Major Decisions: College, Career, and the Case for the Humanities

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In recent decades, the humanities have struggled to justify themselves in the American university. The costs of attending a four-year college have exploded, resulting in intense pressure on students to major in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), business, and other pre-professional or "practical" majors that supposedly transmit more marketable skills than can be acquired from the humanities.

But, as we argue, the vision of humanities majors idly pondering the meaning of life for four years is inaccurate. Major Decisions demonstrates how choosing a major in the humanities is a worthwhile investment in a global economy that is shifting in the direction of college graduates who think broadly, critically, and ethically.


Indeed, the core skills and knowledge (we don't believe there's anything "soft" about these skills) imparted by an education in the humanities—including facility with written and verbal communication, collaboration, problem-solving, technological literacy, ethics, leadership, and an understanding of the human impacts of globalization—are immensely useful to employers across a variety of sectors.

Major Decisions serves as a deeply informative guide to students and parents—and provides a powerful reminder to employers and university administrators of the true value of an education in the humanities.

"The authors clearly demonstrate the value of the humanities in this well-researched and convincing work. Anyone interested in higher education, particularly those advising students or considering a major in the humanities will find an encouraging message."

Lydia Olszik for the Library Journal

"Major Decisions is both a treatise on the importance of the humanities to society at large as well as a practical, informative explanation of how students can integrate their humanities education into career paths for the benefit of our ever-changing world. I highly recommend it."


Julia Miller Vick, coauthor of The Academic Job Search Handbook

"What's the best way of boosting your creativity, collaboration, verbal communication skills and more? Major Decisions argues brilliantly that a humanities education is a winning passport to a modern career."


George Anders, New York Times bestselling business journalist and author of You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a "Useless" Liberal Arts Education.