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Careers in Humanities and Social Sciences: Growing Scope and Alternatives

In Andhra Pradesh, most of the students either want to become a Doctor or Engineer. Or they at least do their science graduation. All this is not due to love for science and technology, but only with an eye better career prospects. However, most of the people are still not appreciating the fact the Social Sciences and Humanities are also offering a great career prospects and have similar respect in the market.

The advent of globalization has altered the scope and practice for Social Sciences and Humanities. Fast growing markets, mushrooming media houses and increased importance for higher education and research have brought the Social Sciences and Humanities which were once thought as secondary disciplines to the front. The raising professions of marketing, media, entertainment, research and administration are laying red carpet for students of these disciplines.

The demand created by market economy has raised the prominence of disciplines such as Economics, Commerce, Management, Literature, Fashion Technology, Law, Communication, Fine Arts, English and Foreign Languages. Now, the experts and professionals from these subject areas also commanding great respect and high salaries in the job market; and competing with their science and technology counterparts on the entrepreneurship front.

However, the important question to be asked by students is – How does one know his or her interest in Arts and Humanities and build a great career in it? This article precisely aims at providing answer to this question. Read on.

Introduction to Arts and Humanities
All the subject matter of humanities and arts originates in relation to the society and aspects of it. This broad umbrella, encompassing numerous core and sub disciplines, often presents itself with different names. The Arts, Humanities, Social Science, Liberal Arts, Performing Arts, Fine arts, Visual arts, Cultural and ethnic studies, Literature and so on. These varying names make one curious of knowing what is what. Again the same may confuse the young.

Social science refers to the academic disciplines concerned with the society and individuals within it. It is commonly used as an umbrella term to refer to anthropology, economics, political science, history, psychology and sociology. The humanities in common indicate the academic disciplines relating to human culture and thinking, where in languages falls in as a crucial part. Fine Arts include subjects of aesthetics like Painting, Sculpture and Music, where as performing arts denoted the theatre, dance and other disciplines related to physical performances in culture. On an out set, the names had origins in minute differences of function and steepened with the growth. area studies, communication studies, cultural studies, folkloristics, history, law, linguistics, rhetoric and further on, more and more needs of modern world has brought in new and interdisciplinary streams.

Arts and Humanities at schools begin as mere language teaching at school. Unlike the sciences disciplines, the disciplinary basics of social science subject starts after school. Adding to it, most disciplines of arts in higher education are unfamiliar and unheard for most of the students and their parents. This was mainly because of the less demand and scope in the past.

The scenario is fast changing now. For instance, the ever-increasing Indian Inc. needs a good number of Charted Accountants and Company Secretaries. Even the supposed to be unviable profession Law is witnessing increasing demand due to rise of the business. The rising standards of markets have brought in new professions such as Law, Fashion Technology, Culinary Studies, Hotel Management, Marketing, Photography, Journalism, Multi Media, New Media, Advertising…etc. These current day occupations are interest driven, yet highly earnable.

Hence, if students and their parents work on their basic interests and plan properly, one can achieve great heights with Arts and Humanities too.

Skill Set
If students want to opt for higher education in Arts and Humanities, it is imperative for them have certain skills so that they can become the best in their chosen subject. In fact, the learning difficulties and catchy quotients in school persuade students’ interest. One has to dwell for and understand his interests and difficulties, further relate them to disciplines and career. Here underneath are few skills needed to flourish in humanities and social sciences professions.
  • English Communication Skills (Written and Verbal Proficiency over language)
  • Skills of Presentation
  • Mathematical Abilities
  • Interpersonal Skills
  • Inquisitive Openness for the New
  • Mental Abilities
  • Research Abilities
  • Decision Making Skills
Alongside identifying the area of interest, nurturing the same with needed skills prepares the students for better future. Skills mark the difference of wavered and profession. As in arts and humanities, interaction and observation form a good portion of the job. Ability to understand, explain and presenting occupies the most of it. One needs to acquire command over language, develop interpersonal skills of engaging with others and quick grasp of the situations. Leading professions of CA, Management, Economics and others need good mathematical abilities too. Independent thinking, research ability, decision making and problem solving, makes the career grow smoother.

