The Instigator
YoungBrain
Pro (for)
Winning
11 Points
The Contender
wmpeebles
Con (against)
Losing
3 Points

Science and Math Degrees Should be Respected More Than Liberal Arts Degrees

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Post Voting Period
The voting period for this debate has ended.
after 4 votes the winner is...
YoungBrain
Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/17/2012 Category: Education
Updated: 5 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 6,330 times Debate No: 20456
Debate Rounds (4)
Comments (8)
Votes (4)

 

YoungBrain

Pro

Science and math degrees should earn a person more respect than a liberal arts degree. This is only referring to 4 year undergraduate degrees.

1st round acceptance
wmpeebles

Con

I accept this debate. This is quite an interesting topic and I am looking forward to seeing what you have to say. :)
Debate Round No. 1
YoungBrain

Pro

I am arguing that math and science degrees should be respected more than liberal arts degrees.

Math and science degrees are more useful in today's world. We live in an era of technology. Subjects such as philosophy or english are not respected anymore if a country wants to be competitive with the rest of the world. That is why liberal arts majors have some of the highest unemployment rates.

Math and science majors have to know basic psychology, they have to know how to read and write, and they have to be able to think critically. The advantage of a math or science major is that they have the added knowledge of math or science along with the liberal arts stuff. Math and science is important for engineering, medicine, finance, and other fields. Very few liberal arts degrees are as useful and there are limited career options. For example, an english degree is good if you want to be some sort of writer or an english teacher, but otherwise it is useless. Philosophy is basically just a degree in thinking. Everyone should be able to think. You do not need a degree for it.

Math and science degrees also earn more respect because they are harder to get. Math and science classes require more intelligence, more focus, more studying, and more effort. Math and science requires you to memorize information and apply it to a problem.

I look forward to seeing what you have to say as well. =)
wmpeebles

Con

Math and Science degrees should not be respected more than liberal arts degrees.

I will go straight to rebuttals this round:
"Math and science degrees are more useful in today's world"
False. When we define the word use, "the act or practice of employing something", we look at numbers of degrees that are actually put to use in the world. When we look at the 15 most popular jobs in the United States, only two of them require a degree in math or Science as shown [1].
1. Total employment: 4,209,500. Retail Salespeople.
2. Total employment: 3,439,380. Cashiers.
3. Total employment: 2,815,240. Office clerks.
4. Total employment: 2,695,740. Combined Food Preparation And Service Workers.
5. Total employment: 2,583,770. Registered Nurses. Science degree
6. Total employment: 2,302,070. Waiters And Waitresses.
7. Total employment: 2,195,860. Customer Service Representatives.
8. Total employment: 2,135,790. Material Movers.
9. Total employment: 2,090,400. Janitor.
10. Total employment: 1,864,410. Stock clerks And Order Fillers.
11. Total employment: 1,797,670. Secretaries.
12. Total employment: 1,757,870. Bookkeeping, Accounting and Auditing Clerks. Math degree
13. Total employment: 1,689,680. General Managers.
14. Total employment: 1,550,930. Tractor-trailer Truck Drivers.
15. Total employment: 1,544,300. Elementary School Teachers.
- Out of a total of 34,672,610 jobs listed above, only 4,341,640 of them require skills made available by math or science degrees. This only amounts to only 12 % of the top 15 jobs by employment that actually require degrees in either math or science. Math or Science degrees aren't very useful.

"Subjects such as philosophy or english are not respected anymore if a country wants to be competitive with the rest of the world."
How so? "Philosophy is the study of general and fundamental problems, such as those connected with existence, knowledge, values, reason, mind, and language" [2]. If the country wants to be competitive in the world, the country needs to know the issues and problems of other countries, have knowledge of technological efforts going on in other countries, and use reason to determine a course of action. Philosophy is a very important subject in regards to the United States becoming more competitive.

In regards to English, I'm not sure if you accidentally meant language arts, but becoming proficient in the English language is a valuable asset that aids in communication. If you can't communicate, you can't do anything. English is valuable subject in becoming more competitive with the rest of the world because proficiency in the language allows information to flow much more effectively.

