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Why are the humanities important?

We delve into why humanities courses are so worthwhile for humanity and how they can equip you with employable skills.

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We have good news and bad news. The bad news is that we live in a divisive world. The good news is that there are ways to bring people together and create more harmony. The humanities play a crucial role in this by promoting a greater understanding of human behaviour and experience.


In this article, we’re going to explore why the humanities are so important and how they benefit the world. From learning about different cultures, languages, perspectives and periods of history, the humanities help us understand what it means to be human. If this aligns with your interests and beliefs, you’ve come to the right place.


What are the humanities?


First, let’s take a look at which subjects are considered to be part of the humanities. All of the following subjects fall under this umbrella:



Now that we know what they are, let’s see why the humanities are so important…


Think creatively and critically


By studying a humanities subject at university, you will learn how to think both creatively and critically. You will have debates and discussions, learning to critique other’s opinions and arguments, while also carefully presenting your own. Not only is this is a useful life skill, but it is also valued among employers. Roles within government for example highly value candidates who can think critically and “outside the box”. This way of thinking is also useful within law, business, medicine and so on.  


Want to study history? Check out the following institutions around the world for inspiration:



Gain empathy


You might not initially see the benefit of gaining empathy from your degree, but this is actually a really important quality that can be cultivated when studying a humanities subject. Because the humanities are essentially the study of humanness, you will start to empathise with different people’s experiences. This will benefit not only you but everyone around you, therefore creating a more compassionate and harmonious society. The humanities teach us that even if you don’t agree with someone, you can appreciate and respect their perspective.


Understand the world


Whether its understanding what goes into making a piece of art, the evolution of humankind or the development of different languages, the humanities help us to better understand the world. This knowledge may inspire you to connect with other people, travel the world or continue learning about something that really excites you.


If all you gain from a humanities degree is a better understanding of the world, then you’ve not done too badly. Being worldly will also benefit you when it comes to finding a job as a humanities graduate as you will be able to interact well with others and demonstrate your knowledge.


Interested in politics? Check out the following universities:


Promote social justice and equality


The humanities protect against ignorance, fear and misunderstanding which can lead to hate and a sense of otherness. Studying different people and cultures is a vital step to creating social justice and equality. This is one reason why humanities graduates are particularly suitable for roles in government, charities, NGO’s, journalism, education and so on.


By studying the past, we learn about what worked and, more often than not, what didn’t work so well. This can help us see ways of improving the world and learning from our mistakes across the course of history.


So, if you’re interested in human behaviour, history, and the world, it sounds like the humanities would be the right route for you to take. Although having gained a reputation for being too soft and less ‘employable’ when compared to STEM subjects, humanities degrees equip students with highly transferrable and desirable skills that can be useful for a variety of industries.


Want to keep searching for a humanities programme? Use our course matcher tool today to find a course and university.

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