A Reply

A bunch of rambling… who knows what it really amounted to. Decided to post it for sheer archival fun:

A reply to those who bash the humanities and social sciences as being worthless degrees:

The problem with this post is that it was probably written by someone who was told what to be and how to think the vast majority of their life. These kind of sentiments reveal a serious ignorance.

This post would have been better titled: 10 Degrees That Are Not In High Demand. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t valuable or fulfilling. What degrees are in demand? Ones that emphasize the development of quantitative skills. Why? Because these people know how to give the right answers. But who’s asking the questions? The innovators, the leaders. A well trained man, like a well trained dog, can give the right answer. But only a well educated man can identify and ask the right questions.

This type of thinking is cultivated by studying the humanities and social sciences, and taking courses such as philosophy, history, english, and psychology, to name a few. Each of these areas of study play a vital role in teaching us about the genesis and nature of the human condition. So long as there are humans asking questions and giving answers, I think it is of the utmost importance to study these humans, to uncover their motives, how they work, why they work. This is where real understanding and wisdom lies.

The world is not perfectly rational. On the contrary, it is irrational, just like man. Understanding the human condition, his passions and emotional impulses, will provide answers to the questions that rational thinking has yet to solve.

I am an Economics and Philosophy major. Every major discipline of science can be attributed to philosophy. When you get a PhD, you receive a Doctorate of Philosophy in a given concentration signifying that you have successfully pursued that field of knowledge to its outermost bounds. Philosophy demands the utmost intellect, the most rigorous exercise of acumen. Why do I believe that my philosophy degree is more precious than my economics degree and the quantitative skills that accompany it? Because I would be a mindless zombie without it, a slave to a system that I couldn’t see beyond, and wouldn’t think to escape.

To conclude this brief rant, I want to point out that many of the listed majors provide real indirect value to their degree holder.

In a survey given to over 1000 employers, the following job skills of an applicant were listed from most to least importance:

Communication skills 4.6,
Strong work ethic 4.6,
Teamwork skills 4.5,
Initiative 4.4,
Interpersonal skills 4.4,
Problem-solving skills 4.4,
Analytical skills 4.3
Flexibility/adaptability 4.2
Computer skills 4.1
Technical skills 4.1
Detail-oriented 4.0
Organizational skills 4.0

The majority of these skills have nothing to do with a degree and are mostly innate traits, but the ones that do are cultivated by many of the majors you listed as being worthless.

The ability to articulate ideas clearly and concisely, both in spoken and written word, is typically the highest prized skill. What degrees foster these skills? Any degree that requires a significant amount of reading and writing.

I realize this post was created for the effect of humor, and I’m fine with that, but I couldn’t let this kind of garbage pawn itself off as being even slightly legitimate.

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