He“art” for the Humanities

By Rachel Houng

Every person has an individual path of life. Many receive counsel on what decisions they should make for their careers. In general, many are afraid to pursue majors within humanities and art. As college deadlines approach, many are scared to take the leap of faith as a humanities or arts major. Why?

Liberal arts majors are often looked down upon because it is not considered a "real study." Is it fair to suggest that one study is more valid than another? STEM majors require different skills in order to achieve their goals. They may need to have an acute understanding of the functions of each aspect of a problem. However, humanities and arts majors need to have a specific skill set which is known as "soft skills." "Soft skills" are defined as traits that describe how a person communicates.

The term "soft skills" itself provides an issue with how students may at first perceive liberal arts majors. The word "soft" has a connotation that makes it seem as though it is not as fierce as other possible majors, since it can also directly mean foolish, sympathetic or lenient. Despite the fact that the definition of this word depends on the context of the word, many people understand the definition of "soft" as the definitions listed above. Liberal arts majors may thus be considered more emotional than STEM majors which implies that they would be unable to conduct themselves professionally within the workplace.

In response to the argument that liberal arts majors may find it difficult to obtain a job, there are many jobs that liberal arts majors can apply for within this broad category. These fields include history, literature, writing, philosophy, sociology, creative arts and more. One thing is for sure, without liberal arts majors, people's mental health may be in decline, becoming educated may be extremely difficult and no one would exist to record what is going on. Who would be able to see the progression of the human race?

Not only are there many jobs to consider for liberal arts majors, the skills that these majors learn are applicable to all forms of life. If Albert Einstein had been unable to articulate his thoughts onto paper, his beliefs and innovations would have been completely ignored. The ability to eloquently communicate one’s beliefs led to the development of the American government. If it had not been for Thomas Jefferson’s ability to express the ideals of liberation onto the Declaration of Independence, it would not be considered a legitimate document.

People who go for conventional majors just to fit societal expectations may not be fully invested in the major in which they are studying. For instance, someone who is passionate about the humanities may choose to study STEM because they are heavily discouraged from pursuing humanities by people they care about. If they study something that they are not passionate about, they enter a dreadful cycle of simply waking up, going to work and going home - no excitement. This limits their ability to achieve as much as they could have if they were pursuing something they were passionate about in society. This limits the potential performance of society because people are not able to put their best foot forward. If people are confined towards a specific subject because it is considered "stable," there will not be any progression towards improving the world in terms of morality. With arising issues in biotechnology, many ethical debates will continue to occur. For example, experimentation on animals in biotechnology will undoubtedly increase as science continues to advance.

Every single person reads, writes and speaks throughout the duration of the day. Without liberal arts majors, people would not be educated. To discourage people from studying liberal arts is to stop them from bettering themselves in all fields of work.