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The Course of College

I recently saw an article online about the diminishing number of American college students choosing arts-related degrees. Liberal arts degrees have declined about 10% over a decade, while English/Literature majors have declined more than 30%. Most students these days pursue what I would call career preparation, like business or computer science.

Somehow we now have gotten the idea that a college education is or should be job training. I know I didn't look at it that way when I entered university (many years ago!). I took courses in a variety of disciplines, without regard to (and in some cases antithetical to) career prospects. My job training was going to be law school, though I took a slight detour into writing about lawyers instead.

I know everyone has a different financial situation, and has needs and expectations that affect these choices. But for most, I would hope college would be a time to learn about you, and the world, and the human condition. Follow a discipline if that is what interests you, but keep your vision wide and see what's out there.

I had a few low-paying positions in the beginning. But in the long run, my degree in English/Philosophy turned out to be excellent career prep. Being able to think and write has kept me well employed over the last 40 years or so. And I have always been grateful for the expansive view that my liberal arts degree afforded me, and the rich life that a curious mind and wide-ranging education have allowed me year after year.

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Tuesday, 26 September 2023

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