Yahoo Article: “Don’t Bother Earning These Degrees” by Terence Loose

In a December 13, 2012 Yahoo article, Terence Loose lists the top five (5) degrees that students entering college are advised to not bother earning if they want to find employment upon graduation.

The list is compiled based on statements made by Vicki Lynn who is “the senior vice president of Universum, a global talent recruiting company that works with many Fortune 500 companies” and “a 2012 study by the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce, ‘Hard Times, College Majors, Unemployment and Earnings: Not All College Degrees Are Created Equal.‘”

The degrees listed are as follows:

1.  Architecture; 2.  Philosophy or Religious Studies; 3.  Anthropology or Archaeology; 4.  Area Ethnic or Civilization Studies; 5.  Information Systems

What is interesting (and troubling) is that three (3) of the these five (5) degrees are liberal arts degrees that, directly or indirectly, ask questions about the meaning and significance of life, as well as the ethics of individual behavior and societal norms.

It seems that the trends do not favor degrees that help us ask important questions about what we do and why we do them.  While science and technology are important and essential, the humanities should not be neglected.

As Phi Beta Kappa Secretary John Churchill suggested, in a recent National Press Club panel discussion, the humanities and technology can (and I would add, should) be seen a mutually beneficial.  The full forum discussion can be viewed HERE.

A September 2012 opinion piece in the Christian Science Monitor also discussed the importance of a liberal arts education as it relates to technology, innovation and job preparation.  The full-text is available HERE.

As someone who has a liberal arts background (BA – History; MDiv – Theology), I must acknowledge my bias towards the humanities and their importance in my life.  Thus, I strongly believe that a well-rounded education (one that combines the wisdom and learning gleaned from science, technology and the humanities) is the best approach to enhancing one’s life.

They should not be seen as mutually exclusive options, but as mutually beneficial fields of study.  Science and technology is important, indeed vital, to our future.  But so are the liberal arts and the humanities.

Thus, we still need people to major in the liberal arts and the humanities, because these degrees focus on helping us reflect upon our lives and our decisions (both as individual and as collective groups).  Every student needs to study both, even though some will emphasis one aspect more than the other.  They are synergistic emphases that, when combined, make us more rounded, informed and thoughtful.

So, while it is important to consider the job prospects upon graduation when considering one’s degree choice, solely focusing on that aspect is not a healthy and helpful way of choosing.

If you are interested in and passionate about science and technology, by all means choose a degree in this area.  But don’t neglect the liberal arts and humanities.

If you are interested in and passionate about the liberal arts and humanities, by all means choose a degree in this area.  But don’t neglect science and technology.

The full-text of Loose’s article can be found here: http://education.yahoo.net/articles/degrees_to_avoid2.htm?kid=1NQM0

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4 responses to “Yahoo Article: “Don’t Bother Earning These Degrees” by Terence Loose

  1. Hi Zach,

    I am an architecture student and I am working on writing a letter to Mr.Loose regarding his article. We have the same opinions and I was wondering if I could keep in touch with you via email. Would love to share points and create a better argument for the letter to him.

    Happy New Year!

    • Carla,

      Thanks for your feedback and response to my comments on Mr. Loose’s article. I am not sure how helpful I will be, but I am happy to offer any thoughts or suggestions for your letter to him. I just set up a way to contact me through my blog. If you got to my blog address (zdbu.wordpress.com) there is now a link to a “contact” page that has a form through which you can contact me.

      Thanks, again, for taking the time to read my blog. Best of luck to you in your studies!

      Zach

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