Stop Hating On Liberal Arts Majors

As a senior in college, I’m scared to graduate. I’m terrified of turning my tassel because it’ll mean I’m leaving a world of overly caffeinated morning classes, Greek life costume parties and, apparently, the opportunity to play competitive Quidditch. And like most of my generation, I might possibly find myself (not) contributing to the nation’s economy by suddenly joining the unemployment rate.

If that were to happen, then I would take responsibility for it. I would acknowledge that it was my fault for wanting to be at the top of the beer pong tournament bracket instead of at the head of my class curve, and for being too anxious/lazy/[insert excuse here] to apply for graduate school programs. My socioeconomic failure would not be simply boiled down to the fact that I didn’t major in some form of engineering.

But Dori Jones Yang over at The Huffington Post disagrees. According to her, studying anything that does not directly lead to a future career in technology will “speed up our own decline as a society.” These supposedly impractical majors include literature, theater, art, politics, creative writing, psychology, English—fields of study that Yang categorizes as “all the fun stuff.” Apparently, we liberal arts kids live in a “dream world” that is lit by Hollywood stars and concert spotlights, and we inevitably aspire for contentment after graduation on Mom and Dad’s couch. We drop our calculus classes when they start to get difficult because we don’t like a challenge. Because we can’t handle it.

Well, Yang, I’m not sure what the history program was like at Princeton in your day, but the typical college environment has evolved just a little bit over the past few decades. With more high school graduates and less funding for education (from both state governments and anyone’s personal paycheck) than ever before, grabbing a seat at a university is a rat race in itself. Yet even then, undergraduate degrees in any field can no longer score a job alone these days and must be perfectly paired with impressive work experience, noted networking skills and, majority of the time, a second degree—psychologists and engineers alike!

But let’s imagine—no, dream—that every impressionable set of eyes that scans through Yang’s article then makes the personal commitment to convince their (future) kids to join the already cut-throat field of technology. The mathematical probability of finding a job, let alone a high-paying job like that of Yang’s daughter, will most likely drop due to higher amount of prospective candidates for a certain amount of jobs; though students may be educated “to innovate in a high-tech world,” it’s somewhat difficult to statistically stimulate the economy while still finding themselves unemployed. But it’s not as if they’d even reach college in this new dream world anyway, since there’d be such a shortage of teachers, novelists, artists, musicians, and journalists that the elementary school system wouldn’t be able to provide enough primary lesson plans or extracurricular activities to churn out well-rounded students fit for any kind of secondary education. No ecosystem works if every member aims to serve the same function—didn’t we all learn that back in biology class?

Honestly, explaining our non-engineering major is hard enough to just our friends and family—more like to family friends and snobby strangers—but the last thing we supposedly useless liberal arts majors need is someone hiding behind their computer screen to shout that our hard work, creativity and tuition dollars are of no value in this new world. Especially when such a person majored in history and turned out just fine. Come on!

To my fellow non-technical majors: when digesting the wise words of TIME Magazine’s Fareed Zakaria on restoring the American dream economy and employment rate, realize that you too play an important role in our nation’s society. David Letterman makes us laugh with a degree in radio & TV broadcasting, and James Cameron makes us cry after majoring in English. President Ronald Reagan studied sociology, President John F. Kennedy majored in history and President Barack Obama graduated with a degree in political science. These job titles may not be spearheading the forefront of technology, but the paychecks they provide still need to be written out to somebody. And it’s okay if your career path doesn’t perfectly align with what’s printed on a diploma—Steve Wynn has redesigned the Las Vegas skyline with dancing fountains and explosive volcanoes since studying English in college. Besides, who is to say that a few engineers won’t have a career change somewhere down the line as well? Oh, so you didn’t actually dream of working toward that retirement plan in a technical field?

With academic achievement, industry experience and the often undervalued yet extremely necessary attribute that is social skills, you will forge forward on your own path, no matter what your major is. However, if you find yourself having to move back home and work at a restaurant for a while, or leave everything behind and travel passionately around the world, keep your head up high. Because I’m sure those successful types like Yang don’t criticize anyone’s professional choices while being served delicious dinners at their favorite Seattle eateries.

