Who says the liberal arts are a waste of time? [Letter]

June 20, 2014

As a recent high school graduate headed for the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the fall, I read with great interest commentator Peter Morici's column on the futility of majoring in certain subjects ("We share the blame for college student woes," June 16).

I can't tell you how many people like Mr. Morici have told me that studying journalism, social work or international relations is a waste because I won't be able to find a well-paying job upon graduation.

Yet a study performed by the American Association of Universities found that students who major in the liberal arts have a comparable economic outlook to students who major in STEM fields.

Moreover, who is to say that engineering or computer science, the majors du jour, will not lead to a saturation of the job market, much as the dot-com boom led to an overabundance of young business majors?

I would rather have a nation of young people who can read and write intelligently, who have an understanding of global affairs in the context of historical and cultural trends and who are generally deeper, more interesting people, than those who majored in STEM fields despite having little interest in the material itself but merely because of the money and job prospects they offered.

Andrew Bahl, Towson

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