Strategic Approach for Building a Better Career
To build a good career with Social Sciences and Humanities, a well chosen strategy at every level is needed for students to make a better career. And the first step of any career building is indentifying the interest of the student.

With the limited and surface knowledge of disciplines, how does one know the self interest in arts or humanities?

The answers lie in testing the aptitudes. For instance, Student Global Aptitude Index (SGAI) initiated by CBSE is aimed at empowering an adolescent with “self-knowledge” in terms of the aptitude in combination with personality, interest etc. A simple paper and pencil test of 1.5 hours duration, with no right or wrong answers, syllabus, negative marking, pass or fail and special preparation, The SGAI need mental preparedness and sincere responses as the pre- requisites for this test. SGAI scores may depend upon child’s environmental stimulus and motivation level. Similar aptitude based testing can help the kids identify their interest subjects.

(For more details on CBSE SGAI visit

Besides the formal testing, it is easy to identify the interests of the kids through the skills they exhibit. For instances, Some other children are born with intrinsic genius in Painting, dance, theatre and other performing and fine arts which also can make for bright and alternative artistic careers. All it needs is the identification and nurturing of these spouting talents of children at the right time bur the parents and elders.

Some other kids have stunning speed of calculations about all exemplary cases, but least interested with sciences. For, it would indicate their competency in non-science and management realms. Similarly, a lot of arts streams demand good mathematical abilities like in CA, CS, Econometrics, Business Studies and etc.

Academics again are not all about reading and reproducing the same. Narration and writing is unique skill of a few. May or may not be good at the core subjects, there are gifted children with exceptional skills of ideation, narration and writing, which they acquire through their love for language. For the students aspiring to develop careers in social sciences and humanities, it is crucial to give equal importance to the languages, as communication skills play a lot of role at every step of their careers.

Hence, if the child is less interested in sciences and more interested in the topics that dealt by social sciences, it would be better for parents to identify right Arts discipline for them and chart a perfect strategy for their progress.

Strategy after Tenth and Inter
Class X is the first prominent step in anyone’s academic life. The young minds at school have less exposure and any courses other than curriculum seem new, yet strange. They are asked to make a choice of combination for their further future, which mostly is based on elderly guidance. It’s not surprising that many of the students want to become either doctor or engineer. But what is crucial is to know the capability and interest of the child.

Unlike the past, the combinations of optional courses at the intermediate and plus two levels has increased today. Commerce, Economics, Accounts, Statistics, Civics, Business Studies, History, Civics, Psychology, Public Administration, Logic, Sociology, Geography and Geology along with the languages and other papers are offered for the students after tenth standard. Boards like CBSE and ICSE are facilitating interdisciplinary learning at +2 level by offering subjects like Mathematics, Statistics, Computer Science, Environmental Sciences, Business Studies subjects as optionals. The MEC (Mathematics, Economics and Commerce) group offered by the Board of Intermediate is one such programme.

If students want to plan for career in Arts, it is important for them to have to select the subject of their interest after the Intermediate or +2 and join a institution of repute.

They can either choose professional programmes like Integrated MBA, LL.B., CA, CS, CWA or they have to join an undergraduate degree with Arts subjects such as English Literature, Economics, Political Sciences, Sociology or Journalism and Mass Communications.

After Intermediate, students’ options can be divided into divided into three broad categories –
  1. Management and Law
  2. CA, CS and CWA
  3. Graduation with Arts and Humanities Subjects
Management and Law
Students, based on their interest, can choose for five-year Integrated MBA programmes or LL.B. However, securing seat in a college of repute holds the key. Several B-Schools and Universities have come with five-year Integrated MBA programmes and students shall select good college or university to join and get the respective entrance tests and interviews.

For LL.B., students shall prefer Common Law Admission Test (CLAT), which will give admission into 14 National Law Schools a few other law schools of repute. Or, they can also think about good law colleges affiliated different state and central universities.

CA, CS and CWA
The Charted Accountant (CA), Cost and Work Accountant (CWA) and Company Secretary (CS) are the three professional courses that launch students into corporate career directly. The Institute of Charted Accountants of India (ICAI), the Institute of Cost Accountants of India (ICAI) and the Institute of Company Secretaries of India (ICSI) offer these programmes.