Continue to work hard. Drink that Red Bull and study for one more hour, keep sending out resumés like it’s candy on Halloween, and push past that first awkward conversation with the professor who will end up writing your strongest letter of recommendation. Just don’t forget to relax every once in a while on that rough, lonely, yellow brick road towards your commendable dreams.

And for the record, I passed calculus. With flying colors.



  1. Ashanti says:


  2. Ashley says:


  3. Anna says:

    Just wondering what you expect to DO with your history major…

  4. Anna says:

    I mean, okay, you've named a very small and outstanding group of people who have succeeded desppite their majors, but the vast majority of liberal arts majors will end up teaching or pursuing something completely unrelated to the thing they spent thousands of dollars studying. What's the point? And Yes, teaching is admirable, if that's your goal, but if it's your fallback, that's pretty lame for a mjaor.

    1. yuppp says:

      I studied theatre and work HR now and there was a HUGE point in studying it. First, the fact that I had a Bachelors Degree at all landed me my entry level job. Secondly, I learned a lot about how to present myself as a professional, dedication and work ethic (I was in plays), I learned about psychology of myself and others (necessary for understanding characters, relationships, nuances within scripts, how to fully shed myself while preparing for a character – really delving into and understanding your own psyche is necessary here), I learned Many public speaking skills (great training for management!), audition skills (great for interviews!), I learned the simple joy of therapy through art (it's not always about talking or journaling about your feelings – expressing them through dance, a monologue matching your emotions, song, etc. are sometimes just not if more effective) which has been fantastic for stress management. And I learned this all while doing something interactive that I love instead of shoving my head into textbooks, so I think I got more out of it all.

    2. yuppp says:

      Oops, meant to add above, learning your own psychology and that of others is terrific for catching yourself in self defeating patterns and empathazing with and knowing how to communicate with others. I've quickly moved into a management position thanks to these skills. There are many ways to gain skills, might as well learn them the fun way! I remember as a little girl getting way more out of my historical fiction books then history textbooks for example..

    3. Carina says:

      If you believe that, you probably don't know any liberal arts majors.
      And if you do, they probably spent all of their years in college getting drunk at frat parties and that's why they don't have the job they wanted.

    4. Cassie says:

      Succeeded "despite" their majors? How condescending.

      (By the way, despite only has the one P. Guess liberal arts majors are still good for something…)

  5. Emily says:

    Thanks, I get sick of dumb ass people trying to turn our society into tech geeks with no social skills. Heaven forbid we teach children to have individual thoughts. Those never got us very far anyway, right?

    1. Ryan says:

      You mean the "dumb ass people" who created space ships, the Internet, your Iphone, your car, your supermarket, and everything else tangible in your life?

      Technical people have lots of individual thoughts. They're just about tangible things rather than ideas or emotions.

      I'm a technical person, and I love having friends with LA degrees. While I'm off working on things to improve the tangible side of, they're busy working on things to let me enjoy mine when I'm not working.

  6. alexandra says:

    Solid article. I am about to graduate with a degree in writing, and everyone constantly runs their mouth to me about how I will not get a job. What everyone fails to understand is that you do not have to get a job that is EXACTLY your major. I plan to pursue a career in advertising. You think no one writes that shit? People like me do. History majors don't have to graduate and become historians or teachers—I know someone with a history major that works for a clothing design company researching and working with patterns, colors, etc. My sister has an art degree and she works for the highway commission designing walls and bridges. All of the arts are everywhere, just like all of the technical majors.

  7. emily says:

    thank you!! :)

  8. Maggie says:

    Thanks for the great article! For all of you Debbie Downers who are hating on it, please take your bitching elsewhere.

  9. Dirk Diggler says:

    Classics monkey here. LA majors are useless… it's fact. You really think Regan's undergrad in sociology had even a slight impact on the decisions he made during his presidency? You think a history major turned fashion mogul designs collections inspired by 18th century British colonialism? At least with a technical degree you have the option to both pursue that lucrative engineering job or chase some other dream occupation. I'm glad I chose to study what I did, but seriously, LA degrees are the joke of academia with good reason.

    1. kris says:

      Dirk, people like you SUCK. you monkey.