"The advantage of a math or science major is that they have the added knowledge of math or science along with the liberal arts stuff."
The notion that a math or science major has an advantage because it includes knowledge of math or science is a fallacy. If a majority of jobs in the United States don't require math or science, nobody is going to hire someone over someone else on the basis that they have a science or math degree. Employers are only looking for people who have the skills that are required for the positions they are hiring for [3]. If math or science isn't required, a person with a liberal arts major has a major advantage over someone who has a math or science major simply because "liberal arts majors have skills that are in demand" [3].

"Very few liberal arts degrees are as useful and there are limited career options"
This is actually contrary to what you believe. Liberal arts degrees provide many diverse skills that would not be provided in a math or science degree. If you get a degree in math or science, you are strictly limited to a job with math or science prerequisites because your math or science skills would be useless in a job that doesn't require them. Liberal arts degrees have skills that can be used in practically every profession because every job requires someone who can think and communicate [3].

"Math and science degrees also earn more respect because they are harder to get."
I fail to see the proof in this statement. An employer is not going to hire someone based on their degree, they hire people based on their skills [3].

Sources:
[1] http://www.huffingtonpost.com...
[2] http://en.wikipedia.org...
[3] http://www.bls.gov...
Debate Round No. 2
YoungBrain

Pro

The majority of the 15 most popular jobs do not require any sort of degree so that is irrelevant. The education requirement for these jobs are as follows [1]:
Retail salespeople : high school diploma
Cashiers : None, on the job training
Office clerk : high school diploma
Combined food preparation and service workers : high school diploma
Registered nurses : science degrees
Waiters and waitresses : high school diploma
Customer service representatives : high school diploma
Material movers : none, on the job training
Janitors : none, on the job training
Stock clerks and order filers : High school diploma
Secretaries : High school diplomas, some hold associates degree
Bookkeeping, accounting and auditing clerks : math degree
General managers : Bachelors degree
Tractor-trailer truck drivers : training
Elementary school teachers : Bachelors degree

Only 4 jobs require a degree beyond high school. Of those jobs, 4,341,640 require a math or science degree; 3,233,980 would require a liberal arts degree. Therefore, math and science degrees are more useful than liberal arts degrees. A person's biochemistry degree should be more respected than another person's performing arts degree because the biochemistry is more beneficial to society than performing arts. Biochemistry is useful in healthcare, war, and developing technology. Performing arts and many other liberal arts majors are only useful for their particular subject.

If a country needs to be competitive in the world it needs to have a strong economy and good education. The STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) workforce "accounts for more than fifty percent of the United States' sustained economic growth"[2]. Philosophy is not important for the US to be competitive. You state that "If the country wants to be competitive in the world, the country needs to know the issues and problems of other countries, have knowledge of technological efforts going on in other countries, and use reason to determine a course of action." The basic communication skills that you have to learn in order to get a math or science degree are sufficient to understand what is going on in other countries. English is a major offered by many colleges but in order to get any sort of bachelors degree you have to take at least two English skills. This provides more than enough proficiency to communicate.

A math or science major does have an advantage over liberal arts majors because they already have to know the basics of liberal arts degrees. They may not have an extensive knowledge of philosophy or English but they could do many of the same jobs as liberal arts majors while liberal arts majors cannot do the same jobs as math and science majors.
Science and math degrees can think and communicate. Anybody with a degree should be able to think and communicate. Liberal arts degrees have higher rates of unemployment than math and science degrees. If they were useful in a variety of careers, liberal arts majors would not have such high unemployment rates. The five highest unemployment rates for majors are [3] :
13.9% architecture
11.1% arts
9.4% humanities and liberal arts
8.9 % social science
8.1% law and public policy

Math and science degrees should earn more respect because they are harder to get. For example, biochemistry, a science degree, would require hours of studying. It would also require that student to have knowledge of biology, chemistry, and math. Also, that student would have to be able to think critically, analyze, problem solve, and write. English, a liberal arts major, would require students to be able to read, analyze, and write. Liberal arts is less rigorous than math and science. That is why college students who are focused on having fun usually choose liberal arts majors. The majority of intelligent and focused college student choose math and science majors.

