Humanities in the News

Humanities in the News is a curated newsfeed about university study of the humanities.

And the news is, it’s not all bad news.

Degrees in the humanities:

  • lead to jobs;
  • nurture democracy, and;
  • benefit society.

We all face new challenges in a global economy; this section is for news, voices, and commentary about how the humanities are responding.

Please feel free to send suggestions and links for this page to us at humanities@utoronto.ca

The Top Eleven Reasons to Study the Humanities 

 

11 January 2019 (Sydney Johnson, EdSurge) University Data Science Programs Turn to Ethics and the Humanities

“Computer science has been trying to catch up with the ethical implications of what they are already doing… Data science has this built in from the start, and you’re not trying to retrofit something to insert ethics—it's making it a part of the design principle.”

7 January 2019 (Michael T. Nietzel, Forbes Magazine) Whither The Humanities: The Ten-Year Trend in College Majors

"The humanities are struggling. Fewer graduates are majoring in English, history, foreign language, or liberal arts now versus ten years ago… As more students opt for occupationally linked majors, the role of the humanities and social sciences in the curriculum must be protected."

1 April 2019 (Amanda Ruggeri, BBC WorkLife) Why Worthless Humanities Degrees May Set You Up for Life

"Take law. In the US, an undergraduate student who took the seemingly most direct route to becoming a lawyer, judge or magistrate – majoring in a pre-law or legal studies degree – can expect to earn an average of $94,000 a year. But those who majored in philosophy or religious studies make an average of $110,000. Graduates who studied area, ethnic and civilisations studies earn $124,000, US history majors earn $143,000 and those who studied foreign languages earn $148,000, a stunning $54,000 a year above their pre-law counterparts."

(Cathy Southwick, Information Weekly ) -- How the Humanities Can Help Us See What's Next in Tech

"Skills like communication, observation, empathy and logical thinking are key for developing the next-gen of leadership and equipping employees for the future."

"the outlook for people with these nuanced, yet highly transferrable degrees is strong, especially in a market that is increasingly valuing soft skills and communication ability"

(Mandy Pipher, The Toronto Star ) -- Devaluing a humanities education ultimately devalues humanity itself

"When done right, what students learn from a good English education is how to think and how to parse language. They learn how to identify nuance and complexity and subtle messaging. They learn about the complicated interactions between words, personal experience, and truth... critical thinking; analysis of language; insight into the minds of people from different places and times."