  10. Karen says:

    Exactly! I'm a psych major and the general response by my relatives tends to be "…so you don't plan on making money?" It seems like so many people can't understand why anyone would do something that might not land you a high-paying job right after graduation. God forbid you have a different goal for your life…

    Anyway, when the techies burn out they'll be coming to me for therapy, so it all comes around. :)

  11. Kate says:

    Try explaining why you switched out of engineering to get a degree in physics. They all assume, it's just applied physics, so you should stay there and make more money. Most of my family thinks I'm crazy for being a girl that wants to do theoretical physics….

    1. Steph says:

      theoretical physics is so awesome!!!

  12. Emily says:

    THANK YOU for this article! As a sophomore Secondary English Education major, I've been getting consistently more nervous that there won't be any teaching jobs out there when I graduate. However, I keep reminding myself that teaching has been my dream since I was five, and I shouldn't let go of that now. Even so, it's difficult to look past all the taunting. Most recently, I read something to the effect of "Yes, I was a liberal arts major. Would you like fries with that?" It's painful to read, but I'm staying strong!

  13. Elizabeth says:

    I'm a Website Development/Digital Imaging major and COMPLETELY agree with you. However, some of the comments express negative comments towards tech majors and stereotypes us as being socially inept, which isn't true.

    I've been making art (painting) with 11 years, and it plays a HUGE role in digital design because you have to be creative…and well…artists are creative.

    Psychology is EXTREMELY useful, so I don't know what Yang was smoking, but it's obvious that she is totally wrong in her thinking.

    1. Francis Reed says:

      FINALLY, after all of the people showing poverty and unempleyment as a way to lower LA majors and glorify ANY other carrer (STEM majors), and the LA majors criticizing those carrers just to show that all majors are actually equal and that "We all suffer equally" and after the STEM majors attacking the LA majors (An attack on an attack on another attack) SOMEBODY shows some respect and decency. ALL MY LIKES TO YOU

  14. Celia says:

    THANK YOU! I'm a music major and I get so many blank stares it's not even funny. I don't see a degree as useless, especially since I've been playing for almost ten years now. How is dedication and perseverance a worthless skill?

  15. I think the biggest thing to remember is what you're going to do with it… Corporate america wants someone who can produce something, make results happen – engineers are often mislabeled by LA Majors as "stuck" or "boring" or "unimaginative", we may seem less smart because our lexicon isn't as big, and we aren't as passionate about 'fluffy' things like art, culture and language, however, Engineers do have imagination.. tangible imagination that can be used to create things that people have never thought of before. We have the imagination to push the boundaries of whats in our world now, to develop solutions to people's problems, to imagine, think, create & develop, and to own ideas.

    its a very special feeling to know that you have an engineer mindset, and you're right, most people can't be engineers. You don't try to fit into taking something you don't like, but it become love the way things fit together.

    That is why engineers make money – because companies can use that in a tangible world to sell things to make money themselves. LA Majors dont do that. They have culture and share knowledge and beauty in the world, true, but its harder to sell that…

    That doesn't mean that any one person is more passionate about their pursuits more than the next person, but dollars to dollars, LA Majors do make less, and find the job space harder to enter.

    Software Developer > 5 yrs, 3rd Yr BAS in Software & Computing Systems

  16. panda says:

    doesn't matter whatever major you pick it has to be something you love and enjoy; whether it be art or crunching numbers.

  17. Anna-Lisa says:

    Does anyone really think that the fact that you put hard work, intelligence, money, perseverance, and years of your life into getting a degree means anything to employers? They care about productivity. Your career is going to be defined by the results you produce, not the passion you feel for any given subject. And even getting a job after graduation will depend on not only having learned job skills in college, but by being able to convince potential employers that you will indeed be useful. A liberal arts degree is not always the best way to achieve that, so if you want to be able to support yourself/a family, attaining a liberal arts degree is probably not the wisest way to spend thousands of dollars and four years of your life.

  18. As long as we're judging the potential worth of a person's contribution solely on their undergraduate degrees, I would much rather have an engineer leading the free world than someone who got a degree in Creative Writing by pulling haiku out of the air and analyzing the word selection of Thomas Hardy. I don't agree fully with Diggler's commentary, but for all the people who don't aspire to be president, you're better off with a major that functions as something other than a sick punchline as you ring up the next Happy Meal.

