By Kate Broderick, Global Strategic Communication, ’13
A recent blog by Communication student Michael Champion got me thinking—it’s true. There seems to be a pervasive bias against Humanities and Communication degrees, and at times I find myself having to justify why studying Humanities or Communication is as equally important as Chemical Engineering and Computer Science.
I completed my B.A. in Humanities and am currently working on my M.Sc. in Communication at Florida Tech, so I feel I can speak for both programs. My first response to questions like “Why am I studying Hum/Com?” is because it is something I have a true passion for. I feel like that should be enough of an answer—I am fortunate enough to have discovered a field in which I am constantly challenged and engaged and find homework interesting instead of a boring chore. But we live in a world that likes the “hard facts” of the situation; so, completely excising my personal opinion, let’s look at the hard facts of Humanities and Communication.
Looking purely at the numbers, Communication pays. Multiple studies rank Communication as one of the best fields for current undergraduate and graduate studies. Communication ranks among one of the “8 Highest Paid College Degrees in 2012” and the “Top 15 Best Paying College Degrees”. Moreover, Communication graduates have the second lowest unemployment rate in the country.
There have been times when people quip they aren’t studying Humanities because they want to be employed—the infamous “starving artist” image is erroneously engraved on society’s subconscious. It is interesting to note, however, that over 90% of Humanities graduates are gainfully employed or seeking higher degrees within six months of graduation—beating graduates in the field of engineering and computer science. Additionally, languages (Florida Tech offers Mandarin Chinese, Russian, Spanish, German, Italian, and French) and law have an employment rate higher than 90 percent as well.
The student myth that we are the smallest program on campus is completely wrong—for example, more students study Communication than Chemistry. Additionally, we have one of the highest retention rates of students in our department, and are growing at a tremendous speed.
So next time someone questions “Why Humanities and Communication?” you can let them know: it pays!