Can I take a humanities course in university if I wasn't in the arts stream in JC?
It's easier in some countries than in others.
Singapore and US universities have no A-Level subject pre-requisites for humanities courses.
In UK, some humanities courses come with A-Level subject pre-requisites.
No guarantees, but if you're really very determined you can try to appeal. Sometimes universities may be open to alternatives such as taking some kind of bridging course.
It's easier for some humanities courses and in some universities than others.
Every university and every course has different requirements, and the requirements can change each year, so always check the official university websites for the most accurate and updated information.
Some students are worried that they will be disadvantaged if they do this. Don't worry too much -- humanities in university is very different from humanities in JC. Also, you have GP and a contrasting subject which still train you to write essays. You're not really at a disadvantage.
Will I be at a disadvantage career-wise if I take a humanities degree?
Many parents may have this worry, because in the past, humanities degrees used to be seen as inferior to STEM degrees in Singapore. This perception may have been perpetuated by the fact that it is harder to get into STEM degrees compared to most humanities degrees because of the subject pre-requisites by universities. However, things have changed. This perception has and will likely continue to change as more employers begin to value humanities degrees.
Read BBC article Why ‘worthless’ humanities degrees may set you up for life by Amanda Ruggeri. Here are some excerpts:
George Anders is convinced we have the humanities in particular all wrong. When he was a technology reporter for Forbes from 2012 to 2016, he says Silicon Valley “was consumed with this idea that there was no education but Stem education”. But when he talked to hiring managers at the biggest tech companies, he found a different reality. “Uber was picking up psychology majors to deal with unhappy riders and drivers. Opentable was hiring English majors to bring data to restauranteurs to get them excited about what data could do for their restaurants,” he says.
Or take it directly from two top executives at tech giant Microsoft who wrote recently: "As computers behave more like humans, the social sciences and humanities will become even more important. Languages, art, history, economics, ethics, philosophy, psychology and human development courses can teach critical, philosophical and ethics-based skills that will be instrumental in the development and management of AI solutions.
[...] pursuing a more vocational degree can come with its own risks too. Not every teenager knows exactly what they want to do with their lives, and our career aspirations often change over time. One UK report found that more than one-third of Brits have changed careers in their lifetime. LinkedIn found that 40% of professionals are interested in making a “career pivot” – and younger people are interested most of all. Focusing on broadly applicable skills like critical thinking no longer seems like such a moon shot when you consider how many different jobs and industries they can be applied to (though for a young person figuring out their career path, it’s true that flexibility also can feel overwhelming).