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Don't Confuse Choosing a Major with Launching a Career

“I am constantly saddened to see bright college students and their parents confuse choosing a major with launching a career, taking, say, business over their passion in English or philosophy solely because they can look on and see job posts for one and not the other” writes Richard Greenwald, Dean of St. John’s College in New York in a Huffington Post blog.  He does not lament that students are thinking about how their investment in college will enable them to achieve their professional goals.  Rather, he challenges humanities faculty to do a better job of connecting what they do to challenges students will face after college. 

He proposes several things humanities departments should do.  “Rather than see this as a liberal arts vs. (pre)professions, we need to see it from a student's perspective and look for the connections. Second, let's stop measuring ourselves by the number of majors in our departments and start instead looking at us the way students do. Our students require layers of skills and acquired knowledge and search it out regardless of department. Third, let's partner with neighboring disciplines and professional areas to provide a total education for students regardless of their declared major.”

He concludes that “We [owe it to ] our students and society to provide the best, engaged education we can, one that broadens their minds and provides employable skills because both are desirable.”

Read the full post here.

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