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Thread: Humanities... the Major of Royalty and the Unemployed

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    Humanities... the Major of Royalty and the Unemployed

    Interesting article from the NY Times. I was pretty shocked to see just how low the percentage is of humanities majors these days. While it may seem a luxury in this economy, I begin to wonder at the cultural/historical/political literacy of our society. Just carrying over this part of the debate from the student loan thread...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/19/ar...d=myyahoo&_r=0

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    Quote Originally Posted by long island leprechaun View Post
    Just carrying over this part of the debate from the student loan thread...
    Are you a masocist?

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    Quote Originally Posted by long island leprechaun View Post
    Interesting article from the NY Times. I was pretty shocked to see just how low the percentage is of humanities majors these days. While it may seem a luxury in this economy, I begin to wonder at the cultural/historical/political literacy of our society. Just carrying over this part of the debate from the student loan thread...

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/06/19/ar...d=myyahoo&_r=0
    Just my take, but I think that our entire system (from K to College) needs looked at to see just what we're teaching, and just what we're prioritizing, and how best to achieve that for the most people for the cheapest amount of money and the highest future-oriented system.

    Not only do I believe schools today do a lousy job of educating children in basic life skills (basic bookkeeping, cooking, shop, etc. i.e. basic "Home Ec.") I think they also do a pretty lousy job of providing a mix of cirriculum that focuses on marketable skills (reading/writing/mathematics) while also failing to provide a strong basis in the ideas and philosophies and history fields.

    Clearly it's a problem of both parenting and education system IMO, but as for a solution......I'm not convinced there is one. When something grows so big, so massive that it's bulk becomes stronger than any will to fix it, well, fixing it will never occur.

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    Quote Originally Posted by FF2 View Post
    Are you a masocist?
    Yes. And I won't correct your spelling.

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    Good. We need more scientists, engineers and mathematicians. We don't need more occupiers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DDNYjets View Post
    Good. We need more scientists, engineers and mathematicians. We don't need more occupiers.
    Yeah, f*** Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, Hemingway, Faulkner, Frost, etc. We don't need no culture. Meanwhile, China is borrowing from our liberal-ed model... go figure.

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    Quote Originally Posted by long island leprechaun View Post
    Yeah, f*** Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, Hemingway, Faulkner, Frost, etc. We don't need no culture. Meanwhile, China is borrowing from our liberal-ed model... go figure.
    While training for specific technical skills is valuable, we still need to teach people to think and lead.

    Technology changes so fast, specific technical skills can be outdated by the time you graduate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by long island leprechaun View Post
    Yeah, f*** Jefferson, Madison, Lincoln, Hemingway, Faulkner, Frost, etc. We don't need no culture. Meanwhile, China is borrowing from our liberal-ed model... go figure.
    If those were the types of people still being bred from the arts then fine.

    But times change and so do people.

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    Philosophy and Sociology are the two biggest waste majors, IMHO.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernie View Post
    Philosophy and Sociology are the two biggest waste majors, IMHO.
    Aye, people should save that stuff for Church, right?

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    On the one hand, I loved my humanities curriculum in college. I took classes that expanded my horizons, engaged critical thinking, and provided a much needed creative outlet.

    On the other hand, my friends with engineering degrees had a brutal course load but got good, high-paying jobs right out of college. I toiled for a bit before going back to school for a grad degree.

    So I can see both sides of the argument.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bonhomme Richard View Post
    On the one hand, I loved my humanities curriculum in college. I took classes that expanded my horizons, engaged critical thinking, and provided a much needed creative outlet.

    On the other hand, my friends with engineering degrees had a brutal course load but got good, high-paying jobs right out of college. I toiled for a bit before going back to school for a grad degree.

    So I can see both sides of the argument.
    Good points Paulie, there is a need for people who can actually communicate with one another and at the very least attempt to help others.

    On my job the guy who won't wait for his/her help is usually the guy/gal who is always to busy to help someone else. The co-worker who is always preaching about proper training is usually MIA on the job that would need that training the most.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cr726 View Post
    Good points Paulie, there is a need for people who can actually communicate with one another and at the very least attempt to help others.

    On my job the guy who won't wait for his/her help is usually the guy/gal who is always to busy to help someone else. The co-worker who is always preaching about proper training is usually MIA on the job that would need that training the most.
    It boggles my mind when I witness the poor communications skills - spoken, written, reading comprehension - in the business world. People that can't critically think and analyze an RFP. People in Sales, Marketing, Sales Engineering. The most effective business professionals Ive seen have a firm grasp on not only business and technology, but also those "useless" skills that some humanities courses give you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brooklyn Jet View Post
    It boggles my mind when I witness the poor communications skills - spoken, written, reading comprehension - in the business world. People that can't critically think and analyze an RFP. People in Sales, Marketing, Sales Engineering. The most effective business professionals Ive seen have a firm grasp on not only business and technology, but also those "useless" skills that some humanities courses give you.
    Agreed. There are a variety of ways to develop those skills. Interestingly, with all the dismissal of philosophy as a major, it's actually among the most prized for law school admissions. Understanding complex systems of thought; being able to sort out an argument with rigorous logic, awareness of ethical models; ability to articulate in a clear and concise way the inconsistencies/gaps in particular models... nah, none of that is of any use at all. the myopia regarding what constitutes an education is a bit disturbing... if life were only about making money, we'd all be orthodontists.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernie View Post
    Philosophy and Sociology are the two biggest waste majors, IMHO.
    Yes; a terse phrase here really brings home the point. More words; less humility, Brother Ernie.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ernie View Post
    Philosophy and Sociology are the two biggest waste majors, IMHO.
    As an adult returning to school, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my philosophy/ethics class.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetworks View Post
    As an adult returning to school, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my philosophy/ethics class.
    One of the great virtues of college always was that it actually made you a more thoughtful person and a more intelligent citizen. Now it seems it's only about how much money you can earn. Nothing wrong with earning money, but there is so much more to life than that. Or at least so our various humanities readings would suggest... ironic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jetworks View Post
    As an adult returning to school, I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed my philosophy/ethics class.
    I have to say of all my college courses Philosophy and Logic were the most interesting.

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