Humanities in the real world

Once you accept your offer to Carleton University you will feel a frisson of excitement run through you. That is the feeling of opportunity. University will open up so many doors for you. Throughout your future years at Carleton you will make good friends, take great classes, and along the way try to figure out exactly what it is you wish to do with the rest of your life. While your undergraduate degree is about exploring new interests and finding your passions, it is also about preparing you for your future.

Yes, I’m talking about selecting a career path. Education needs to be used and put into practice for it to maintain its worth. Whether you become a nurse, a stay-at-home parent, or a businessperson you should always make use of all of your assets, and especially your education.

The most common questions I get asked in interviews with regard to my degree are “What is Humanities?” and “How can you apply your degree to this company?” In essence, I’m asked to justify my degree and its ability to produce a qualified candidate for today’s job market. Most employers are surprised at how applicable Humanities is to the real world.  I tell them not to worry because sometimes Humanities students are just as surprised by how much our degree encompasses.

Though we are a relatively young program, we will be twenty years old in 2016, we have amassed a number of impressive alumni who are currently employed all over the world as writers, city planners, journalists, professors, doctors, lawyers, and entrepreneurs. This range of pursuits maintains one common thread, a need for hardworking, qualified, and dedicated individuals.

By pursuing any degree, you are demonstrating a desire to learn and share the knowledge you will be taught, but Humanities takes it one step further. We learn from humanity itself. We read the classics and so, in effect, we learn from the masters of the subjects we study. But beyond the subject matter, we learn essential techniques for efficient verbal and written communication. Our discussion groups are run by our professors, so even when it’s 8:30 a.m. we work hard to articulate our ideas in a clear and concise manner, because it’s a real gift for us to have that kind of time with them. As for writing essays and the like, we now have a first-year course that primarily focuses on helping new students bring their writing skills up to the level expected of them at university.

Alumni and current students never hesitate to cite the program as one of the major factors that led to them getting a job, a grant, or an acceptance to graduate school. Humanities really does help you ready yourself for life after graduation, and I know that when I’m finished at Carleton I will be fully equipped to take on the world.

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