Business Careers for Training in the Humanities

A common misperception about advanced training in the humanities suggests that, at root, humanistic study is at odds with the purpose and needs of places of business, including banks, corporations, and small business organizations. Degree completion in humanities fields requires many entrepreneurial tendencies, from internal motivation to accomplish a series of interrelated goals to sophisticated interpersonal and project management skills.

In addition, many disciplines in the humanities encourage students to explore systems. Whether systems are cultural, such an anthropologist’s observations of a designated community, or institutional, from a historian’s inquiry into nineteenth century banks, how these systems become self-sustaining may constitute a source of great fascination.

The intellectual curiosity which motivates humanities scholarship may find significant fulfillment in a business setting. M.A.’s and Ph.D.’s in the humanities have transitioned to a wide range of roles in industry settings. These roles include opportunities in consulting, branding, software development, and finance.

Transitioning to a business role involves both recognizing and refining one’s current skillset while identifying skills yet to be obtained that are required to both land and flourish in business settings. For example, an individual interested in working for an educational technology company should, at minimum, compliment his or her background in humanities fields with a working knowledge of computer languages. Conducting informational interviews and applying for internship opportunities are useful methods to assist in transitioning into a business role.

Roles in business may require skills and experience pertaining to:

  • Managing of a team of colleagues working in different roles but on similar projects
  • Preparing budgets and ensuring that projects are completed with a projected budget amount
  • Researching, writing, and explaining proposals to prospective clients
  • Analyzing and making recommendations based on up-to-date financial data
  • Maintain awareness of market trends, industry developments, and competitors’ initiatives to guide strategic decision-making
  • Utilize knowledge of the product or service of one’s place of business to continuously innovate on and refine offerings

Professional Associations in Business:

Job Boards for Opportunities in Business Settings:

  • Association for Financial Professionals: This platform features the career center for the Association for Financial Professionals with roles available in finance.
  • eFinancial Careers: This platform hosts a large database of employment opportunities in business settings, including finance and sales and marketing.
  • Marketing Hire: This job board specializes in marketing positions.