Transferable Skills and Classics, Part I

I should add that this is not a term I am particularly fond of. For me, it seems to standardise human learning and artificially separate it into a tick-box list, rather than taking a holistic look at the development of a person’s confidence, at drawing out their potential, through a variety of stimuli that helps grow their ability. One also sees actions labelled as ‘skills’ that I would define as outcomes. Is the ability to use Word a skill? Or is the skill the process which enables someone to learn how to use Word? Moreover, skills are so rich and so varied, that ‘transferable skills’ risks being, actually rather narrow as a term, some are highly specialist.


Anyway, rant over. I have deliberately chosen the title, because I am going to spend this short article showing how studying Classics really does help develop 'transferable skills’, if you really want to put that label on it.


Classicists, you will be familiar with that tedious question, 'what can you do with Classics?’ Tedious, because it could just as easily be fired at a number of other subjects. Well, here goes.


Firstly, a subject does not have to be 'immediately and obviously applicable’ to be great training for something else. For example, not all successful lawyers will necessarily have done law as their degree. What matters is that they will have performed well at whatever their chosen degree was and brought that ability and their 'skills’ to their profession.


So, how does Classics achieve this. Here’s my list of Classics’ 'transferable skills’ or rather the human faculties that it helps train and sharpen:

· Logical reasoning

· Attention to detail

· Patience

- Critical questioning

· Reflection


Part II follows.

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