Did your parents ever ask you to compulsorily take science in class 11th over the humanities stream? Liberal Arts students are often considered less smart than those who pursue a degree in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) because there is a misconception that these courses are easier to study than science or engineering courses. There also exists a divide between STEM and Liberal Education students, each group believing that their degree is more relevant.
Some people believe that liberal arts degree is beneficial as it helps students develop comprehensive skills like research and communication skills. On the contrary, many individuals also believe that a degree in this domain is not worth it because it does not offer technical skills that are in demand. They simply consider that it is overhyped. Let us discuss whether or not a degree in liberal arts is overhyped for the future!
What is Liberal Arts?
Liberal Arts is an interdisciplinary program that covers a broad range of subjects like humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences. Some of the most popular subjects that come within its sphere include religion, philosophy, literature, economics, geography, earth sciences, and astronomy. To know more about it, you can read our blog- The Revolution in Learning: A Guide to Pursuing Liberal Arts Education in India.
Pros of Studying Liberal Arts?
Here are some of the most significant reasons why a career in this domain might be the best for the future.
1. It allows the liberty or freedom of students to carve their own paths and follow their passion. They can explore their areas of interest while they study, experiment with new courses, and gain analytical and reasoning skills.
2. It is an interdisciplinary field of study that offers a diversified approach to learning with a wide range of interesting subjects.
3. It teaches soft skills like communication, analytical research, creative thinking, and writing which are beneficial in the job industry.
4. Today’s liberal arts courses often focus on a specialization in keeping face with the market demands, so that students can opt for a specific field while applying for various job roles in companies.
Probably the only limitation of a Liberal Arts Degree is that since the students are not actively taught subjects like computer science, mathematics, and more, they do not have the choice of applying for careers like engineering, medicine, or other related fields.
Is Liberal Arts Degree Overhyped For the Future?
Now that you know the pros and cons of pursuing a degree in this field, let us discuss whether or not it is overhyped for the future.
First and foremost, career choices are subjective. What might be your dream career may not necessarily make sense to other people. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pursue your passion. There are several factors that you should consider while choosing a career path like your personality, interests, socio-economic factors, and ambitions. However, before you evaluate whether or not a degree is overhyped, you should weigh its pros and cons, its relevance in today’s time as well as in the future, and then decide accordingly. Similarly, the answer to whether liberal arts is overhyped is based on your perspective on the degree.
2. Reasons to Pursue Liberal Arts
Now, whether it is overhyped for the future or not depends on why you want to pursue the degree. If you want to pursue liberal education courses just because you are not interested in science and engineering, you might feel that the degree is overhyped because you will not get to learn many technical skills. However, if you have a genuine interest in subjects like sociology, political science, fine arts, and education, and want to pursue a career in the same, the degree is definitely worth it.
3. STEM Avenues
A degree in liberal arts teaches essential skills like analytical, knowledge-building, creative thinking, problem-solving, creative thinking, and innovative research, all of which are, and will be relevant in the future.
However, it mainly consists of four areas- Social Sciences, Arts, Humanities, and Natural Sciences, it is not possible for students to have a convenient transition to a science or mathematics field in the long run. Pursuing a program in this field often closes the option of opting for a higher education degree in STEM fields like engineering, data sciences, and medicine.
It does not primarily focus on subjects like cloud computing, artificial intelligence, data analysis, machine learning, and software development either, which makes it a less preferred choice for students who want to keep their avenues open for STEM careers.
4. Career Opportunities and Payscale
The reign of liberal education in India is gradually gaining popularity. The scope of career opportunities with competitive salaries for liberal arts students is rapidly increasing. Careers like technical writers, human resource specialists, and diplomats are high-flying professions in the field of liberal arts, that one can opt for.
While it is believed that the salaries are comparatively higher in India for jobs in STEM and healthcare, it is no longer true. The pay scale for a liberal arts student may be lower or equivalent than a STEM student depending on the qualifications and caliber.
Recommended Read: The Reign of Liberal Arts Education in India
5. Future of Education
There is no doubt that technical skills and knowledge will be given preference in the future. However, liberal arts are shaping the future of education. In the 21st century, many students pursue more than one course or discipline at a time to broaden their horizons, enhance their knowledge and apply interdisciplinary skills. STEM and other degrees do not allow this liberty to students. Also, it is easier for liberal education students to adapt themselves to changing environments because of real-life skills. Moreover, in the era of rising uncertainty about jobs and constantly evolving career dynamics, a degree in this domain will have ample scope in the future.
To reiterate, liberal arts is overhyped if you look at it only in terms of acquiring mathematical and scientific degrees. However, this does not narrow down our perspective of a career in it, it still provides numerous opportunities and possibilities for its students. Liberal arts can be considered the future of education because it teaches interdisciplinary courses to students, enhances their critical and analytical knowledge, and improves their research and writing skills. Additionally, it provides students with an overall outlook of the world and opens their minds to new perspectives and aspects.
If you are still confused about choosing liberal arts as a career, you can seek career counseling to gain some clarity and understand if the degree aligns with your interest and skills. For career counseling by experts, you can sign up on Mindler, an ed-tech platform that offers career counseling services to students, helps you choose the right path for yourself, and excel in your chosen career. Book a career counseling online session with Mindler today!