15 Useful Skills You Learn As An Art History Major

President Barack Obama is taking a lot of heat for his recent snub of art history majors.

Speaking in Wisconsin late last month, Obama told the crowd that “folks can make a lot more potentially with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree.”

“Now, nothing wrong with an art history degree — I love art history,” he quickly qualified. “So I don’t want to get a bunch of emails from everybody.”

So much for that. Since then, art history advocates far and wide have risen in defence of the study, and the president offered a handwritten apology to one professor who took particular offence to his comments.

While art history might not prepare students for coding-intensive careers at Google, it certainly teaches plenty of skills that employers value. We checked out career guides for art history majors at a number of universities to see what those are.

Here are 15 of the most important ones:

  • Critical thinking and analysis
  • Presentations and public speaking
  • Strong writing skills
  • Comfort adapting content for different audiences and users
  • Intensive research
  • Problem-solving and decision-making
  • Attention to detail
  • Organisation
  • Time management
  • Ability to work independently or in teams
  • Listening and asking insightful questions
  • Open mindedness
  • Aesthetic and design consciousness
  • Broad historical and cultural knowledge
  • Creativity

Next time you’re looking for an employee, consider an art history major.

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