terms of how it is often perceived among the general populace. These are low-scoring lazy ones that took the least challenging of all streams. However, if the trends are indicative of anything, the number of low-scoring lazy ones has been climbing year over year, with more and more people taking up an education in the arts and humanities. It is important, more-so now than ever, to dispel the stigma around the arts and humanities stream and educate ourselves on the importance of this vast field of study – to discover why those that take up this stream for their higher studies are not what they are often made out to be.
Explaining the Stigma
Much of traditional view of the humanities can be traced to what is believed of the pay-value a degree in the humanities confers upon the candidate. This can be explained in very simple terms – those who say this, do not speak in terms of facts, but second-hand knowledge. Sure, a major in humanities alone will not make you that millionaire you wish to become someday, but to say that they are destined to live in a caravan for the rest of their lives is far from the truth. Also, it is important to remember that a degree alone does not guarantee job security or income.
In fact, according to the Payscale College Salary Report, 69% of the occupations demonstrate no difference in pay between the earnings of a Humanities major and that of STEM major.
While we are here, let us also examine the idea that the Humanities is not as essential to the human race as are the STEM fields.
But what chunk of the population do you think mostly drives culture popular thought?
It’s mostly the humanities majors, driving politics, ethics, sociology, psychology and the like.
Still unconvinced? Read on.
Why Study the Arts and Humanities?
The answer can be deceptively simple – it fosters values essential to the human condition, explores and speculates upon them; or simply, because you are interested in it.
Communication, curiosity, creativity and empathy are the cornerstones of civilization, and it is these that the Arts and Humanities cultivates in those that opt for it. Placed in the socio-political context, it begins to make sense. As the age of information brings about major changes to our lifestyle and in the way we consume, it becomes increasingly more important to divulge from the certainties of the study of exact sciences and answer some of the underlying questions about society, ethics, languages and communication, human behaviour and so on.
Trained and steeped in the knowledge of the humanities means you are also equipped with that one cardinal skill – that of critical thinking and analysis. You are better equipped than most at communicating, understanding and appreciating a culture or idea that is not yours.
You see, being heavily theory centric doesn’t mean it doesn’t drive much. The Humanities is important for reasons of our cultural existence as social beings, just as the STEM fields are important for our existence as a developing race. Seeing how important the culture/tech balance is right now, it is becoming increasingly more important to look once again at this other stream and allow it to counteract the leaps in technology.
Blog written by Vibha Kagzi, CEO, ReachIvy.com. Vibha holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a Bachelor of Science from Carnegie Mellon University. She has also pursued courses at the University of California (Berkeley), London School of Economics, Indian School of Business and Xavier’s Institute of Communications.
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