Tuesday, February 02, 2016

Liberal arts and tomorrow’s workforce

This from Michael Benson in the Courier-Journal:
Psychology, sociology, history, political science, economics and philosophy — some maintain that these and other “liberal arts” majors result in less-than-ideal job prospects.

EKU President Michael Benson
Indeed, recently one presidential candidate called for “more welders, less philosophers” while a well-known venture capitalist quipped that English graduates “end up working in a shoe store.” Sadly, this sentiment seems to be growing right here in Kentucky.

And yet the liberal arts majors listed above represent the undergraduate courses of study, respectively, of Jamie Dimon, CEO of JP Morgan Chase; Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the United States; Samuel Palmisano, former CEO of IBM; Condoleeza Rice, former secretary of state; John Watson, CEO of Chevron; and Carl Icahn, billionaire Wall Street mogul.

And let’s not forget J.K. Rowling of Harry Potter fame. She completed a bachelor’s in French and Classics.
To be sure, not every art history major will run a Fortune 500 or write blockbuster fiction. And difficult economic times most certainly demand training that can result in immediate employment.

However, as more and more jobs become automated with advanced technologies, liberal arts is the training that will increasingly be rewarded in the modern marketplace.

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