Why the IT industry needs the humanities

Today, everyone recognises the importance of the IT industry. The belief is the only way to enter is via a strict studying of technology. Yet, considering the number of people already involved in this area, this might be a mistake. It could be that what’s needed and what is being sought after is not, in fact, what we think. New data suggests people with a broader skillset and talent pool is being searched for, rather than whose only skill is computer tech.

Hiring the Humanities

LinkedIn Data notes:

“Liberal arts grads are joining the tech workforce more rapidly than technical grads. Between 2010 and 2013, the growth of liberal arts majors entering the technology industry from undergrad outpaced that of computer science and engineering majors by 10%. Internet or software companies are especially popular – 38% of all recent liberal arts grads in tech currently work in this space.”

This is obviously surprising and perhaps upsetting for those who’ve dedicated themselves to getting into the tech industry. With liberal arts skills, there is a greater engagement with diverse forms of thinking. Communication is key. By understanding, engaging, communicating and explaining various ideas, liberal arts students are better prepared than pure STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) students.

What tends to drive such students’ importance for many businesses is their emotional intelligence (EQ).

Why EQ matters

For the last few years, many businesses have realised being skilled at one particular activity doesn’t mean you have a valuable employee. What matters is someone who can contribute to the company as a whole. Having EQ does just that: The Harvard Theorist, Howard Gardner defined EQ as: “the level of your ability to understand other people, what motivates them and how to work cooperatively with them.”

This is obviously valuable to businesses as almost all deal with people, whether as clients, staff or target market.

Indeed, ironically it’s the people with high levels of EQ who are better at adjusting to new technology and systems. Writing in Entrepreneur, Mariah Deleon notes:

“Workers with high EQ are better able to work in teams, adjust to change and be flexible… As the workplace continues to evolve, making room for new technologies and innovations, these qualities may become increasingly important.”

This is why it might be important to invest in emotional intelligence training courses, for yourself and your staff. You obtain the necessary skills and knowledge which facilitates communication and understanding of people and environments. This means even tech, which is all about making people’s lives better, improves. You make better products, create a better work environment and thus create a more sustainable business when you have higher levels of EQ in the office.