Sunday, September 4, 2016

What Can You Do With a Degree in the Liberal Arts?

A lot, although that's not what most people think nowadays, especially helicopter parents.

See Steven Pearlstein, at WaPo, "Meet the parents who won’t let their children study literature":
For me, there’s nothing more depressing than meeting incoming freshmen at Mason who have declared themselves as accounting majors. They’re 18 years old, they haven’t had a chance to take a course in Shakespeare or evolutionary biology or the history of economic thought, and already they’ve decided to devote the rest of their lives to accountancy. It’s worth remembering that at American universities, the original rationale for majors was not to train students for careers. Rather, the idea was that after a period of broad intellectual exploration, a major was supposed to give students the experience of mastering one subject, in the process developing skills such as discipline, persistence, and how to research, analyze, communicate clearly and think logically.

As it happens, those are precisely the skills business executives still say they want from college graduates — although, to be fair, that has not always been communicated to their human-resource departments or the computers they use to sort through résumés...

It hardly needs to be said, but I heartily agree with Pearlstein.