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Old 08-09-2013, 04:48 PM   #21
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Kind of a timely opinion piece on the value of majoring in a liberal arts humanities degree.

Why major in humanities? Not just for a good job - for a good life.

Basically reiterates a rationale I've always heard that while a technical degree will teach you a specific skill set in a particular realm of knowledge, a good liberal arts education teaches you to think well in whatever vocational realm(s) you pursue ... and beyond, to being a good citizen outside of whatever realm you choose to make a living. A technical degree makes for a great employee, a humanities degree for a great human being.
Liberal propaganda?
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:06 PM   #22
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Liberal propaganda?
maybe to you...

There's nothing wrong with have a liberal arts major. Many people in the corporate and academic world do and they're doing just fine.

edit:

In my opinion, and from what I've seen, it's more about your experience than your degree. I know this is not always the case.

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Old 08-09-2013, 06:23 PM   #23
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Hipsters on Food Stamps (long read)

That article is EPIC!


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Old 08-09-2013, 07:12 PM   #24
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Liberal propaganda?
Are Tibco, Goldman-Sachs, and Ernst & Young purveyors of liberal propaganda?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/vivekran...ing-any-trade/
http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...-value-675771/

There is an interesting thread that seems to flow through the arguments against and for liberal arts.

The difference between a job and a career. And that while the skills learned in a STEMs degree might be more useful landing that first job, the skills learned in the liberal arts might be more useful over the long term course of a career. That first job out of college might pay more for STEMs, but, often STEMs have a ceiling for advancement because they lack good communication and reasoning skills. While the LibArts might start at a lower paying job to start, however, communication and nonlinear thinking skills the LibArts develop art more important as one progresses "up the food chain".

It does make one wonder if this is where the lines of the debate often get drawn. Between the linear and nonlinear thinkers.
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:14 PM   #25
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That article is EPIC!
An EPIC perhaps?
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Old 08-09-2013, 07:34 PM   #26
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An EPIC perhaps?
You're a software guy?
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:49 PM   #27
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Are Tibco, Goldman-Sachs, and Ernst & Young purveyors of liberal propaganda?

http://www.forbes.com/sites/vivekran...ing-any-trade/
http://www.post-gazette.com/stories/...-value-675771/

There is an interesting thread that seems to flow through the arguments against and for liberal arts.

The difference between a job and a career. And that while the skills learned in a STEMs degree might be more useful landing that first job, the skills learned in the liberal arts might be more useful over the long term course of a career. That first job out of college might pay more for STEMs, but, often STEMs have a ceiling for advancement because they lack good communication and reasoning skills. While the LibArts might start at a lower paying job to start, however, communication and nonlinear thinking skills the LibArts develop art more important as one progresses "up the food chain".

It does make one wonder if this is where the lines of the debate often get drawn. Between the linear and nonlinear thinkers.
Good ethics and humanities can be learned on the job by attending additional coursework and workshops. I go through them often. What can I learn from a liberal arts degree that I couldn't figure out myself or learn a few years in?

Personalities can be changed. Probably helps my case that I tend to care more about a person's well-being in the workplace than a lot of people.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:49 PM   #28
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You're a software guy?
I'm a systems guy. HW and SW and making them work together in optimal ways. It's how I got roped into doing the data center design/build thing. But, it was in part based on the requirements of large scale distributed computing systems moving but also being able to handle mass-par type systems.
(And the entire data center design methodology came about through my knowledge of classical roman architecture. )
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:07 PM   #29
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From that article. I can side with this guy.

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I would agree with the author if he were referencing the type of classical liberal education provided in the past. I got a BA degree in the mid 1960's from a small midwestern liberal arts college. I had to take courses in logic, critical thinking and read all the classics, from ancient times to modern times. I had to study ancient and modern as well as US history and take survey courses in comparative religions and legal systems. I had to take courses in debate and write term papers and a thesis. Foreign language study was mandatory as well as numerous courses in math and science. I am not sure today's liberal arts colleges have such rigorous curricula today. Many of my friends kids have gotten degrees in women's studies, sociology and or education related degrees. As an HR Director for several fortune 500 companies for the past forty years I can attest to the deterioration of critical thinking and written and oral communication skills.
Much of my criticism comes from students wanting to major in the humanities because the course load is generally lighter than a STEM degree. I've always praised those who were passionate about their education regardless of the degree. Diversity is needed in the world, but loading this nation full of debt and having parents splurge life savings on their children's degrees is absurd. Especially when kids are just going to college because they've been told to do so and want a paid 4 years vacation. Where is the reasoning in that?
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:10 PM   #30
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Good ethics and humanities can be learned on the job by attending additional coursework and workshops. I go through them often. What can I learn from a liberal arts degree that I couldn't figure out myself or learn a few years in?

