I once asked my son, Josh, how a liberal arts degree from a small liberal arts school prepared him to be a cyber security expert. His response: “Because I was taught how to think, Mom.”
Many educators and economists have articulated my son’s notions (Remember Daniel Pink’s ideas regarding MFAs vs MBAs…), and a recent NY Times article by Jeffrey Selingo explains how and why liberal education might just trump (excuse the pun!) other more technical college majors.
In part, Selingo writes, “Interpretive dance may not be in demand, but the competencies that liberal arts majors emphasize — writing, synthesis, problem solving — are sought after by employers. A 2017 study by David J. Deming, an associate professor of education and economics at Harvard, found jobs requiring both the so-called soft skills and thinking skills have seen the largest growth in employment and pay in the last three decades.”
And, while my son went on to refine his skills with graduate study and certifications in technology, it appears that those early college years of a liberal arts education were an important precursor to his success in a technical field.