Major Decisions: College, Career, and the Case for the Humanities

Univ. of Pennsylvania. Mar. 2020. 262p. ISBN 9780812251982. $28.95. ED
As interest in business, STEM, and health careers has grown, well-meaning adults have dissuaded students from pursuing degrees in philosophy, history, literature, and the arts, claiming that it’s nearly impossible to find satisfying, well-paying employment with a humanities degree. However, Grobman and Ramsey (communication arts & science, both Penn State Berks) adeptly argue that pursuing the humanities opens the door to a multitude of opportunities. Coursework in these fields hones skills such as flexibility, judgment, common sense, critical thinking, and awareness of cross-cultural issues—all of which are in high demand by employers. The authors contend that the global economy is shifting, and workers will need to engage in complex interpersonal, multicultural communication—the very abilities that come with obtaining a humanities degree. Synthesizing various studies, Grobman and Ramsey back up their claims with evidence that humanities majors experience high job satisfaction and earn salaries that compete with those in other fields.
VERDICT The authors clearly demonstrate the value of the humanities in this well-researched and convincing work. Anyone interested in higher education, particularly those advising students or considering a major in the humanities will find an encouraging message.

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