When the time comes to choose between the three streams; Commerce, Science and Humanities, most teenagers are encouraged and most of the time forced to take up either science or commerce. Humanities is often looked down upon and brushed off as “unimportant”, especially in India. There is a stigma attached that the subjects are easy and of no importance in real-world situations.
For generations it has been believed that good scorers and toppers will take up science. At one point, the only three career options that were believed to be the best were, medical, engineering, and law. Even today, parents force their children to take up these careers even when they clearly show no interest in the subject. Students are under the misconception that pursuing science will guarantee them a high paying job.
The science stream is competitive and overcrowded. Students spend years studying for competitive exams only to realise that this isn’t their passion. They should be encouraged to explore more options and find their calling.
Although technical skills are very important for inventions and development, emotional intelligence and communication skills are equally important. Humanities is now needed more than ever. There are countless fields one can explore despite the belief that the field of Humanities has limited scope. Humanities will help you think from many viewpoints. More importantly, you will learn how to interact with people and understand them! The field of Humanities emphasizes creative expression rather than rote learning. It exposes us to new ideas and things we’ve never even heard of.
This field will help you perceive the world differently and more clearly. It will condition you to find solutions for every problem you encounter. Even the fields one can go into are interesting. Law, archaeology, hotel management, journalism to name a few. It emphasises on skills like empathy, critical thinking and working with all kinds of populations. Innovation in this field will open up so many more doors. People will learn to question what is happening in their surroundings and decipher if it is for the good or not.
Humanities can work together with the other fields. Take the example of an industrialist psychologist. An industrial psychologist will aim at improving efficiency and create a better work environment in corporate offices. They also help in providing better customer service and boost the morale of employees.
The field will also instil a sense of social awareness in you. One will be able to understand the different views that arise and there is scope for discussion and debate. A wider understanding of different cultures that exist around the world will come into place. Humanities aim at creating a better social environment for everyone and the generations to come.
However, Humanities should not be confused with liberal arts. Although it has “art” in its name, it does not mean the drawing and painting done by artists. It is much more than that; it includes disciplines like humanities, math and social sciences. Meanwhile, Humanities emphasizes subjects like literature, communication and theology.
Skills developed here will most probably not be capable of being recouped by Artificial Intelligence. Most people thrive on interaction and this field can provide these irreplaceable soft skills.
Humanities is as important as other fields. Working together with other fields will surely help in the development and make us ready to face challenges that may arise in the future. In fact, that is what led to the development of “Digital Humanities”! We will learn to appreciate other cultures and creations. Social awareness, critical thinking and empathy is needed now more than ever.