Art and Humanities Education Expands in Scope

By: Shay Rosen

"Art and humanities" began as a catch all phrase in the world of education to denote educational tracts that were outside of more traditional choices, such as business, chemistry, mathematics and education itself. At some point along the line, art and humanities experienced a narrowing of identity and was formally designated as the dividing line between the aforementioned choices and more scientifically oriented degree options such as social sciences and criminal justice.

Today, art and humanities has expanded to include the study of several different disciplines, many of which require a strong mathematical or scientific background. Degree program options such as drafting and visual communications sit alongside more liberal fare such as foreign language and interior design, yet they still have much in common.

For starters, arts and humanities programs almost always require a high degree of creativity, and those who wish to pursue a career in any of the fields associated with the category will need it to find success post graduation. Unlike more defined academic options, the degree programs that lead to careers in arts and humanities are more of a rudimentary set of guidelines with instruction. What happens to graduates when they enter the workforce will depend greatly on not only their abilities and work ethic, but their level of talent as well.

Perhaps that's why arts and humanities appeals to so many. There is a greater degree of control over one's own destiny in terms of opportunities and success, and those with a high degree of ambition and creativity can excel within their chosen field by exploiting their individual assets. While accountants will almost always find jobs no matter how well or poorly they have mastered their trade, those from arts and humanities disciplines will be more at the mercy of the market and their place within it while less reliant on simply finding and holding a job.

That's not to say that most who choose an arts and humanities career will eventually consider themselves successful (and certainly success is relative to expectations), simply that the challenges may be greater but the rewards equally as great. For many, simply having the option to succeed on their talent as opposed to their education alone is reason enough to want to face the associated challenges.

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