The encouraging Bible verse of Proverbs 19:8, for example, tells us that, "he who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who cherishes understanding prospers."
Many people today are understandably reluctant to go to college to earn a degree that doesn't offer a clear path to a high-paying job right after they graduate. A degree in the humanities, which includes areas of study such as history, art history, philosophy, religious studies, classics, and linguistics, can seem entirely out of the question.
The truth is, however, that in a market over-saturated by undergraduate degrees, even more "practical" degrees in areas of study such as engineering, business, or accounting do not necessarily guarantee a job right away. An education in the humanities, on the other hand, allows one to be more flexible in their employment prospects, because it teaches a variety of skills that many employers are starting to place a high value on. Some of the advantages of a humanities degree include:
- The ability to express yourself
Humanities classes demand that students learn to express themselves in writing and in speaking. You will learn how to put your ideas down on paper and how to present them in front of others in a coherent and compelling way. Knowing how to express yourself will give you the tools to effectively sell your ideas and abilities no matter what you choose to do in life.
- The ability to think differently
The humanities encourage students to look at the same problem from a number of different perspectives, because most material that is encountered has no definitive right or wrong answer. This is much more reflective of the way that real life works than disciplines which require students to look for the only correct answer in a given scenario.
- Learning about human nature
The humanities, as the name suggests, are all about humanity. Whether your focus is on history, religion, philosophy, or art, you are glimpsing the fundamental basics of human nature in a way that even psychology has a difficult time doing. The humanities expose you to some of humankind's deepest longings, greatest fears, biggest regrets, loftiest ideals, and most sought-after joys. You will benefit from a greater insight into the actions of those around you.
- Gaining in wisdom and understanding
The humanities offer some of the last remaining disciplines to still encourage a pursuit of a type of wisdom and understanding that other disciplines have lost. While the rest of academia is focused on pure reason without rationality, and on statistical significance without deeper insight, the humanities still focus on questions that force us to think about the bigger picture.
The Bible encourages learning in all forms, but places a special significance on this sort of study. The encouraging Bible verse of Proverbs 19:8, for example, tells us that, "he who gets wisdom loves his own soul; he who cherishes understanding prospers."
It nourishes the soul to pursue a discipline which values wisdom, understanding, and insight into the human condition. A degree in one of the humanities disciplines may not offer the straightest path to a high-paying job, but it can arouse in you the passion you need to grow, learn, and be successful in life on your own terms.