The Advantages of a Liberal Arts Degree

The Advantages of a Liberal Arts Degree


[MUSIC PLAYING] NAT MENGIST: Mornings
like this are really peaceful because
the garden is quiet. And all you hear are the birds
and sometimes the squirrels. INTERVIEWER: This is Nat Mangus’
office, bountiful vegetable and herb beds in Seattle’s
Wallingford neighborhood. SUBJECT 1: Mm, that’s good. INTERVIEWER: He’s
found his calling as the head of the children’s
garden program Tilth Alliance. NAT MENGIST: So any of these
really dark brown flower heads are going to– INTERVIEWER: It’s a
very different job than he envisioned
when he enrolled at the University of
Washington six years ago, intending to study
medical science. But he quickly realized
he wouldn’t be happy working in a lab. NAT MENGIST: And so I took a
break from math and chemistry and I wanted to know more about
plants and about different ways of thinking about them. INTERVIEWER: He
discovered a new path in the College of
Arts and Sciences. NAT MENGIST: I graduated from
the University of Washington in 2015 with a bachelor’s in the
comparative history of ideas. ROBERT STACEY: In
arts and sciences, you could go anywhere. INTERVIEWER: Mengist’s
story is a familiar one to Robert Stacey, Dean of the
UW College of Arts and Sciences. He’s seen liberal
arts degrees lead to a wide range of satisfying
and rewarding careers. But in recent years,
fewer students are majoring in some
liberal arts fields. And it’s not unique to UW. ROBERT STACEY: Right
across the country we’re seeing
significant declines in the number of students who
are majoring in humanities and in what you might call the
humanistic social sciences– history, philosophy,
geography, so on. INTERVIEWER: Dean Stacey says
students and parents often worry that a liberal
arts graduate will have a tough time finding a job. He says that’s not true because
a liberal arts graduate has keen analytic and communication
skills that can make him or her a valuable team member. NAT MENGIST: My
prep at the UW was perfect for what I’m doing now. It’s about education and it’s
about health and nutrition. It’s also about the
environment and sustainability. This one’s [INAUDIBLE]. And so there’s all
these different issues and opportunities to connect. Just sprinkle them
in and plant some. Just watch out for the hose. INTERVIEWER: Mengist
says his degree in comparative
history of ideas helps him find those connections. NAT MENGIST: You have
to be able to know how to ask questions and
know why you’re asking the questions you’re
asking and know, in that process, what
questions are being left out. ROBERT STACEY: It seems
to me the whole point of an undergraduate
education ought to be to equip people
to see those connections and to make new connections– NAT MENGIST: Try the snap peas. ROBERT STACEY: –to have a way
of making sense of the world and of the new things
that are going to keep coming at us in this world. NAT MENGIST: Awesome. How wonderful is that? It’s a gift to be able
to get paid to learn.

6 Comments

  • Roger Andersson says:

    They may multi task but their attention span is lower that a mosquito. They are graduates but in "liberal arts", and graduated does not mean educated, specially to enter the work force.

  • Jake Green says:

    With a liberal arts degree you can have a short career as an antifa protester followed by a long career shouting heroin that's the true facts

  • xr28y ge3fl1 says:

    Knocked out a Liberal arts degree in 1 year. Its only for Frat boys, Sorority girls who want a 4 year party on Daddy's nickel.
    50 years ago it meant you learned all the Greek classics, today its Gender studies and minority oppression studies.
    This enormous waste of human resource is what created the SJW phenomena. Close it down.
    90% of STEM college students are foreign born. and 90% of slacker Liberal arts students are US born.
    No, you cannot be successful by goofing off, no matter how much money you throw at it.

  • xr28y ge3fl1 says:

    Liberal arts, just read a book. There is nothing to study, just read. First lesson: Liberal Arts is all free at the library.

  • Apna Punjab says:

    What are jobs after liberal studies

  • seinfan says:

    The real reason he switched majors was because the STEM degree was too difficult. BA in comparative ideas? They do get creative with these scam degrees.

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