Why should I study history, literature, and philosophy? What's the point of learning about stuff that happened two thousand years ago? Why should I bother to learn a foreign language, especially a dead one?
Generally, the answers to these questions focus on the lofty goals of broadening your horizons, learning for learning's sake, appreciating the great achievements of antiquity. Indeed, these goals are well worth achieving, but there are also many practical reasons for pursuing a degree in Classics or Letters.
The questions you should ask are:
- What good is being able to communicate my ideas effectively?
- Why should I learn how to analyze complex information?
- What's the point of learning about the successes and failures of great leaders?
The answer to all of these questions is simple: employers hire people who can communicate effectively, solve problems, learn from their successes and failures, and take leadership roles. A degree in Classics or Letters shows a prospective employer that you have those attributes and have developed them through a rigorous course of study.
For centuries, Classics formed the core of the Liberal Arts curriculum at institutions of higher education. Indeed, the first faculty member to be hired at OU was a classicist. The reasons for this emphasis on antiquity are many, but they all revolve around the fact that the ancient Greeks and Romans led the world for ages in art, architecture, biology, law, literature, mathematics, medicine, philosophy, physics and just about every other discipline imaginable.
To put it briefly, a degree in Classics or Letters does not prepare you for a job in a single, narrow field. It prepares you for the rest of your life.
If you are wondering what careers are available to a Classics or Letters major, consider this list, provided by OU's Career Services. It is just a sample of the fields that are open to you:
Career Titles for Classics & Letters Majors
|HR Representative||Development Officer|
|Import/Export Representative||Intelligence Specialist|
|International Relations Specialist||Lobbyist|
|Business Manager||Media Specialist|
|Marketing Research Analyst||Program Coordinator|
|Public Relations Representative||Public Information Officer|
|Stockbroker||Public Policy Analyst|
|Tour Planner/Guide||Business Administrator|
|Biographer||International Business Executive|
|Literary Agent||Public Administrator|
|Script Writer||Information Architect|
|Curator||Museum Staff Director|
|Secondary Teacher||Corporate Trainer|
Also, check out these links for more ideas:
- The Next Step: a career guidebook from OU's College of Arts and Sciences
- Career services for students in the College of Arts and Sciences
- What can I do with Classics and Letters? (OU Career Services)
- Careers in Classics (from Oxford University)
If you are interested in a degree in Classics or Letters, please visit our programs page to find out more about our majors and minors.