Why Hire a Humanities Grad? | GradConnection South Africa

Posted by Jen van Heerden

GradConnection South Africa

Why hire a Humanities grad?

In an era of Big Data, Artificial Intelligence and the Internet of Things, the hottest grads on the market are considered to be those from STEM, computer science and quantitative fields. As technical specialists, they will lead your business into the future. Right?

But what about the humanities and arts grads? Those studying languages, social sciences, and performing arts? 

Truth is, creativity and the arts are crucial to the sciences and technology. Here’s why these graduates still have a place in corporate South Africa (and why you should be hiring them for your 2019 graduate program). 

The value of an arts grad

As Steve Jobs once said of Apple, “Technology alone is not enough … it’s technology married with liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields the results that make our hearts sing”.

Here’s a breakdown of just a few of the valuable skills a humanities graduate will bring to your business.

Strong communication

Business is about people, and these grads have a head start on interpersonal skills and communicating effectively. They’re valuable team players and writers.

Problem-solving / innovation

Humanities graduates have been taught how to think, not what to think. They’ve been taught to question and assess, which means they’ll be natural problem solvers and innovators.

Human behaviourists

Arts and humanities subjects teach students about human relationships and behaviour. What drives our behaviour and motivates us? What do we want and need? An invaluable skill for businesses, because there’s no point creating something people won’t use!


History, culture, community, and social identity - how else can you build a truly customer-focused business?

Self-starters, self-directed

They are agile thinkers who are adaptive to change and can think on their feet.

The rise of STEAM

We’re seeing a move from STEM to STEAM. Organisations who are moving their hiring choices to experience-based and less knowledge-based. There’s a renewed emphasis on soft skills like creative thinking and problem solving, emotional intelligence, communication, and even psychology.

Because only by understanding human behaviours, motivators, and emotions, can you design a product or service that people actually want and need (and communicate it in a language they understand!).

Sold on STEAM?

As workplaces and industries grow ever more complex, graduates who are able to function effectively in diverse working environments are of increasing value. Hiring graduates who fit an unconventional mould can help your company thrive in a competitive and volatile economy because they’re resilient and adaptable problem solvers.

If you’re now hooked on the humanities - reach out to us to find out more about the Arts and Humanities students listed on our GradConnection database on [email protected]


Enter an employer or university you want to find in our search bar.