The ten marketable skills you acquire as a Classics major

Here are some of the most important skills you will develop as listed by our 2019 student seminar. Learn more more about future careers by visiting the Society for Classical Studies’ Careers for Classicists: Undergraduate Edition page.

  1. Writing

    Classics is a writing-intensive major. A main complaint from employers is a lack of writing skills among young generations – this gives you a major advantage over other applicants.

  2. Reading

    Along similar lines, in Classics you learn not just how to read (and in large quantities), but to read critically, and to identify arguments and positions within a text.

  3. Research

    Classics majors learn how to conduct intensive research using both secondary and primary sources.

  4. Analytical thinking

    Classics majors learn how to use different sets of evidence (including artifacts, works of art, texts and ancient literature) to analyze complex questions.

  5. Critical thinking

    Classics majors learn how to think critically about big social questions, including issues like gender, identity, race/ethnicity/difference, and inequality, that are important to understanding the 21st century.

  6. Interpreting the past

    Anytime we think about the future, we implicitly draw upon past examples to imagine new possibilities. Those with a deeper understanding of the past are better positioned to think about where we are going as a society. This includes:

    • Lessons of the past
    • Respect for other cultures and points of view
    • Learning how stories are told: Studying how stories are told, and the different perspectives from which they can be told, helps us reflect on how we tell our own stories. Telling your own story effectively is an important interviewing skill.
  7. Awareness of different disciplines and methods

    Classics is a mix of different methods, theories, and understandings, and relates to many other disciplines (Anthropology, English, History, Women’s and Gender Studies, etc.), while having its own core identity as well.

  8. Grammar

    Learning ancient Greek and Latin means you have a deeper understanding of grammar as whole, including our own native language, which helps to improve writing and communication overall.

  9. Roots of words

    Many modern words – especially in law, the sciences, and medicine – are based upon words from ancient Greek and Latin. Knowing these two languages gives you an advantage in any of these fields.

  10. Importance of translation

    When you translate an ancient text, you move from one worldview to another, and thinking about translation helps us understand and appreciate other people. In an increasingly connected world, we are always translating, both literally – in terms of different languages – and figuratively – in terms of different people’s perspectives and way of knowing.