Personalities can be changed. Probably helps my case that I tend to care more about a person's well-being in the workplace than a lot of people.
What can I learn from a STEMs degree that I couldn't figure out myself or learn a few years in?

But, the truth is most of the STEMs folks I know generally never do learn those skills. They don't have nonlinear thinking abilities and they don't want them. Of course, then they wonder why they only go so far up the ladder.
There are some that do. But, to really advance either you have to have good communication skills, be able to make reasoned arguments that aren't always just about formulas and frequencies. You have to find balance between technology, mfg, market demand, cost, serviceability, etc. You have to see multiple perspectives.

How many engineers will tell you that a McLaren F1 is best car ever. It is a technological marvel. It will out accelerate, out corner, and stop faster than virtually any other car on the planet. Ergo it is the best car. But, so many never stop to think: How often does it need maintenance, how much does it cost, is it really safe on an open highway to have your crash system design to have shards of carbon fiber break off and go flying (sure they take some of the energy from the crash with them...until they imbed themselves in the chest cavity of that pedestrian.) Do they think how do I bring home 3 bags of groceries in that thing. Nope. It is just the fastest, most tech adv car, ergo it's the best. And it is provided you don't have to buy it, maintain it, ever crash in it, and eat nothing but a roll of lifesavers, cause you ain't even getting a can of chili or chicken noodle soup in the damn thing.

Can people learn things, sure. But, they often don't once they get out of "school learning mode". And if they do go back to school they generally go back to more STEMs, not liberal arts. Also, a year of serious advanced study in Stanislavski will do much more for your presentation skills than ToastMasters ever will.
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:37 PM   #31
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Much of my criticism comes from students wanting to major in the humanities because the course load is generally lighter than a STEM degree. I've always praised those who were passionate about their education regardless of the degree. Diversity is needed in the world, but loading this nation full of debt and having parents splurge life savings on their children's degrees is absurd. Especially when kids are just going to college because they've been told to do so and want a paid 4 years vacation. Where is the reasoning in that?
Perhaps the cirics are less at many schools now. I know first hand and from others who went to UC schools in the 70s & 80s the lib arts classes were tougher and more work than the STEMs classes were. And this is from people who doubled majored as well. CompSci & Tech Theatre, Chem & Dance, Bio & Art. Most people don't know you can get a bachelors of science degree in any of those LibArt majors.

If you have a university that is serious about its LibArts programs, and not just collecting fees. LibArts class ain't cake walks. But, the same is true for STEM classes. Friend of mine is getting her masters at Arizona State in CompSci. Getting A's. She says the class load and problems are pretty simple. ASU says a class is 10-15 hours a week. She is doing it in 3-5 hours a week.

Are you going to have places like SDSU in the 1970's when you could major in surfing. Yep...seriously...it was a degree in Ocean Mechanics, if I recall the title correctly. Or underwater basket weaving. Sure. But, I look at these kids coming out of school with CompSci degrees and wonder what they hell they learned in 4 years as well. They can't even debug code. They can't do their own garbage collection and memory mgmt because "Java does it for you". Give me strength. And people wonder why we have slow, bloated, buggy code. I can give them the answer. It's people who paid lots of money and graduated with STEM degrees and still don't know how to program anything of practical value or operate in the real world.

The knife cuts both ways.

