“Clearly, all successful careers require critical thinking, teamwork, sensitivity to cultural, demographic, economic and societal differences and political perspectives. A liberal arts education provides this grounding (Ray)”. Higher education is a place meant for you to grow academically as well as a person. You gain skills beyond those you learn from books. Liberal education classes possibly mixed with a STEM major can be very powerful. I believe it’s a great idea that colleges require you to take liberal arts so you can explore interests along with taking advantage of all opportunities. In today’s competitive job market you need to set yourself apart. The best way to do that is coming out of college well-rounded along with stellar academics. It’s not a matter of the smartest person anymore necessarily. Today what matters is the intangibles you can bring to the table. Liberal Arts is more important than STEM in higher education because you become a better person and more valuable in the job market.
First, Liberal Arts makes you more of a well-rounded person than you would with STEM. Although a STEM education is very vital to everyone and our society, Liberal Arts makes you more adaptable to the ever changing degree needs. Throughout high school I was always told “there will be jobs available after your college graduation that aren’t even invented yet”. Why would you not choose a Liberal Arts degree where it makes you versatile for the ever changing job market. I do not like how they are required classes for college and can understand from a STEM perspective how it is a “money trap” or waste of time. Not only do the classes make you make well-rounded as a person and academic, but the majors are able to make you most of all more personable. The Liberal Arts classes give you a worldly understanding and perspective. “But I tell you this — college made me a happier person. I don’t know what that’s worth in dollars, but I know what it is worth to me: everything (Cohen)”. The best thing I like about them is the broad perspective and wide range of subject matter. This gives people like myself a better ability to decide a major if they’re undecided.
Furthermore, there is a great demand for those that are Liberal Arts major graduates. “Research shows that math and science are indeed though of as stereotypically male domains (Simard)”. Liberal arts have no stigma or prejudice and anyone is given a great opportunity to succeed. I personally think that any of these majors will set you apart from other job candidates because I believe a Liberal Arts undergrad with a STEM graduates degree is the best route. Job markets are looking for the best overall candidate today and that candidate needs to be adaptable which is what I think Liberal Arts is best at. There are so many facts supporting this claim regarding the job market and how the future will need Liberal Arts major graduates.
Additionally, I think the education standard for years before us was to attend college to only directly prepare you for a career. You had many people that were outstanding minds with no real personality or social skills that were beyond their selected field. “The humanities are important to the sciences not because they produce more cultured people, but because they produce better scientists (Christ)”. The same standard was held to those of a lesser mind in my opinion. People went to college to solely obtain the knowledge of using computers or working on cars and didn’t waste time with political science or history degrees. This clearly shows a progression in our job market along with education because you now need to be intelligent with your curriculum along with being very personable.
Notably, I have concurred that there is a stigma against Liberal Arts with people think that Liberal Arts is not actually learning and STEM is only true learning. “As many as 60 percent of students who enter college with the intention of majoring in science or math change their plans (Natarajan)”. The amount of technology is what I imagine is attributing to this type of thinking. We rely on technology so much that people today have no urge to learn more about people and personable topics or understanding. I expect this to be an issue along with a positive at the same time. Our technology has become so advanced from people before us creating possibilities with the amount of inventors. People do not see any limits in advancements nor do they see anything that would stifle people from more fields of STEM studies. It will carry our country along with our world to new heights. The negatives of this boom in STEM over decades is that people don’t invest enough in other people or study of them. I assume the greatest example for the United States is the budget for our nation’s military is immense. Nobody complains about a lack of military, yet there is criticism all over for a lack of disaster relief, study of diseases, poverty, human rights, and many more. The question is if more Liberal Arts degrees are needed or if there should be an e
ven greater stress on them for future students.
Hence, those who argue for STEM education have plenty to say along with plenty of examples for success. “The prevailing wisdom and research indicate a growing emphasis on and necessity for career-ready degrees such as computer science, engineering and finance – often included as part of STEM disciplines (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) (McNutt)”. STEM careers are a vital fuel for the technological world and depending who you ask it is unfortunate that their career only has about a single path that you cannot veer away from. Most STEM careers make more money but most graduates would thoroughly enjoy a Liberal Arts degree a lot more. When you look at respect and power STEM graduates are a rather big portion of the CEO’s of the United States, but Liberal Arts careers have the majority. The way our world is moving it seems to be apparent that STEM careers will be needed more than ever. The world will require innovation as well and bigger thinking which is something I visualize coming much more from those who graduate with Liberal Arts degrees.
In conclusion, higher education is the clear choice for a better life if you can make it happen. You have so many options and saying holds true when they tell you “the world is your oyster”. Liberal education classes and majors will better suit any person long after their schooling and job careers are over. Everyone is different, but opportunities are endless for those who choose higher education. Each path has their benefits but liberal arts isn’t a four-year decision; it’s a forty-year decision.