Why Major in the Humanities?

Why Major in the Humanities? By S.A. Dance.

When former students ask me for a letter of recommendation for their college applications, many feel compelled to explain why they want to major in STEM instead of the humanities. They are asking their former English teacher, after all. Most will start with “I loved your class, but…” before describing their love for computers or ionic bonds.

One student’s answer, however, made me see the situation in a new light. “I have a few friends going into the humanities,” she said. “But I don’t want to be an activist, so I’m going to major in biology.”

For all the debate about the current state of the university in general and the humanities in particular, here is what is trickling down to high school students: engineering majors become engineers, science majors become scientists, business majors become businesspeople, humanities majors become activists.

hat-tip Stephen Neil