    1. Cassie says:

      You're aware that some majors are functional AND liberal arts-derived, yes? Because I'd rather see a therapist with an actual psych background than one who hung out his shingle because he got bored with engineering. Just a thought.

  19. Ang says:

    I'm a Liberal Studies major right now and I appreciate this article a lot. Every time I tell someone I'm going to school for Liberal Studies I get blank stares. Then I have to overly explain that it's a major for Elementary School Teaching. Then I get a sympathizing look that along with a "oh how nice" comment, which really means "oh I'm sorry you won't be making any money throughout your life.

    However, our society is so warped. Everything is about money, numbers, being the "best". it's sickening after awhile. I want to be a teacher because I want to make a difference in the life of a child. I do not even mind if I make a difference in just one child. At least I know I helped that one child in life. There is so much more to life than just money and deadlines.

    I do respect people who choose technical careers as well. I think it is all about doing what you love. You will never be truly happy or satisfied if you simply pick a profession solely based off of monetary desires.

    1. ….Why don't you just tell them from the start that you are going to school for Elementary School Teaching? It would avoid any kind of confusion or blank stares.

  20. Freshman Engineer says:

    A job isn't a God given right. Your salary is proportional to the value you create. If you don't create value for anyone, you don't get a job. It's really that simple. Furthermore we *do* live in an increasingly technical society. Not everyone is cut out for technical jobs, but the fact remains that the unemployment rate for engineers is much lower than that of English majors. *And* even if everyone became an engineer they could still do the jobs that Liberal Arts majors are typically hired to do. Just because a Liberal Arts major can't design an engine, doesn't mean an engineer can't write an article or a poem.

    As an freshman engineer, I don't have a problem with Liberal Arts as a major — as long as you don't ask the government to subsidize your cost of living after college (and therefore make me pay for you). You *do not* have the *right* to become rich or well-off just because you have a degree (and this goes for Engineers too).

    Also, for the record, I have an internship offer this summer paying $30/hr based on the programming skills I learned on my own. You don't even need a degree to get a job in a technical field. Just dedication and passion.

    1. yuppp says:

      "*And* even if everyone became an engineer they could still do the jobs that Liberal Arts majors are typically hired to do." FALSE. The education that LA majors gain is JUST as specialized, it's just not as practical in real world application (and where it is, it is much more competitive). Could you perform onstage while singing opera? Know how to speak to and help a mental health patient? Film, edit and produce a professional grade short film? Write a thirty to forty page self study thesis on any of the above? The education covers more than just learning how to "write an article or poem." Perhaps you can do some of the above, but guaranteed you were somehow educated on how, even without the title "B.S. (or B.A.)" in front of that education. And yes, you are right in that many people don't need a degree to get a job in a technical field so way to disprove your own point and prove the opposite. I see many techies (I hire them, with an LA degree!) who have the LA degree, networked, sold themselves, took a few tech classes and then moved into a technical job. Dedication and passion are the primary skills needed regardless of what degree has been chosen.

  21. Kat says:

    Amen to this article. I'm in a liberal arts program that is the only of its kind in Canada (which means I'm usually met with blank stares when I attempt to explain it, until I say I'm using it to study Journalism, without it being a traditional Journalism undergrad degree) and I've gotten a lot of flack from friends about how they're going to make money with their business degrees when they graduate and I'll be moving back home with my parents.
    To that I say (and to Dori Yang too), I'd rather be broke but doing a job that I love, than work towards a 'practical' degree and stuck in some job I hate

    1. Kelsey says:

      YOU TOTALLY GO TO KING'S. i can tell, because i get the same sort of blank stares when i try to explain it.

  22. Emily says:

    I'm a political science major and I have mixed feelings about this article. I have no disillusions about what my future entails. I know that the entering salary for the chosen field is going to be incredibly low and I will have to eventually get a graduate degree in order to start making decent money. But, you know what? I'm in love with what I want to do. I am passionate about it. When I think about the future I am invigorated by the things I will be doing and the people I will be able to help. My friends with engineering and computer science degrees may end up making a ton more money than me, but not a single one of them has even a tenth of the passion for their major that I have for mine. I've resigned myself to realizing that my future will be long hours and low pay, at least for awhile, but I've decided that benefit has outweighed the cost.
    But to the liberal arts majors out there- intern your ass off. Want a job? Start looking after sophomore year.

