It is worth noting that in the influential study Academically Adrift, Richard Arum and Josipa Roska show that humanities and social science majors learn the most in college. According to LeBar, the Educational Testing Service, which runs some of the best known standardized tests in the nation, has data showing, “liberal arts students score significantly higher than any other field in both the verbal and analytical writing sections of the GRE [the entrance exam for most graduate programs], and philosophy students outperform accounting students in the quantitative section.”
Also, as reported by Carolyn Gregoire, according to the Association of American Colleges and Universities “humanities and social science majors earn a similar amount as pre-professional majors do over a lifetime.” Gregoeire notes that David Rubenstein, co-founder of the Carlyle Group, recently said that “career-specific skills can often be learned on the job -- whereas critical thinking and problem-solving skills are invaluable benefits of a humanities education -- as demonstrated by the many Wall Street executives who studied humanities in college.”
So why do we consistently push our “best and brightest” into STEM subjects and focus financial resources in this direction? One cannot deny the value of mathematics, for example, which concerns about half of what our brains do. But an overemphasis on what are deemed more “practical” subjects has distracted us from cultivating the whole human person, and our economy may pay the price.The whole column is worth reading.