In defense of the Liberal Arts..











Liberal Arts Majors aren’t all wishy washy…

The fact of the matter is that college should be an opportunity for students to learn to think — really think.

Most employers want employees with good critical thinking skills and good oral and written communication skills.  These are the sorts of employees they can train to do other stuff, because they can learn, think and adapt to new situations.  In technology-based jobs, the tech students learn in school is outdated by the time they get a job.  In “business” schools, modes of business and the economy will change by the time they get out of school.  The real hope for our future seems to be encouraging students to acquire the skills they need to be flexible in their employment — i.e. liberal arts majors.

A recent study I’m too lazy to link to (hey, this is a blog, not an academic paper — lay off, or go find it yourself) that certain liberal arts majors are better at developing the skills employers say they want — among the more successful majors are philosophy, political science and history.  The reason for this is that those majors require a lot of writing AND critical thinking.  In essence, employers want employees to be able to make arguments and assess situations — and those disciplines require that.

So — while China may be cutting majors that “don’t pay”, it’s to their long-term determent, because those non-paying majors are the source of creativity and innovation.


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