    And to the "Freshman Engineer"– you might want to watch that smarmy-entitled bs. It's not very attractive.

    1. Mallory says:

      Couldn't have said it better myself!! Passion about what you do makes you a happier person AND a better worker! LIFE IS NOT ALL ABOUT MONEY!! I want to live comfortably, I don't have to be rich to do that.

  23. dazey says:

    According to the article and comments, there are two camps that a graduate can find themself in. Either applying their technological degree and earning big bucks or doing a liberal arts degree and working in McDonalds. Eh what? Are you guys serious? You are removing so many fields in which LA graduates go on to find eployment, the arts and culture, education, leisure,tourism and travel, academia (as a tutor at college level), writing, the media through advertising, print and broadcasting for example, public relations, language related jobs (translating and interpreting), marketing and sales ….

    Your base LA degree displays your ability to function in an academic environment through mostly self directed learning as you are not spponfed answers but encouraged to develop your own ideas. LA graduates are 'usually' more theoretical and 'can' grasp abstract principles easier than their practical degree holding counterparts. What do you think most theatre directors studied? Or publishers? Or editors of a small town magazine? Or mueseum currators? Open your limited mindframes people. The author of this and my fellow commenters, please!!

  24. yuppp says:

    Good article. I'd like to add too though, that there are plenty of other career options available to those with LA degrees than just the fields of journalism, marketing, etc. I work in HR (with an LA degree!) and see many others with creative degrees breaking into the business world. My bias will agree that LA degree holders are more conceptual, higher/big picture thinking, etc. Those who majored in fields such as English, Political Science, Communication, Theatre, etc. also tend to communicate better and usually really impress in interviews. We live in a world where work experience, personality, networking and self marketing are still the biggest factors in getting hired anyway so do something that you love! Once you get that first job (probably at the bottom, but not as "bottom" as Yang's article suggests. You would likely still be making more than your non-educated counterparts) see if you can move up without the cost of higher education and if you hit a wall, get the graduate degree in something more focused and business related/technical/management related then. You'll probably have a better idea of what that should be for yourself later in the game anyway.

  25. Amber says:

    I think we are all forgetting that there are other majors besides the so called "liberal arts" and engineering. When most people think of liberal arts they picture English, History, and Lit, yet they forget about Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics majors: the sciences within the umbrella of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Yes these sciences are not highly technical like an engineering degree, but they are still highly factual and scientific and lead to careers that are vital to our world, such as conservation, medicine, research, botany, and agriculture, among many many others.

    1. Luisa says:

      I think the "liberal sciences" part of the deal refers more to psychology, sociology, you know, the "-ologies" that closely relate to other areas of study in the humanities. Biology and chemistry are most certainly highly technical. Even if chemistry seems mostly theoretical while we're learning it, it takes education and training in specialized tactile skills to utilize such knowledge in the real world. No one pays you just to know the periodic tables or how to balance an equation. While I've heard of B.A.s being offered in Biology, they are mostly meant to accompany other degrees, so you can get a double major without having to get into the more advanced chemistry and math, especially if your primary degree is something like education where you will already spend a ton of time student teaching, or if you won't have to get down to the brass tacks of say, genetics with your elementary or middle school classrooms. Mathematics I'm not so sure about though…

  26. Music Major says:

    Hey, fuck that lady. Artists serve a purpose in this life as well. Remove all the music, literature, art, television, and inevitable shrink from this lady's life, and then see how long she keep her "the arts are useless" stance.

    1. Guest says:

      Television wasn't invented by an artist

    2. Guest says:

      Ever turned it on? You'd know what Music Major was talking about.

  27. Steph says:

    I hate to sound totally ignorant…but being a women engineer is the greatest. Future's so bright, I gotta wear shades!

  28. Steph says:

    Well-put. I wish you the best of luck :)

  29. Carina says:


  30. Carina says:

    What I find interesting is that all these engineering majors seem to have a very skewed idea of what a liberal arts degree is.
    Liberal arts is (not) = poetry + plays + fairy tales
    … maybe that's more helpful.

