The Value of Your Degree

The Value of Your Degree

The Humanities and Social Sciences benefit us in many ways: They educate us about a constantly changing world, elevate our civic life, enhance our understanding of what it means to be human, and employ diversity and creativity for the good of all. And how does H&SS benefit its own graduates?

Rather than learning job skills that may be outdated in ten years, H&SS students acquire the tools that allow them to build life-long careers. They learn how to think, argue compellingly, lead a team, communicate effectively, conduct research, comprehend large problems and data sets, and make decisions. Those are the very skills employers seek the most. H&SS graduates learn and grow their entire lives, making their careers more interesting, far-reaching, and rewarding.

In the college of Humanities and Social Sciences we don’t train for jobs. We build careers.

“Human work will increasingly shift towards two kinds of tasks: solving problems for which standard operating procedures do not currently exist, and working with new information - acquiring it, making sense of it, communicating it to others... today, work that consists of following clearly specified directions is increasingly being carried out by computers and workers in lower-wage countries. The remaining jobs that pay enough to support families require a deeper level of knowledge and skills to apply it.”

Richard Murnane - Harvard Graduate School of Education and Frank Levy - MIT Department of Urban Studies and Planning

95% of employers say that "a candidate's demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than their major."

"It takes more than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success" (Hart Research Associates, 2013)


Employers believe that knowledge and skills that apply to a range of fields/positions are more important than those that apply to a specific field/position, as it pertains to advancement and long-term career success.

"Falling Short? College Learning and Career Success" (Hart Research Associates, 2015)

90% of humanities majors still report satisfaction with their careers after 10 years.

"Use Data To Make a Strong Case For The Humanities (The Chronicle of Higher Ed, 2016)


There is broad agreement among employers that all students, regardless of their chosen field of study, should have educational experiences that teach them about building civic capacity, broad knowledge about the liberal arts and sciences, and cultures outside the United States.

"It takes more than a Major: Employer Priorities for College Learning and Student Success" (Hart Research Associates, 2013)

Every major within the college of HSS emphasizes critical thinking. While 72% of employers state this skill is essential to the success of their organization, only 50% feel that their employees currently possessed this skill.

“American Management Association Survey” (American Management Association, 2012)

Eric, a student intrested in brewing.

Eric was interested in brewing and wrote his thesis about the history of beer in California and its influence on the American brewing industry. Today he is the Director of Tours and Education at Drake’s Brewing Co.

Hiro, project manager for Square inc.

“I was always fascinated by other cultures.” Hiro says. Today, as the Localization Project Manager for Square inc., he uses the concepts he learned here (such as structuralism, discourse, power, and game theory) as an Anthropology student.

Anita, manager at Blizzard Entertainment.

As Associate Manager of Internal Global Communications at Blizzard Entertainment, Anita says her degree prepared her well - crediting her education with giving her the ability to plan, develop strategies, and write communications for diverse audiences.

Daniel, assitant city planner.

Daniel had a strong desire to learn more about cities and the environment. Passions he puts to good use daily as the Assistant City Planner for Laguna Niguel, and now a part-time lecturer with our Geography department.