University of Utah Communications Specialist, host of Humanities Radio
There are many myths about humanities degrees. Are they degrees to nowhere? Can you actually get a job? Will you learn any practical job skills? Noel Voltz, assistant professor of African American history, explains not only why these are myths, but also examines the benefit of a humanities education. Voltz stresses that the humanities teach valuable and in-demand skills such as reading, writing and thinking that will enhance any major and prepare you for today’s challenging job market.
Associate professor Kevin Coe discusses the flexibility of a communication degree and the key skills taught within the major. As the changing information environment has become richer and more complex, students in communication learn how to adapt, understand and analyze it in order to use it to their advantage both personally and professionally. Coe also discusses the range of jobs available to students in areas such as marketing, advertising, public relations, community relations, journalism, teaching, health communication and graduate education.
Christie Toth, assistant professor of writing and rhetoric studies, discusses the value of being an effective writer in an evolving and constantly changing world. As writing is a key component in nearly every career, Toth’s department offers majors, minors and courses to help students develop critical abilities for their future jobs.
From Shakespeare to video games, an English degree teaches valuable skills such as communication in writing, attention to detail and the ability to negotiate and appreciate complexity. Matt Potolsky, professor of English, discusses the diversity of the degree and how it’s more than just studying old books.
World Languages & Cultures
To major in a language means to learn about another culture from a variety of angles, such as customs, habits, food, film, literature and history. Katharina Gerstenberger, professor of German, explores how the study of language and culture is more than just a basic understanding of words, it helps students better understand the true meaning of those words and prepares them to effectively communicate with people of that culture.
History majors study everything from the Gettysburg Address to the European economy and learn important skills such as information management, writing, critical thinking and how to research. Ben Cohen, professor of history, discusses why historical knowledge is vital to society and why it’s important to understand who we are and where we come from.
Derived from Greek words meaning “love of wisdom,” philosophy teaches students to question and analyze themselves and the world around them. Dustin Stokes, associate professor of philosophy, explores the value and benefits of a philosophical education.
Humanities in Focus
The Humanities in Focus program in the College of Humanities helps non-traditional adult learners acquire skills to make documentaries and find their voice through filmmaking. Since 2005, more than 75 documentaries have been created exploring issues such as homelessness, drug addiction, domestic violence, foster care, immigration, escaping polygamy and surviving cancer. Jeff Metcalf, professor of English and founder of Humanities in Focus, discusses how and why he started the program and the impact it has on the filmmakers. Past documentaries can be viewed here.
Peace & Conflict Studies
The Peace and Conflict Studies program trains students how to resolve differences in the workplace, with friends and family, in the community and beyond. David Derezotes, professor of social work and director of the program, discusses what students can expect from the interdisciplinary program, what they’ll learn and their career options after graduation.