Students are increasingly interested in learning practical subjects like maths, computing and engineering rather than learning about art and literature. Why is this change happening? What are some benefits of learning about art and literature?
In recent years, there has been a shift in interest towards STEM subjects and away from liberal arts. In this essay, I will argue first, that this change is caused by a lack of job security, and second, that art and literature are important to guide scientific endeavours.
One reason for the rising interest in practical subjects is that young people are worried about finding a job after graduation. Because of the number of economic crises in recent years, young adults are looking to study a subject that can land them a stable job. Although many people already work in fields like maths, computing and engineering, the constant growth of these fields means a steady flow of graduate jobs. In addition, new developments, such as artificial intelligence, means that these are areas where new graduates will feel less encumbered by a lack of experience, thus increasing their chances of finding employment.
However, having fewer liberal arts students means may mean we have less of an idea of which direction science should go in. Artistic subjects are important because they help dictate the design of scientific projects. For example, Apple’s most successful products, such as the iPhone and Apple Watch, were successful because of their beautiful and practical designs as well as their engineering. Furthermore, works of literature, like Blade Runner, can help us imagine the consequences of scientific projects and help us steer them in a positive direction.
To conclude, young people have recently become more and more interested in practical subjects. However, this has a disadvantage as a lack of students in the arts may result in scientific knowledge being misapplied.