I have to agree with Vivek Ranadivé. And I am all for making LibArts more rigorous, as it was "back in the day", if it isn't in places. But, to de-value LibArts as a set of disciplines is sheer folly.
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:38 PM   #32
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Originally Posted by rdsesq View Post
I'm a systems guy. HW and SW and making them work together in optimal ways. It's how I got roped into doing the data center design/build thing. But, it was in part based on the requirements of large scale distributed computing systems moving but also being able to handle mass-par type systems.
(And the entire data center design methodology came about through my knowledge of classical roman architecture. )
gotcha, fake lawyer AND fake engineer



lol
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:46 PM   #33
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But, the truth is most of the STEMs folks I know generally never do learn those skills. They don't have nonlinear thinking abilities and they don't want them. Of course, then they wonder why they only go so far up the ladder.

There are some that do. But, to really advance either you have to have good communication skills, be able to make reasoned arguments that aren't always just about formulas and frequencies. You have to find balance between technology, mfg, market demand, cost, serviceability, etc. You have to see multiple perspectives.
This is probably why I fare as well as I do in the workplace. As a product development engineer, much of my job is managing customer projects while bridging the gap between the customer/sales and manufacturing. Naturally my position is looked to as the role of a leader. Having to be on the road and in front of customers selling our products alongside sales and then actually developing those products alongside research and process engineers before getting my hands dirty while rubbing elbows with plant associates on the manufacturing floor supervising newly commercialized products. Of course I have to stand in front of the directors and managers to justify my work and spending. I can't think of one department I don't interact with to succeed in my role. It's not for everyone and most of your typical "engineers" prefer not to be in such a role. It all comes down to reasoning and understanding to carry out tasks. Much of it is developing personal relationships, figuring out personalities, and instilling trust.
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The whole business of politics has been effectively subcontracted out to a band of professionals. Money people, outreach people, message people, research people. The rest of us are meant to feel like amateurs. In the sense of suckers. We become demotivated to learn more about how things work. We begin to opt out.

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Old 08-09-2013, 11:04 PM   #34
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Good read
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:24 PM   #35
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I was a liberal arts (ECON) major at a very expensive, highly ranked, private college. I graduated with honors and I can honestly say it isn't worth it. I probably learned the most in my public speaking class out of the entire curriculum.
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:11 AM   #36
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gotcha, fake lawyer AND fake engineer
Gotcha, you are just a poser in airwalks who don't know sh!t about real world engineering.
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Old 08-10-2013, 02:13 AM   #37
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I was a liberal arts (ECON) major at a very expensive, highly ranked, private college. I graduated with honors and I can honestly say it isn't worth it. I probably learned the most in my public speaking class out of the entire curriculum.
It is quite obvious that in your case it wasn't worth it. But, in your case $1.14 in Green Stamps wouldn't have been worth it either.
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Old 08-10-2013, 07:09 AM   #38
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Gotcha, you are just a poser in airwalks who don't know sh!t about real world engineering.
Lol stealing other peoples lines? Witless.

I find it hilarious how you never "say" things but try to slip credential lies by people "oh I was a liberal arts major and now I'm an engineer!". We all know that the purpose of that statement was to confer to the reader that you were an actual ME/EE/CE type engineer. A real engineer. This is no different than you putting ESQ after your handle then constantly talking about the law and case law like you're a lawyer (yes, we all know the original use for ESQ...that isn't why you used it). Talk about a poser!

smh at you, pathetic
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:06 AM   #39
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The whole business of politics has been effectively subcontracted out to a band of professionals. Money people, outreach people, message people, research people. The rest of us are meant to feel like amateurs. In the sense of suckers. We become demotivated to learn more about how things work. We begin to opt out.
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Old 08-10-2013, 08:47 AM   #40
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Lol stealing other peoples lines? Witless.

I find it hilarious how you never "say" things but try to slip credential lies by people "oh I was a liberal arts major and now I'm an engineer!". We all know that the purpose of that statement was to confer to the reader that you were an actual ME/EE/CE type engineer. A real engineer. This is no different than you putting ESQ after your handle then constantly talking about the law and case law like you're a lawyer (yes, we all know the original use for ESQ...that isn't why you used it). Talk about a poser!

smh at you, pathetic
I think I recall from an earlier post in another thread of his that the ESQ after his screen name has nothing to do with being a lawyer or matters of law. Esquire, as it pertains to being a lawyer, is a more modern interpretation and use of the term.

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