AirTalk for June 25, 2013

How relevant is a liberal arts degree?

Mercer 9999

Patricia Nazario/KPCC

How valuable is a degree in the humanities today?

A liberal arts education used to be the cornerstone of universities but an increasing push towards engineering, business and science degrees is putting the classic liberal arts degree in jeopardy. Low enrollment in the humanities, even in institutions like Harvard, is causing concern that too many students are abandoning liberal arts. A new report presented on Capitol Hill last week by the Commission on the Humanities & Social Sciences last week has called for a new national corps of "master teachers" trained in humanities and social sciences and increased support for liberal arts degrees.

Are degrees such as political science, English and humanities still relevant to today's workforce? Do fields including law, business and medicine benefit from having students with liberal arts backgrounds? Should the White House be pushing investment into science degrees and leaving the liberal arts behind?

Guests:
James Cuno, President and CEO of J. Paul Getty Trust. And a member of the Commission on the Humanities & Social Sciences, which prepared the report.

Richard Vedder, the director of the Center for College Affordability and Productivity and Professor of Economics at Ohio University

 


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