A 2019 research report from the acclaimed Mellon Foundation addressed the overall value of humanities, stating that they’re “useful to society in the preservation and curation of culture” and also that the humanities “contribute to the maintenance and health of democracy via teaching skills of critical reasoning, debate, and evaluation of ideas.”

Being part of a culture gives us an innate sense of the history, customs, and values of our own social group, but this scope is often limited. In the context of education, humanities can help bridge this gap in cultural knowledge. The focus of an education in the humanities is not just on mastering a broad range of academic disciplines but on introducing students to humanities on the global scale. Humanities expand our understanding of different human cultures and enable us to understand ways in which they’re similar and ways in which they differ, in the present and historically, delivering a broader perspective on the world in which we live.

The humanities encompass the full range of human thought and creativity, including history, literature, languages, religion, philosophy, music, theatre, and all of the performing arts and visual arts. In a formal educational setting, students may gain foundational knowledge in all of these but also be given the chance to learn more about specific subjects which appeal to them. This does more than strengthen an individual’s ability to identify from which era a piece of music originates or which art movement a particular painting exemplifies. It instills them with marketable, transferrable skills that can help them in their professional lives and beyond.

As the publication NH Business Review states in an article titled “The business case for humanities education”: “The humanities are part of an interconnected whole that yields a broad, deep education fostering 21st century career readiness and the ability to work with others to respond better to day-to-day work responsibilities, as well as life’s broader needs and challenges.”

Translating Humanities to Real-World Skills and Benefits

The truth is, studying humanities helps one develop skills that are beneficial in any role, in any field. Humanities studies are broad by design and the value of humanities in education is equally expansive. So, what humanities skills do employers seek? What kind of professions do humanities degree holders represent? What types of compensation do these roles offer?

The following skills—all introduced or strengthened through a humanities education—are among the skills and qualities today’s employers consistently value:

  • Critical Thinking
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Empirical and Quantitative Reasoning
  • Personal and Social Responsibility

Recent U.S. Census Bureau data shows that graduates of bachelor’s degree programs in humanities commonly work in roles including management, office and administrative support, sales, business and financial operations, and the arts and media. That’s a fairly broad spectrum that doesn’t relegate degree holders to employment within one position or industry.

The same census data indicates that bachelor’s degree holders in the humanities earned an annual median compensation of $52,000. This amount is in clear contrast to the earnings of those with an associate degree or limited college experience, reported as $40,000 per year, and those with a high school diploma alone, reported as $34,000 per year.

Earning a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities Online

The University of Texas Permian Basin’s online Bachelor of Arts in Humanities program can help you develop career-enhancing skills and join the many graduates who’ve recognized the value of humanities in education.

Our immersive, affordable online BA in humanities program offers students a tremendous amount of flexibility. As a student, you won’t be expected to follow a predetermined path. Instead, the program empowers you to choose up to two concentrations that align with your personal areas of interest, including art, communication, English, history, or music, for a total of 24 credits of specialized coursework in these areas. Our faculty advisors collaborate with you to establish an individualized plan of study with an interdisciplinary theme, period, set of problems, specialization, or perspective. Degree programs that combine one major and one minor don’t offer you the same experience.

UT Permian Basin’s online BA in humanities program is presented 100% online and allows you to finish assignments at your own pace, any time of day, from any location with internet access. Additionally, you can choose from six start dates a year. Courses are eight weeks in duration, which allows for an accelerated degree completion time. Each course is taught by the same renowned faculty who teach them in person at the UT Permian Basin campus. When you graduate, you’ll receive the same degree that campus-based students receive, with no mention of “online” on your diploma.

If you’re ready to experience the tremendous value of humanities for yourself, get started with our flexible, personalized online Bachelor of Arts in Humanities program.