[1] http://jobs.aol.com...
[2] http://www.doleta.gov...
[3] http://www.economicmodeling.com...
wmpeebles

Con

"The majority of the 15 most popular jobs do not require any sort of degree so that is irrelevant"
This is another fallacy. You do not understand what the word "useful" means. I will make this word available for people to see:
Useful: being of use or service; serving some purpose; advantageous, helpful [1].

Usefulness does not refer to whether or not a degree is required for a job or not. Usefulness refers to something that gives an advantage, is helpful, or otherwise serves some purpose. Of the 15 most popular jobs in America, Liberal Arts degrees would be more useful because the skills and values gained in attaining the degree would have positive effects on applying for more kinds of jobs than a math or science degree could ever provide for. You use reasoning everywhere you go as it is an integral part of critical thinking and decision making. A math or science degree would only be useful to the professions and careers that use those kinds of skills, since those skills are specialized.

"Performing arts and many other liberal arts majors are only useful for their particular subject."
The same could be said for chemical engineering degrees, marine biology degrees, and many other math & science degrees, since knowing things like organic nomenclature are specific to only chemistry. When are you ever going to use 18-bromo-12-butyl-11-chloro-4,8-diethyl-5-hydroxy-15-methoxytricos-6,13-diene-19-yne-3,9-dione in any other field than chemistry? Liberal arts provides people skills that math and science degrees don't provide [2]. It is also said that people skills come from a well rounded education that "makes you a more interesting person" [2].

"The majority of intelligent and focused college student choose math and science majors."
Prove it. You made the statement, you have the burden of proof.

In Summary:
- Liberal arts degrees are more useful than Math and Science degrees. Employers are looking for skills that can benefit them. A graduate with a well rounded liberal arts education would have more skills when applying for many jobs that science and math degrees don't provide for.
- People with liberal arts degrees are usually better thinkers and communicators due to a more well rounded education. Even though science and math degrees require basic English and communication, they lack a more well rounded education, specializing in only one or two areas of science and math. Many more companies would respect more people who have communication skills than people who have skills in naming organic compounds since chemistry is a specific industry.

In terms of respect of degrees, my opponent has failed to explain why science and math degrees should be more respected than liberal arts degrees. He gives advantages of math and science degrees, but does not explain why they should be more respected.

Sources:
[1] http://dictionary.reference.com...
[2] http://www.fastweb.com...
[3] http://www.bmartin.cc...
[4] http://en.wikipedia.org...
Debate Round No. 3
YoungBrain

Pro

"Of the 15 most popular jobs in America, Liberal Arts degrees would be more useful because the skills and values gained in attaining the degree would have positive effects on applying for more kinds of jobs than a math or science degree could ever provide for."

If liberal arts degrees were useful for the jobs, then the jobs would require employees to have a liberal arts degree. Most of the jobs only require the basic skills learned from high school. Therefore, neither degree is more useful for those jobs. But out of the jobs on that list that do require education beyond high school, more require science and math degrees. This is because not many jobs require more than basic communication skills. Also, because math and science degrees require reasoning, thinking, and decision making just like liberal arts degrees. Liberal arts degrees do not have math and science knowledge like math and science majors though.

"The same could be said for chemical engineering degrees, marine biology degrees, and many other math & science degrees, since knowing things like organic nomenclature are specific to only chemistry. When are you ever going to use 18-bromo-12-butyl-11-chloro-4,8-diethyl-5-hydroxy-15-methoxytricos-6,13-diene-19-yne-3,9-dione in any other field than chemistry? Liberal arts provides people skills that math and science degrees don't provide."

The skills may only be specific to chemistry, but chemistry and other sciences are more useful than most liberal arts subjects. I listed some of the uses for math and chemistry in round 3 of the argument. Liberal arts subjects do not have as many important uses in society. If a disaster were to happen would you want to be left with math and science majors who could be doctors, engineers, zoologists, astronomers, pharmacists, and other professions that would aid in survival, or liberal arts majors who could be writers, historians, experts on gender, actors, musicians, and other profession that are good to have but cannot aid in survival?

