With the board exams going on, we get busy with them. But after the exams, we are faced with a tough choice of choosing between streams. In this post, we cover the stream of Humanities and the core subjects of it. Read on.
We all have that moment when someone asks us the question “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. At that moment, our imagination to think about jobs is limited and often driven by the two most talked about jobs. Yes, you know what I am talking about. Either a doctor or an engineer. These are the two ideal jobs that every parent or uncle or aunt talks about.
What if you don’t want to be a doctor or an engineer?
But what if you realise, by the end of your 10th class, that you do not want to be a doctor or an engineer? And you feel you are not comfortable with numbers or dreaded maths! So, you begin to think, out of all the options arts and humanities is the only available option.
But you, like some of the students fresh out of 10th, feel confused what after arts and humanities? What are the job opportunities in this stream? What are the subjects in this stream all about? As most of your life you have only heard of jobs that fall either in the science stream or the commerce stream and subjects like psychology or political science may feel alien to you!
Fear not! I will ease your stress and help you by explaining the subjects in this stream and future job opportunities that each subject has to offer. But first, you have to get the notion of your mind, and believe me when I say this, that arts and humanities, or social sciences, is not an inferior choice. Rather, it is one of the most challenging fields out there and if one excels in this field the sky is the limit!
What is it all about?
So, what is it all about? Social Sciences or arts and humanities is a major category of discipline that studies societies and human relationships within these societies. It includes subjects like Economics, Political Science, Sociology, History, Geography, and Psychology.
You should note though, that is not an exhaustive list and there are other subjects as well but for now, we will focus on these as these are the options available when you enter 11th class. Another thing to note, all these subjects are interlinked as they are all trying to understand the human society from various perspectives.
Economics – Or How Money Works?
Economics as a branch of social science is concerned with the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services of a country. It studies how individuals, companies, governments, and nations make decisions on allocation of resources to satisfy their wants and needs and also studies on they should do it in a better and organised manner. You will get to learn about the economy of the country and how it works. Do note however that if you do not like maths that much then you may not like economics, as maths is an integral part of economics.
Job opportunities after doing your graduation with economics, one can do a masters in economics and become a data analyst, a stockbroker. One can even do a Ph.D. in economics later on and become an Economist and do research with companies or even advise the government on economic policies.
One can also become a Professor of Economics at a college or a university. Some of the most famous economists from India have been Amartya Sen (Nobel Laureate) Kaushik Basu, Jagdish Bhagwati, Arvind Subarmanian (former Chief Economic Adviser) and Raghuram Rajan (former IMF chief)
Political Science – Is it all about Politics?
Most of the students when they hear the term political science they think “arey mujhe politics main nahi jana hai” as they feel the subject just revolve around elections and parties. But it is much more than that as political science as a field is about studying the relationship between flows of power and how it affects human relationships in a society.
A student of political science will not only learn how the institutions of the government work or study about elections and voting behaviour but you will also learn about how power operates within the society and even in the household. It gives you the tools to understand the workings of a society.
Job opportunities after graduation and masters in political science, one can do a Ph.D. and become a research analyst for various research institutes in India, like CSDS (Centre of Studies of Developing Societies). One can also become a political commentator for media outlets.
Apart from that the prospect of teaching, political science is a good subject to have if you’re considering for UPSC exams, especially clearing IAS. Some of the biggest names in political science. Some of the biggest names in political science in India have been Rajni Kothari (founder of CSDS), Pratap Bhanu Mehta (Current VC of Ashoka University), C. Raja Mohan (an expert in Indian Foreign Policy) and various others.
Sociology – A Study of Society
Sociology is a field of study concerns itself with the study of structures in the society. By structure, I mean like family, caste, gender, religion, class etc. A sociologist tries to understand the relationship between these structures and how they work and influence human relations.
Job opportunities in the field of sociology are of research analyst, after doing your Ph.D. Apart from that one can also work with NGO’s after one’s masters in sociology. One can also work with ICSSR (Indian Council of Social Science Research) in their funded research projects as a research associate. Some of the famous sociologists from India have been M.N. Srinivas, Dipankar Gupta, Meera Kosambi and various others.
History – More Than Just Dates
We all have that idea about history that it’s filled with dates (oh how we dread the dates! Battle of Panipat anyone?). But I am here to tell you that the subject of history is more than just dates that you had to cram at school.
History as a field of discipline deals with the study of the past events in society. It tries to tell a story, in as many details as possible, to not only describe what might have happened but also try to explain why it may have happened. Domains within history range from economic to social histories of nations.
Job opportunities in the field of History, apart from teaching, after graduation and masters range from being a historian and working with ICHR (Indian Council of Historical Research). One can also work as an archaeologist, which comes as an option later on, and work with the Archaeological Survey of India. Some of the most famous historians from India have been Ramchandra Guha, Bipan Chandra, Satish Chandra, and various others.
Geography – The Study of the Earth
Geography is the scientific study of the earth and its physical features and how humans interact with these features. It seeks to understand where things are found, why they are here and how have they evolved.
Geo- means earth and -graphy means to write, meaning to write about the earth. One also learns about the relationship between these features and humans and both influence each other.
Job opportunities in this field range from being a cartographer (geographers who makes maps, graphs, charts, and models), to being surveyors. Specialisation in geography also means jobs in Urban or Rural planning.
Other jobs in this field concern the area of Remote Sensing, that is experts who study floods, earthquakes and other natural phenomena like these. If interested, consider taking admission in Indian Institute of Remote Sensing (IIRS), Dehradun, which is a premier institute in India.
Psychology – The Study of the Human Brain and Emotions
Psychology as a science tries to understand the way humans behave and ask why they behave the way they behave. The field of psychology is broad and has various aspects to it, ranging from cognitive, social, neurological etc. It is the scientific study of the human mind and its behaviour.
Job opportunities in this field after masters are one of Clinical Psychologist, that is dealing with people who have serious mental disorders and working with them in either hospitals or rehabilitation centers or NGOs.
Another aspect is of Counsellor or Psychiatrist, where one has to meet and give counsel to people to help them with either their internal issues or interpersonal problems. As a counselor, you can work either in therapy centers or in your own clinic, schools or colleges.
If you are interested then you can after graduation getting admission in National Institute of Mental Health and Neuroscience (NIMHANS), Bengaluru as it is premier institute for further research in the field of psychology.
So, here you are friends. The Humanities stream explained in detail, alongwith its subjects. In an upcoming post we’ll explain other streams in detail as well. Till then cheers and keep exploring yourself with Brainpundits!