The Instigator
kenem7
Pro (for)
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The Contender
The-rationalizer
Con (against)
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Is a liberal arts education and degree valuable?

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 11/18/2014 Category: Education
Updated: 2 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 1,123 times Debate No: 65390
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (1)
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kenem7

Pro

As a student who is in the process of going to school for liberal arts degree I can see the challenges that will come with finding a job, but I also see the benefits as well. I agree that there is a shortage or slim pickings of jobs to go along with my degree, but I agree with Mary Godwyn, who believes that combining liberal arts curriculum and classes with more popular degrees would make them useful. When combined with other areas of studies that may seem more relevant in today"s economy a liberal arts degree can be very beneficial. The degrees create a diverse learning environment and bring together subjects that may support and assist each other. Personally, I would be happy with my liberal arts degree and would not want to combine with anything else, and this is where the skills gap comes into the debate. I look at the business and science programs at my school and I notice the many opportunities that those students may have to go and explore in their field in order to get them started on their career path while they are at school. Being a history major I don"t see as many opportunities to go study at museum or excavate a historical site like a business student may have the opportunity to go visit Google campus or intern for a prestigious cooperate business.
The-rationalizer

Con

As somebody who has a degree in English, and pursuing a Masters in Accounting; I think a liberal arts degree is intrinsically useful. The liberal arts has almost an unlimited depth of intellectual avenues to explore. For intellectuals, liberal arts is a trap. Yes, I said it is a trap! The only time anybody ever cared about my English degree is when they needed a paper proofread. Other than that people could care less about what I knew or thought of Joyce or Shakespeare. They had more use for my linguistic skill than my knowledge. I spent 5 years enhancing my literary knowledge, and 2 classes enhancing my grammar skills. Thus, I spent 5 years enhancing something only I can enjoy, and 2 classes developing a skill that helps other.

From a selfish perspective, I love my English degree, but it hasn't put any bread on my table. Thus, nobody is willing to pay me for the skills I gained as a liberal arts major. Thus, my liberal arts major isn't viewed as useful in the real world. From an utilitarian perspective, my degree is only valuable if other people see it as valuable.

This is economics 101! If you think you have something valuable that nobody else views as valuable, you are the equivalent of a mad-man who believes he has the key to the imaginary golden city! I could expound on how "enlightened" I am after reading the genius' of the literary world, but what use is that to you? Seriously, how much would you give me to explain the feminist views hidden in Shakespeare? Would you give me the food off your plate to have me explain to you the complex linguistic phenomena of the English language? Probably not, because you have to decide what you will do with this information if you were to pay me. If you aren't in an English class and need to pay for food over "enlightenment," you will most likely choose food. Thus, the farmer is more important than the English major.

I know I'm limiting my argument to monetary figures, but how else do you measure an education that's paid for by a monetary figure? Seriously, it's kind of selfish to pay something that benefit's nobody but you. You might as well take all that money and pay for a soup kitchen, or start a business that will create jobs for others. Spending thousands on liberal arts is the sign of conspicuous consumerism. It's money spent on something that can't be shared by the community around you.

Now as I mentioned, I'm getting a graduate degree in Accounting. With that information I can make sure my poor friends get proper tax refunds, or I can help one of my more ambitious friends manage his/her business. Accounting is boring compared to the liberal arts, but people are willing to pay for that skill. I haven't even graduated, and I already have a nice job lined up for myself.

I will argue though, a farmer is still more important than an English major or an Accountant.
Debate Round No. 1
kenem7

Pro

kenem7 forfeited this round.
The-rationalizer

Con

The-rationalizer forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 2
kenem7

Pro

kenem7 forfeited this round.
The-rationalizer

Con

The-rationalizer forfeited this round.
Debate Round No. 3
1 comment has been posted on this debate.
Posted by Harold_Lloyd 2 years ago
Harold_Lloyd
The goal of a liberal arts major is not to know everything, but to be able to ask intelligent questions.

The goal of a liberal arts major should be the ability to think well and to be able to draw on other disciplines for solutions to problems.

CREATIVE PROBLEM SOLVING is a form of deliberate creativity: a structured process for solving problems or finding opportunities, used when you want to go beyond conventional thinking and arrive at creative (novel and useful) solutions.

http://www.creativeeducationfoundation.org...

http://en.wikipedia.org...

http://creativeproblemsolving.com...
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