Posts from "November, 2010"

Koreans Hear Message on Importance of Humanities for Global Economy

The president of Smith College is quoted in the Korean Tribune:

“Shunning the humanities in favor of more specialized fields of study is very short sighted, according to the president of a leading women’s liberal arts college in the United States.

A global perspective is needed to succeed in the 21st century and the humanities is essential to attaining a global perspective,” said Carol Christ, president of Smith College, in an interview with The Korea Herald on Thursday. “The world today requires globally educated executives who understand another culture,” she said.

Employers Want Humanities Skills and Internships

Based on a recent poll by Hart Research Associates, employers say that colleges and universities should develop learning outcomes that emphasize these skills and experiences:

89%  The ability to effectively communicate orally and in writing
81%  Critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills
79%  The ability to apply knowledge and skill to real-world settings through internships and other experience
75%  The ability to analyze and solve complex problems
75%  The ability to connect choices and actions to ethical decisions
71%  Teamwork skills
70%  The ability to be creative
68%  The ability to locate, organize and evaluate information from multiple sources
67%  The ability to understand the global context of situations and decisions
45%  Proficiency in a foreign language

IT exec touts Humanities

Robin Beck, an IT Executive at the University of Pennsylvania has had a successful career at Penn and formerly at General Electric. When asked what she would study if she were to go back to college today, she states:

“Exactly what I did before: English and Humanities. The ability to take complex ideas and make them understandable to a wide audience is a skill I learned as an undergraduate, as well as to express ideas in writing and to think creatively.”
See the magazine Computerworld, Oct. 25, 2010, p. 10.
(thanks to Ray Clifford for sharing this)

New Program at UCL: Humanities and Business

University College London is doing what several business schools have chosen to do in the wake of the economic downturn: infuse their business program with humanities study. They find that the humanities can help with communication, writing, critical thinking, leadership and innovation. But the benefits work both ways: humanities students stand to gain from learning business culture and skills.

Those organizations which can adapt quickly and productively will survive short-term economic fluctuations and extend success into the long-term, but such organizational flexibility can require breaking away from conventional outlooks. The need for fundamental change in business has undoubtedly received added impetus from the recent global economic crisis,which has alerted those within the commercial community to the need for innovative approaches to leadership and strategy and for an understanding of how human qualities play a key role in commercial environments. In turn, humanities experts and the universities at which they teach only stand to gain from engaging with their social and entrepreneurial environments, and exploring the relations between their research practice with the world of business.