Math and science majors are more intelligent than liberal arts majors. This is shown by the results of multiple experiments. One such experiment is "Project Talent". "Project Talent" tested the verbal, spatial, and math ability of people with advanced degrees. They averaged these scores together to determine general ability. The top 4 were math and sciences[1].
1. Engineering
2. Physical Science
3. Math/Computer Science
4. Biological Science
5. Humanities
6. Social Science
7. Arts
8. Business
9. Education

Math and science degrees should be respected more than liberal arts degrees for the following reasons:
1. They are more useful which is why they have a lower unemployment rate than liberal arts majors as shown in round 3.
2. Their uses are more beneficial to society and more necessary than the uses of liberal arts majors.
3. Math and science majors have the level of communication needed to perform most jobs. They also have the same level of critical thinking, reasoning, and decision making skills as liberal arts majors.
4. In-depth knowledge of liberal arts subjects does not have a lot of uses.
5. Math and science majors are more beneficial to the economy and global competitiveness as shown in round 3.
6. Math and science degrees are harder to get than liberal arts degrees.
7. On average, math and science majors are smarter than liberal arts majors.

[1] http://www.psychologytoday.com...
wmpeebles

Con

I have no further arguments. Vote Con.
Debate Round No. 4
8 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 8 records.
Posted by Raisor 5 years ago
Raisor
yep, chemical engineering is in the liberal arts and sciences college at my school instead of engineering. As is chemistry, mathematics, and physics I believe.
Posted by wmpeebles 5 years ago
wmpeebles
THEBOMB, I was thinking about bringing up the fact that modern liberal arts include math and science. I was having trouble figuring out how to implement it though and how it would be relevant. Nevertheless, if I had to do this debate again, I would probably have done better. I made a key mistake by eliminating my closing arguments and there were too many things I left out of my other arguments this time. I do thank YoungBrain for a challenging debate, as it made me think critically about things. This will help me toward my other debates.
Posted by THEBOMB 5 years ago
THEBOMB
It also would've been funny if you brought up the fact you can get a liberal arts degree in mathematics or science.
Posted by Raisor 5 years ago
Raisor
I always think its unfair that architectural students dont get the same respect STEM fields get. Good architecture programs often require you to take at least basic courses on material science and structural design, plus a lot of their work is still very difficult and requires skill and practice to master. They also spend ungodly hours working studio design.

Of course, once you actually become a real architect then you often get way more respect than STEM fields. So maybe it all balances out (provided youre one of the lucky ones actually able to get a job as an architect).
Posted by wmpeebles 5 years ago
wmpeebles
THEBOMB, it was something I was considering and now wish I had looked further into. I have not had a debate in over a year so I was a bit rusty on my tactics. Thank you for the constructive criticism.
Posted by THEBOMB 5 years ago
THEBOMB
I'm surprised Con did not bring up something like Economics (which is a social science) or Political Science which is important for leaders. Or business degrees which is important for well businesses to run. Or even the fact that all of Presidents of the United States (and most other countries) have some form of a liberal arts degree.
Posted by wmpeebles 5 years ago
wmpeebles
Yes this was a very enjoyable debate. Thank you for being respectful as well. I hope to have another debate with you in the future. :)
Posted by YoungBrain 5 years ago
YoungBrain
Thank you for a challenging and respectful debate.
4 votes have been placed for this debate. Showing 1 through 4 records.
Vote Placed by 16kadams 5 years ago
16kadams
YoungBrainwmpeeblesTied
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Total points awarded:03 
Reasons for voting decision: Counter hardcore he didn't give up. Just didn't feel like using his last word advantage. Just ignore my other votes...
Vote Placed by Hardcore.Pwnography 5 years ago
Hardcore.Pwnography
YoungBrainwmpeeblesTied
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Total points awarded:30 
Reasons for voting decision: Con gave up at end.
Vote Placed by debateme 5 years ago
debateme
YoungBrainwmpeeblesTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Equal s/g and sources. Con basically gives up at the end, so loses the conduct point. Pro also refuted Con's main argument by showing that many of the jobs he listed didn't require any degree at all.
Vote Placed by THEBOMB 5 years ago
THEBOMB
YoungBrainwmpeeblesTied
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Total points awarded:40 
Reasons for voting decision: Conduct--pro. Con basically gave up at the end. Con should've at least summed up the points made in the debate. Arguments--Pro made better arguments and upheld their beliefs on the matter. They also, rebutted Con's main arguments with the list of 15 jobs (you don't need a degree for most of them)