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How the humanities are more than just ‘soft skills’

QS Wow News, Global, 6 July 2019 - Humanities are skills that are as valuable and necessary. Communication, observation, empathy and logical thinking are important but constantly undervalued skills. These “essential skills” are needed on a daily basis as they are fundamental skills needed to learn and live and work productively with others. They are essentially leadership skills. These essential skills are most sought by multinational organisations who are looking for future leaders who can comprehend and communication about the world around them, who can see the whole picture and find ways to fit into it. People learn to do this by studying the humanities, yet the education sector have failed to recognise its importance.

A study on the Canada’s job market have projected the future job market to have a growing need for foundational skills such as critical thinking, coordination, social perceptiveness, active listening and complex problem-solving. The Canadian economy is also expected to have an additional 2.4 million jobs over the next four years, all of which will require integrated skills. Global competencies such as cultural awareness, language and adaptability will be in demand. The job market also be placing significant emphasis on judgement and decision-making with more than half of which valuing an ability to manage people and resources.

The impending employment scene will require lesser hard skills since technical work can be accomplished through technologies. Instead, the economy will need more people with the skills to place information into human context.

Research illustrates the positive correlation between the exposure to humanities and the heightened empathy and emotional intelligence among trainee doctors. Yet, many still question the practicality of pursuing a humanities degree.



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