These courses start after Intermediate and can be completed in four-year span. The following flow chart shows the progression of CA programme –

CA Course
The cost of the programmes is quite low and offered in flexible distance mode. Several coaching institutes and the local chapters of these institutions are offering coaching to the students for the subjects. With hard work, even an average student can complete these degrees and directly get into corporate sector.

For more details, visit the following websites –

Graduation with Arts and Humanities Subjects
Graduation in arts and humanities today has overwhelming options for the students. Subjects like Marketing, Psychology, Philosophy, Anthropology, Literature, Communication Studies and Foreign Languages are offering new opportunities to the youngsters.

In order to secure a bright career in Arts and Humanities, one has to plan properly as to their choice of subjects, college and possessing add-on or additional qualifications such as internships and additional degrees. Here are some tips that help in such planning:

  • Choosing the apt subjects according to one’s interest is one of the first crucial steps of this process. One should examine different subjects and subject combinations. Taking a preliminary survey of these subjects would help to decide which call to take. Taking to the working professionals, current students and contacting coaching centres would give an idea as to which programme to choose. For example, those who want to get into corporate sector can look at the courses such as LL.B. Integrated MBA, CA, CWA and CS.
  • In Arts education, institution of higher studies also has vital importance. Right college/university place provides good teachers, right company, advanced courses, better exposure and finally bright career prospects. For example studying law degree in National Law Schools is quite different from doing it from other colleges and universities.
  • One has to be keen on the three year course structure and try knowing what would he or she be learning and how would it help him in future. The programme or course combination is equally crucial for making a better career.
  • Doing Add on courses and packages related to the streams you chose would raise competency. Tally and packages of e-Commerce for B.Com. graduates is one such example. Those who are LL.B. could do internship with different legal firms, or do diploma in specialty law areas such as patent law or cyber law. Those who are in English Literature could try to do summer internship with media and publishing houses.
Here is an example as how a student who wants to do his graduation in economics after his + 2 can proceed. He has to choose a good college or university that BA, B.Sc. or Integrated MA with Economics as major. He shall prepare for entrance exam of the respective institution, if it has one. If a student from Hyderabad aspires the same, Integrated Masters in Economics from University of Hyderabad, or BA (Economics) for Nizam College, or BA (Economics) for Badruka College would be advisable, which gives a better placement option in case one wants work after the course and also the higher education possibilities in case one wants to continue his or her studies. It is all advisable for them to do one or two internships during summers with companies which would bring experience as well as weightage to the CV. Training in HPSS, MS Access, and other computer based packages would equip him well and keep head of others. He could also consider doing some add-on courses from IGNOU or any other university in distance mode.

Students need to approach in similar methods for other courses. A graduation in Linguistics form institutes like English and Foreign Language University (EFLU) or University of Hyderabad (UoH) would be another career example for aspiring graduates in the field which has better professional as well as higher educations options. Besides, curriculums of these institutes introduce students to Syntax and other language programming courses which keep students ahead of their competitors.

A whole set of entrance test based programmes are available for the students at plus two level. For a career in Law, one can undertake Common Law Admission Test (CLAT). CLAT is an all India entrance examination conducted on rotation by 14 National Law Universities (NLUs) for admissions to their under-graduate and post-graduate degree programmes (LL.B & LL.M). Common Proficiency Test (CPT) is conducted for the aspirants of CA. University of Hyderabad (UoH) conducts written test and interview based admissions to its five years Integrated Masters Programme in Economics, Sociology, Political Science, History, Anthropology, Language Science, Hindi, Telugu and Urdu for the students after plus two. IIT Madras conducts Humanities and Social Sciences Entrance Examination for admissions to its five years Integrated Masters Programme in Literature, Economics and Developmental studies. National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Delhi University (DU), Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), English and Foreign Language University (EFLU) and many more leading academic centers are offering career driven programmes for undergraduates in Arts and Humanities.

Post Graduation:
Though the career options are open after graduation, in the growing literate world, Master Degree has acquired prominence for careers. In the times of specializations and super-specializations a master degree equips you with better competency in the field. Unlike Sciences Streams, most of the programmes in humanities and social sciences does not require continuum of pre requisites from graduation and welcome the students from the sciences and other backgrounds to pursue a career in here.

