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Why Major in Humanities?

Kat Harlan-Gran

I love studying the humanities...but what can I do with it?

A major in the humanities provides you with an intellectual tool kit for life. Although the humanities are frequently understood to be superfluous, at least within the world of academics, the lessons that these fields have to teach us can be applied to countless facets of our world. The humanities disciplines produce not only writers and artists, but also entrepreneurs, educators, and innovators.

The humanities disciplines are meant to stimulate creative problem solving, a skill that can easily be generalized across a wide array of social, cultural, and political context. They empower students to express their individuality within the complexity of cultural communities, and cultivate traits of empathy, ethics, and civic responsibility. Moreover, they promote written and verbal communications, a crucial skill for any aspiration or career. 

In the context of careers, the humanities have the potential to stimulate a variety of skills related to entrepreneurship and innovation. The humanities impose structure on complex interpersonal problems and encourage articulate self-expression. They also promote compassionate collaboration, and teach the value of making decisions based on deep analysis and evidence. Perhaps most importantly, the humanities produce creative and compelling visions of enterprise and progress, allowing talented creative thinkers to set themselves apart.  

Examples of Successful Humanities Majors

Michael Eisner: CEO, Walt Disney, English and Theater
Janet Robinson: CEO, New York Times Co, English
Clarence Thomas: Supreme Court Justice, English
Sally Ride: Astronaut, English and Physics
Jerry Brown: California Governor, Classics
Les Moonves: CEO, CBS, Spanish
J. Paul Getty: CEO, Getty Oil, Philosophy
Peter Thiel: PayPal Co-founder, Philosophy
Sheila C. Bair: FDIC Chair, Philosophy
Raja Khanna: QuickPlay Media, Chief Creative Officer, Philosophy

Evidence suggests that Humanities majors are successful in a majority of cases. Click here to see how! 

Importance of the Humanities According to Justice Sotomayor

Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor Speaks About the Importance of the Humanities 

Pacific was lucky to host Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor who gave a talk to students and community members alike. In this clip, Justice Sotomayor addresses the importance of studying the humanities.  



Careers of Our Recent Graduates

Here are some of the many varied careers and fields our recent graduates in the humanities have entered:

Kelly and Sheldon strike a pose.

  • Computer software design
  • CEO/Entrepreneur
  • Graphic design
  • Attorney
  • Entertainment law
  • Filmmaking
  • Teaching
  • Journalism
  • Creative writing/publishing
  • Work in the film/television industry
  • Advertising production
  • Finance
  • Theologian, Yale Divinity School

“The calling of the humanities is to make us truly human in the best sense of the word.”
— J. Irwin Miller, architect and philosopher