You’re an American student looking to study abroad, you have an interest in ancient history and languages, and you’re considering universities in Italy – where you’ll be perfectly situated to experience the culture of Rome first hand. But aside from the obvious allure of a year in Europe, you may be questioning just exactly how a Classics degree will prepare you for employment in the modern world.
One could evoke that ubiquitous list of employable traits all liberal arts grads are said to possess, such as critical thinking and strong communication skills – with somewhat obvious links to law, politics or academia. But instead, John Cabot University’s Classical Studies program would like to present some unexpected examples of what that list looks like in action, in today’s diverse economy.
Take a look at 3 professional careers you would never guess started out with and benefited from the study of Classics:
1. Medical Doctor:
Dr. Eric Dahl, director of the University of Mississippi Student Health Service began his academic training with a degree in Classics. He credits Classical studies not only with broadening his mind to philosophy, art and literature, but also with his later success as a student of medicine. Dahl points out that “so much of medical terminology is rooted in the Classics that studying Greek can facilitate study of anatomy, for instance.” Also, medical students with Classics backgrounds often outshine their peers when it comes to vocabulary and writing ability – highly valuable professional skills.
2. Commercial Pilot:
Oscar Nichols, a pilot with Cathay Pacific Airlines says his education in Classics took him from an eleven year tenure as a project manager at Morgan Stanley, to fulfilling his life-long ambition to fly the Boeing 777 out of Cathay’s Hong Kong base. According to Nichols, “the skills that Classics develops through translation are complementary to the skills a pilot needs to maintain Situational Awareness – the ongoing and crucial interpretation of multiple, highly detailed aircraft instruments and systems.” Essentially, what keeps a plane in the air and its passengers alive.
3. Rock Star:
We’re not kidding. Dido, the British singer-songwriter pursued a Greek and Latin concentration while at school. Chris Martin, front-man of Coldplay, earned a degree in Classics from the University of London. During a recent interview published in the New York Times, renowned saxophonist Chris Potter revealed that his study of Homer’s Odyssey (a staple of Classical Studies) inspired his entire new album. Creativity, conceptualizing complex projects, an understanding of the human condition – all rooted in study of the ancient world.
So it would seem that Classical Studies, although focused on the distant past, has highly relevant applications in the contemporary economy. And at John Cabot University, one of the finest American colleges in Rome, you will find a Classics program that promises to inform, enlighten, and inspire.