Institutions are equally competing in delivering these specializations to the students. Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) does not specify any stream but graduation as eligibility for its Common Aptitude Test (CAT). TISS though different modes offer more than 70 odd masters programmes in Social Sciences and allied field, which are open all graduates.

With the blend of multidisciplinary touch, these super specializations have bright avenues across the spectrum. Developmental Studies, Communication Studies, Folk Culture Studies, Linguistics, Translation Studies, Nutrition and Diet, Criminology, Disability Studies, Regional Studies, Studies on Diaspora, Disaster Management, Population Studies and Social Work are few such streams. It’s never late if you have found your interest subject.

Along side making bright professional careers, a master degree also facilitates one’s interest in academics and research. A higher study or research career can hardly be possible without a master’s programme in the relevant area.

Post PG and PhD:
The world today has widened avenues of research like never before. All disciplines and sub-disciplines are at best of their scientificity. The growing populations, markets and demands have increased stress on problem solving and solution achievers. The doctoral and post-doctoral studies have acquired prominence. Huge funds and fellowships go in encouraging the research. UGC, ICSSR, NCERT, HRD and ICMR are few such institutions funding and providing fellowships for Post PG studies in India. Post PG studies contribute to making the best of careers for anybody. Besides, it creates spaces of innovation and Excellency in desired field of study.

Here are a few institutions and programmes advisable for students of humanities and social sciences for Graduation, Post Graduation and Research Studies in Social Sciences.

