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Study Finds Humanities Majors Well Prepared for Career Success

Arts and Sciences, Real World Experience
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Photo by Josh Feeny
In the humanities, students graduate with the skills and awareness to adapt quickly and effectively to a changing job market, and to succeed in the positions they take on. Bonnie Gunzenhauser, PhD Dean, College of Arts and Sciences

A recent report issued by the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected learned societies, offers good news for humanities degree graduates. The report The State of the Humanities 2018: Graduates in the Workforce & Beyondreveals that humanities graduates are highly satisfied with their careers, job locations, opportunities for advancement, and security in their careers. What’s more, the study shows that humanities graduates carry no more college debt than do students in other majors, and while they may start their careers earning less than graduates of science and technical programs, they close the earning gap over time. This is partly due to the fact that humanities majors “don’t see their education tied to a particular field.” It is common to find English, history, and philosophy majors in careers as diverse as management, law, and even medicine.

These results confirm what Roosevelt University College of Arts and Sciences Dean Bonnie Gunzenhauser tells current and prospective students and parents. “In a world where our graduates will change jobs 10-12 times during their working lives, often taking on roles we can’t yet even imagine, the humanities provide ideal preparation,” Gunzenhauser says. “In our humanities majors, students gain fundamental skills in critical reading and thinking and in clear communication; they also develop awareness of past trends and cultural challenges that help to inform current and future cultural and workplace decision-making,” Gunzenhauser continues. “In the humanities, students graduate with the skills and awareness to adapt quickly and effectively to a changing job market, and to succeed in the positions they take on.” 

Roosevelt’s humanities graduates find employment across a range of industries, and we connect these successful alums with our current students for career preparation and advice. Our Department of Humanities offers its annual Jobs for English Majors Career Panel, which features program alumni discussing their varied careers and current students discussing their internships. This year’s panel is on Monday, March 19 from 5-6 p.m. at the Chicago Campus.

Our panelists include two seniors majoring in English: Rachel Popa, who writes for Chicago Woman, and Ariel Robinson, who will discuss her summer internship at 826CHI, a non-profit writing and tutoring center. Four alumni round out the panel: Samantha Gualito (BA English, ‘14, with honors), AmeriCorps and leader of an ESL group at the Back of the Yards Chicago Public Library; Caitlyn Hill (BA English, ’14, with honors), Inter-Action Data Coordinator at the law firm of Drinker & Biddle; Stephanie Khio (BA English, ‘14), Senior Peer Review Manager at the Radiological Society of North America Publications; and Nick Smith (MFA Creative Writing, ‘16), Learning Specialist at Rotary International.

For more information about Roosevelt’s humanities programs, contact Professor Regina Buccola, Chair of the Department of Humanities.

(Photo by Josh Feeny)

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