  31. Ellen says:

    The irony is that the reason I knew who Fareed Zakaria is before reading Yang's article is my Political Science major. So much for my major being "useless."
    To be competitive Americans are going to have to improve education standards in all subjects, not just engineering and technology. What use will it be to us as a country if we end up with a surplus of people that can build a bridge or program a computer but few who can speak foreign languages or understand the history, literature, philosophy and politics of other parts of the world? You cannot build a strong society with engineers and doctors alone. It takes all types.
    As a final note, I have also earned "A"s in all of my college math classes. I did not run to liberal arts because math was too difficult for me.

  32. Moon says:

    I am a professional writer, and in this times of recession, I am earning a really good salary. "I started as an English major just because I could write well" usually is not enough of a reason to study literature. As happens with all the professions, to do this requires passion. And you did well to change your course of study to something you really liked doing. As for me, if I didn't write, I just wouldn't be myself. It's a great "hobby" I do for a living :)

  33. Hologram says:

    I only read how you whined through it all. Did you write at all? You have to write, you have to practice the craft, you have to educate yourself about what the public wants, you have to try new techniques and you have to be willing to publish for free at first. It's possible, but it is very hard to do. Do you think people like Chris Nolan stumbled into making films like Memento or Inception?

  34. All Around says:

    Wow people need to stop being so bitter on here. When did those in technical fields become less social and more geeky than those in liberal arts? How about.. never? There's always the awkward person in each field regardless of whether how "technical" or "social" the major/field is stereotyped to be. Yes, there's always the shy guy sitting behind the wall, but do you really think that effective engineers could get stuff done and build up their own companies if they were shy and reserved? They can be and some are just as social as the other "social" career fields. Try not to be so simple minded, please.

  35. Nemo N says:

    To be honest, although you bring up *some* good points, their impact gets diluted by the overall whiny and petulant tone. Your post for the most part sounds very bitter, and your argument loses its solidity because it seems to be ruled completely by your emotions relating to your circumstances. Instead of disregarding LA degrees outright, you should concede the fact that they most definitely contribute to society and can enable the degree holder to be financially stable. Once again, you just sound like you wrote this in a really bad mood and it really does not come off well here.

  36. Liz says:

    I think that the most marketable skills that you learn in a LA program, like writing compellingly, can be learned without actually going to uni. If it's fun to for you to read and analyze and write things, then you will do that no matter what, even if you don't go to uni. I feel that you should go to undergrad for a LA degree if you want, but don't do grad school. Waste of money.

  37. liz says:

    I think the bitter tone made this response even more compelling. It's a warning to others. You are clearly as good a writer as any, so I don't think "lack of practice" is the reason, like someone else suggested, that you weren't able to secure a job.

  38. Katie says:

    I think the problem with LA majors while they are in college is the following comment from my friend who started college as a Chemistry major, switched into Chemical Engineer, and switched into Political Science before graduating with a BA in Poli Sci:

    engineering = crying to get a C
    lib arts = crying to get an A

    I don't know if you went to a school where you did not meet a single engineer (that seems the likely case), but the reason engineers hate on liberal arts majors is you never seem to have class before noon or on Fridays after freshman year. You can decide to study abroad a) at all b) a few weeks before the deadline. You can drink on Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays if you want to. Engineers make a lot of money once they graduate because engineering undergraduate is f*cking hard. So hard that most people do not do it for the pay check, because it sucks. Because it sucks having to wake up for your Friday 8:30 exam when all of your friends went out the night before. Because it sucks when you are excited you got a 49% on your exam after getting over a 1400 on your SATs.

    I'm not saying there isn't a place for all types of majors, but maybe you should consider the hypocrisy of your article arguing for people to not hate your major with a huge part of your argument hate against another type of major.

    Also, why are engineers all losers chasing security? (By the way, live in the real world for 6 months and then argue that nobody should worry about their 401k)

    I am engineer, I graduated from a good school cum laude and I did get a job. I worked really hard to achieve that. And you know what? I read books, I go out with my friends, and I crochet. Maybe you should stop trying to pigeon-hole other people when trying to defend your own life decisions.