Premier Institutions for Arts:
  • Loyola College, Chennai
  • St. Xavier's College, Mumbai
  • Lady Shri Ram College for Women, Delhi
  • St. Stephen's College, Delhi
  • Presidency College, Kolkata
  • Madras Christian College, Chennai
  • Fergusson College, Pune
  • Presidency College, Chennai
  • Miranda House, Delhi
  • St. Xavier's College, Kolkata
Premier Institutions for Economics
  • Delhi School of Economics
  • Madras School of Economics
  • Jawaharlal Nehru University
  • University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad
  • St. Stephen's College, University of Delhi
  • Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC), Delhi
  • LSR College for Women, Delhi
  • Hindu College, Delhi
  • Narsee Monjee College, Mumbai
  • St. Xavier’s College, Mumbai
  • Loyola College, Chennai
  • St. Xavier’s College, Kolkata
  • Calcutta University
Premier Institutions for Programmes in Foreign Languages
  • University of Delhi, New Delhi
  • University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad
  • English and Foreign Language University (EFLU)
  • Basha Bhavana (Institute of Languages) – Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, West Bengal
  • Banaras Hindu University, Varanasi
  • Karnataka University
  • Institute of Indian and Foreign Languages, Bangalore
  • IIS University (International College for Girls, Autonomous), Jaipur (Rajasthan)
  • Ramnarain Ruia College, Mumbai
  • St. Teresas College, Ernakulam
  • FLACADEMIA Foreign Language Institute, New Delhi
  • Fergusson College, Pune
  • Hope International Academy, Chennai
  • Institute of Translation Studies, Bangalore
Premier Institutions for Law
  • National Law School of India University, Bangalore (NLSIU)
  • National Academy of Legal Study and Research (NALSAR) University of Law, Hyderabad
  • National Law Institute University, Bhopal (NLIU)
  • The West Bengal National University of Juridical Sciences, Kolkata (WBNUJS)
  • National Law University, Jodhpur (NLUJ)
  • Hidayatullah National Law University, Raipur (HNLU)
  • Gujarat National Law University, Gandhinagar (GNLU)
  • Dr. Ram Manohar Lohiya National Law University, Lucknow (RMLNLU)
  • Rajiv Gandhi National University of Law, Punjab (RGNUL)
  • Chanakya National Law University, Patna (CNLU)
  • National University of Advanced Legal Studies, Kochi (NUALS)
  • National Law University, Odisha (NLUO)
  • National University of Study Research in Law, Ranchi (NUSRL)
  • National Law University & Judicial Academy, Assam (NLUJA)
Premier Institutions for Fine Arts
  • School of Planning and Architecture, New Delhi
  • Sir J. J. Institute of Applied Art, Mumbai
  • Jawaharlal Nehru Architecture and Fine Arts University (JNA&FAU), Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh
  • Bharati Vidyapeeth's College of Fine Arts, Pune
  • Faculty of Fine Arts, MS University Of Baroda
  • Faculty of Visual Arts – Banaras Hindu University
  • Faculty of Fine Arts – Jamia Millia Islamia
  • Kala Bhavana (Institute of Fine Arts) – Visva-Bharati, Santiniketan, West Bengal
  • College of Art – University of Delhi
  • Faculty of Fine Arts – Banasathali Vidyapith, Jaipur
  • Delhi College of Art
  • Bharati Kala Mahavidyalaya (College of Fine Arts), Dhankawadi
  • Faculty of Fine Arts – Rabindra Bharati University
  • S N School of Arts and Communication University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad
Premier Institutions of Performing Arts
  • Srushti Performing Arts and Communication Center, Bangalore, Karnataka
  • Deen Dayal Upadhyay Gorakhpur University - Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh
  • Kalakshetra College of Fine Arts, Thiruvanmiyur, Chennai
  • Kerala Kalamandalam - Trissur, Kerala
  • S N School of Arts and Communication University of Hyderabad, Hyderabad
  • Abhivyakti Centre of Fine Arts And Performing Arts, Bhopal,
  • Rangshilpi School of Performing Arts, Meerut, Uttar Pradesh
  • Mangalayatan University - Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh
  • Apeejay College of Fine Arts, Jalandhar, Punjab
  • Rajasthan University, Jaipur, Rajasthan
Premier Institutions for Journalism
  • Mudras Institute of Communications, Ahmedabad
  • Asian College of Journalism, Chennai
  • Jamia Milia Islamia, New Delhi
  • Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), New Delhi
  • Xavier Institute of Communication, Mumbai
  • AJ Kidwai Mass Communication Research, Jamia, New Delhi
  • Manorama School of Communication, Kottayam
  • Film and Television Institute of India, Pune
  • Times School of Journalism, New Delhi
  • Indian Institute of Journalism and New Media, Bangalore
Premier Institutions for Linguistics
  • Karnataka University, Hubli-Dharwad, Karnataka
  • Gauhati University, Guwahati, Assam
  • Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey University, Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Sardar Patel University, Vidyanagar, Gujarat
  • Shreemati Nathibai Damodar Thackersey Women`s University, Mumbai, Maharashtra
  • Institute of Professional Studies, Dehradun, Uttaranchal
  • Deccan College Post Graduate and Research Institutes, Pune, Maharashtra
  • KM Institute of Hindi Studies and Linguistics, Agra, Uttar Pradesh
  • Berhampur University, Berhampur, Orissa
Premier Institutions for Management
  • Indian Institute of Management, Ahmedabad (IIM-A)
  • Indian Institute of Management, Calcutta (IIM-C)
  • Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi (FMS-Delhi)
  • XLRI School of Business and Human Resources, Jamshedpur
  • Indian Institute of Management, Bangalore (IIM-B)
  • Indian Institute of Management, Indore (IIM-I)
  • Narsee Monjee Institute of Management Studies (NMIMS)
  • Management Development Institute (MDI), Gurgaon
  • Indian Institute of Management, Kozhikode (IIM-K)
  • S.P Jain Institute of Management and Research, Mumbai
Premier Institutions for Social Work
  • Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Mumbai
  • Dept of Social Work, Delhi University, Delhi
  • Dept of Social Work, Jamia Milia Islamia, Delhi
  • Faculty of Social Work, MS University, Baroda
  • Madras School of Social Work, Chennai
  • Dept of Sociology & Social Work, BHU, Varanasi
  • Loyola College of Social Sciences, Trivandrum
  • College of Social Work, Nirmala Niketan, Mumbai
  • Rajagiri College of Social Sciences, Kochi
  • Karve Institutes of Social Service, Pune
Premier Institutions for Fashion Technology
  • National Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi
  • Vogue Institute of Fashion Technology, Bangalore
  • Pearl Academy of Fashion, Delhi
  • Symbiosis Institute of Design, Pune
  • National Institute of Design, Ahmadabad
  • International Institute of Fashion Design, Chandigarh
  • Northern India Institute of Fashion Technology, Mohali
  • J.D. Institute of Fashion Technology, Delhi
  • Apeejay Institute of Design, Delhi
Published date : 27 Sep 2013 10:32AM

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