As against the common perception of Humanities stream being restricted to languages and history, it can involve technical subjects too. Humanities students can develop several technical skills such as quantitative analysis skills, policy development, software use and foreign language skills.
Recent research by the faculty of Arts at Macquarie University in Sydney and Deloitte Access Economics identifies as many as 30 technical skills such as laboratory techniques, research methodologies and context-specific cultural knowledge that Humanities students may acquire and it will be highly valued by employers across different sectors.
“In addition to those technical skills, Humanities graduates develop a strong set of ‘transferable’ skills, in areas such as communication, teamwork, problem-solving, innovation and emotional judgement, which have the ability to solve complex problems by taking a flexible and adaptable approach at their core – a set of skills highly valued by employers across a range of sectors,” says Martina Mollering, executive dean, faculty of Arts at Macquarie University.
Transferable skills are non-technical skills that include communication teamwork, problem-solving, innovation and emotional judgement. These skills are becoming increasingly important because of changes in the labour market.
Employers have identified gaps between the demand and supply of transferable skills, in particular, communication skills. Due to changing industry dynamics, proportion of the workforce with transferable-skill-intensive employment is forecast to steeply increase over the next decade. The share of the workforce with transferable-skill-intensive employment is forecast to increase from 53% in 2000 to 63% in 2030.
“One of the core values that a Humanities degree instils in the students is the ability to recognise, critically analyse and communicate different point of views. It has a major contribution to make in understanding how our society and economy can adapt to conditions of rapid change due to globalisation, technological development and changing economic structures. The students will be well equipped to face challenges with a critical mindset and a well-developed ethical compass that will enable them to make a contribution in a wide range of national as well as global professional settings,” says Mollering.