    1. Claire says:

      I don't know what "liberal arts" majors you are hanging out with, but those week day partiers sound like freshman to me. As a liberal arts major, I can attest to just as many all-nighters and early morning classes as any engineering student. We spend hours and hours on a piece of artwork, trying to bring our vision into the real world. That in itself if unbelievably difficult, as most art students are our own harshest critics. I've spent nights working on papers for a literature class and watched the sun come up then headed to my own Friday 8:30 am Shakespeare class. Your comments reinforce the the idea that many science majors don't think liberal arts majors do any work. We do. Any liberal arts major who cares about their creations will spend just as much time in the studio as any "real" major.

      In comparison to engineering and science majors, who get yes-or-no answers (yes, I know those answers take a ton of effort to come to), liberal arts majors have to introduce a level of emotional connection to our work and if that doesn't measure up to the professors' expectations, we literally get our hearts and characters shredded during critiques. And in contrast to the idea that we only give "fluff" answers, we have to follow rules too. I'm a graphic design major, and I have to meet certain guidelines for my work that are just as stringent and demanding as any requirement for the work of that of an engineering student.

      So yes, liberal arts majors understand that our engineering classmates work for their grades. We get it. We get it shoved in our faces every day. But guess what? Liberal arts majors do too. Whether you choose to believe it or not, we do the work and pay our dues.

    2. myopia says:

      As a 4th year mechanical engineering student, I tip my hat to you sir.

      Just a fun fact for you, there's a phrase over here in Ontario used by engineering students when one of us is whining about the amount of work: "Embrace the Suck."

      I'm sure I don't have to explain that to you…!

  39. […] once defended all liberal arts majors on CollegeCandy, and I’ll do it again if I have to. I could continue my rant about how careers in the liberal […]

  40. Bel says:

    As a double major in Literature and Fine Art, I heard enough of opinions like that. Heaven forbid someone actually has a dream they want to persue. Or decides to study something they actually enjoy.

    And really, where would our society be today without the arts? People who talk down to us don’t realize Art is EVERYWHERE in their day-to-day lives. Lets imagine we take away all of that for a moment, shall we? Well, every single fictional book ever written is no longer part of this world; everything from The Illiad to the Hunger Games; all gone. That also takes away the movie industry. Oh, and all the social advances that society has made? Yeah, good part of it is gone, considering much of literature is actually a social commentary and helped shapes by minds. Tragic events like WWII? Who needs to remember it, right? Many lives lost and no one will ever remember why. Be sure that an event like that will happen again. And since we are talking about history, lets also cut down any advances human society has made regarding anything in half. Why? How do you expect to go forward if you don’t remember how you even got there? Moving on to art. Every single painting or drawing ever made? Gone. Lets also take away a lot of what we understand about put history, culture, and people in general, because like Literature, Art usually has is more than something pretty to look at. And I won’t even go to psychology and sociology, because anyone who says those are not important are idiots.

    What does that leave us with?

    Also, anyone who says Liberal Arts are easy has no idea what they are talking about. True, we may not be holding a calculator solving complicated equations, but guess what? The amount of time an Engineer Major spends studying is nothing compared to the amount of time an artist puts in a single painting, or an author in one book. What, did you honestly believe we just thought about something and it magically poofs itself into a canvas? We may not be sitting down with books in front of us, but all our effort goes into our work. Still think its easy? Go ahead and try doing it yourself then. See how much hard work goes into it, how much you will have to practice before you are even considered good enough. But we don’t complain about it because we ENJOY doing that. God forbid someone actually finds their work FUN, right?

    Our studies may not have an impact on society that is visible right away, but it is still just as in important in shaping it. The difference is that it happens slowly, going unnoticed for years. But it is there. Liberal Arts have helped us just as much as science.

  41. TAC says:

    LA seem to think that they are the only ones who learn critical thinking skills and writing skills. Every major requires critical thinking and writing skills. But other majors learn more than just critical thinking and writing. They learn technical and practitioner based skills. LA classes are great but I've seem plenty of LA majors who have ended up taking minimum wage jobs because they couldn't find a job that fit their skills. Sure, some LA majors have found jobs but that seems to be the exception to the rule. I'm baffled when I hear about LA majors being in $80,000 debt for an art or history degree. I'm all for doing what you love but at least have a career plan and make smart financial decisions in college.

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