So You Graduated With a Humanities Degree– Now What?

So You Graduated With a Humanities Degree– Now What?

It’s important to do what you love, right?

If you’re a Humanities major, that’s easier said than done.

After all, finding any job— let alone one you enjoy— is harder for Humanities grads than for students in most other disciplines.

Wouldn’t it be nice if you could catch a break?

There are no easy answers to unemployment, but there are a few things you can do to make this uncertain time seem less stressful.

Here are three rules that all Humanities grads should follow.

Rule Number One: Don’t believe all the hype about STEM degrees

Everyone out there– from your dentist to your hairdresser– wants to know why you chose your major.

Was it because you really loved art history? Or, truth be told, maybe you just couldn’t think of anything else you wanted to do.

This will inevitably be followed by questions about why you didn’t major in Science. After all, Science grads become engineers, architects, and software developers.

And that means you’re guaranteed to get a job, right?

Not necessarily. In fact, the latest data from the U.S. Census Bureau shows that three-quarters of STEM grads don’t even hold a job in their field.

That’s not to say that thousands of STEM grads aren’t gainfully employed. But there’s conflicting evidence about how easy it was for them to score their first gig.

For example, some researchers believe that Humanities grads have a better chance of employment than students in the health professions or mathematics.

To make matters worse, there’s likely going to be even more competition for STEM jobs in the future since so many students have degrees.

If you think about it, this could be really bad news. As more and more people study physics or programming, there’s increased pressure on these industries to create new jobs.

And if companies can’t keep pace– well, suddenly a STEM degree doesn’t look so great after all.

The “perfect major”? It’s just a myth

The bottom line is that picking the right major isn’t so cut and dry. An industry might be white-hot one moment, then fizzle out the next.

Don’t waste time wondering what your life would have been like “if only” you’d graduated with a STEM degree.

Focus on the degree and skills you do have, and building a career will be so much easier.

Rule Number Two: Concentrate on the benefits of your degree

Remember how you practically lived on caffeine during finals?

Or the time you pulled off that epic all-nighter in the library?

Surviving a Humanities program– and graduating to boot!– is enough of a reason to throw a party and celebrate.

Beyond the simple fact that you finished in one piece, there are plenty of things to appreciate about your degree. And it’s easy to remember them if you think back to why you wanted it in the first place.

Maybe you were a theatre geek with dreams of appearing on Broadway. Or an aspiring journalist who wrote for the school newspaper.

Chances are, there was a reason behind your decision to enroll and it was something that resonated with you deeply.

And while times might have changed and your priorities have shifted, your college days are valuable because having dreams is important, even if they don’t pan out exactly like you planned.

Renew your purpose

Did you know that doctors respond better to their patients if they majored in the Humanities? Or that Humanities grads have high emotional intelligence and tend to be natural leaders?

Before you write off your degree completely, think about the ways it has enriched your life.

Even better, think about how it can enrich the lives of others.

Find a way to put what you’ve learned to good use, and those years spent as a Humanities student won’t seem so fruitless after all.

Rule Number Three: Learn how to market yourself

Imagine you’ve just applied for a job with Google.

The hiring manager opens your resume, sees your degree in thirteenth-century literature, and nods approvingly.

Wouldn’t it be great if it were that easy?

Of course, in the real world, things don’t always turn out that way.

Most times, your degree alone won’t land you your dream job, at least not without a little self-marketing.

It’s something that makes Humanities students cringe, but marketing doesn’t have to be stressful, if you take the right approach.

Here are five painless self-marketing techniques that you can do from the comfort of your own home:

  • Find and post articles relevant to your industry on Twitter
  • Join a discussion board on LinkedIn
  • Volunteer as a moderator for an online seminar
  • Advertise your freelance skills on Fiverr
  • Start a blog, professional website, or portfolio

Honesty is the best policy

These days, self-marketing is no longer an option– it’s a necessity. But that doesn’t mean you have to sell your soul.

Keep what you love– whether it’s History, English, or another subject– at the heart of any self-promotion you do.

Being upfront and honest about who you are is one of the best ways to finally find a job you love.

When the going gets tough, get tougher

There’s no denying it: Humanities grads have it rough.

Still, there’s no reason to believe you can’t be successful. It just might take a little more time and effort than you expected.

In the meantime, surround yourself with people who will support your post-grad journey, no matter how many twists and turns it takes.

Think big. Take risks. And whatever you do, don’t ever let your passions fade.


Image source: Pixabay

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One thought on “So You Graduated With a Humanities Degree– Now What?

  1. Pingback: How to Live Up to Your Own Expectations | Lost and Learned | Tips and Tricks for Students in the Real World

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