Having been in higher education long enough, I’ve seen the predictable cycles of freaking out about the “value” of liberal arts. Whatevers. I’m a history prof at a liberal arts college, my second time at one, and I left a public uni to come to mine
In this post, I spectulated about the nefarious impact of The Atlantic and frankly the post by Scott Gerber only confirms it.
Amazingly, Mr Gerber, who runs the Young Entrepreneur Council thinks we should teach entrepreneurship. He also attempts to argue, without any adequate support, that degrees tied to this would be more valuable.
Yes engineers top the “pay scale” of college grads, but not everyone can be an engineer. Does that mean all hope is lost? No of course not, because what employers want is not a specific degree so much as a set of skills.
As this study reveals the top skills are not tied to an degree program, but rather fit quite nicely into what we do in liberal arts.
The reasons students seek liberal art colleges are many, and they are all valid. I’m sure we could all do a better job, but it isn’t going to be by shoving students into a particular line of study. It will come from helping students to understand how what they learn in say “history” one of the disciplines Gerber points to as particularly irrelevant will help them in the future in myriad ways. The ability to analyze, assess, and apply information from a variety of sources in written and oral presentation is precisely what I strive to teach students to do.