Friday, September 7, 2012

No Room For You (in the workforce)

Perhaps it's my own fault for keeping an email account with Yahoo. It seems like every few months they post a new story about "useless" college majors. They're not the only culprit, plenty of news sources print and post such articles.
In their most recent article, they discussed the usual "worst" majors (mine, English, included). When discussing the poor job prospects for philosophy majors the writer said,"Our philosophy, at least, is to look into a major with a better return on investment."
Hilarious. It seems that this is the mindset toward education now. We treat it like a product. Commercials for online degrees are a perfect example of this. "I want to get my degree faster." "I don't want to take classes I don't need." If only we could streamline it and have people line up to get implanted with a micro-chip labelled "bachelor's degree."
I don't understand how anyone can call something that enriches your mind a waste. The concept of the Renaissance Man is now outmoded. People want to take the classes that give them a specific set of skills that will enable them to do a specific job that will bring home a certain sized paycheck. 
It's true that perhaps if I had gone into the sciences I would have a more certain job when I graduate, but I prefer language and literature. Obviously most of the people pursuing the "worst" degrees are doing them because they love them. They are more interested in feeding the soul than feeding the wallet. These constant articles in the media beating down the Arts and Humanities are basically saying to me: "There's no room for you."
There's no room for the poets, the philosophers, the painters. There's no room for the people who appreciate beauty or show us society in a new light. There's no room for people who try to give us greater understanding and consciousness. We don't need them as long as we have doctors, lawyers, scientists, and investment bankers.
You shouldn't go to school to become a smarter, better person, you should go to school so you can make lots of money. Even if you do it by studying a subject you don't love.
I know that I won't be a Warren Buffet. I will never live in a mansion or have servants.  I will live in an apartment and cook Ramen noodles over a hot plate. So what? There are more important things in my opinion. I'm a story teller and I don't have a choice. I came out of the womb that way. 
I think I've gained something from every college course I've taken-- even the courses that weren't in my major. Thanks to our liberal arts curriculum, I've take classes in biology, sociology, mathematics. I don't think they were a waste. Learning something new can only improve your mind for whatever it is you plan on doing.
<I can't help but wonder if the writer of that article is just a frustrated English major stuck writing for Yahoo now. And consider: would the world be any richer had Shakespeare chosen the more sensible profession of fishmonger or become a glover like his father?

No comments:

Post a Comment