Dear Commons Community,
Fareed Zakaria, at an interview for his book, In Defense of a Liberal Education, commented that a liberal arts education is the best preparation for most careers. The CNN host stated:
“The future of a country like the U.S. rests on our ability to master how technology interacts with how humans live, work and play,” Zakaria said to The WorldPost. “And that depends on skills fostered by the liberal arts, such as creativity, aesthetic sensibility and social, political and psychological insight.”
Because of tough economic times, the rising cost of higher education and an increasingly competitive job market, too many Americans — and American politicians — are turning away from the liberal arts under a false perception that they are a poor career option, Zakaria says.
In his new book, Zakaria writes that America’s success was built on a liberal arts education — on multidisciplinary study for the sake of learning rather than vocational study for the sake of a set career path. Liberal arts subjects — such as English, philosophy and political science — teach people how to think, write and communicate; those skills remain useful through the many twists and turns of a career in today’s ever-changing digital economy, he argues. And, he says, it is dangerous to overemphasize STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education as separate from or more important than the liberal arts.
Zakaria’s sage advice is timely as a number of policymakers promote career training in our colleges and universities.