Whenever I mention that I’m pursuing a double major in Political Science and History, a quick look of bewilderment betrays the otherwise excited demeanor of the person on the other end of the conversation. “Well, what about real Science?” I can picture them asking, like those who asked in many conversations before this. I can hardly blame them; as a person who feverishly studied any and all life sciences throughout her high school career for fear of never finding a “real job” it’s an act of judgement turned into an apparent societal truth in this world of technology and medicine. While those areas of study, too, are vital positions to be filled—and I feel the need to stress that a person can be genuinely interested in these programs—the world has begun to progress in such a way that it’s (arguably) becoming commonplace to abandon some of our most human areas of study.
Here I’ll remind you precisely why you shouldn’t completely opt out of the liberal arts degree you were once so keen on graduating with.
1. It’s Rewarding
The absolute coolest thing about my programs is knowing that I’m taking part in some of the oldest academics in the world. You’re exposed to theories, knowledge, and the foundation of basic human knowledge. While studying just about any program at university has its benefits, with the liberal arts you get to study classical (and contemporary) texts with your own outlook.
2. You’re not “Destined” to Work Minimum Wage
As a Political Scientist in the making, I understand that my area of study will never lead to my becoming a successful brain surgeon, or something of a similar liking—unless, of course, I’m studying the brains of past and present politicians; if you know what I mean. However, this doesn’t limit the career choices of a liberal arts student to either a McJob, or no job at all. In fact, a liberal arts degree is pretty open-ended, allowing you to get jobs in law, journalism, teaching, academia, and more! Plus, there’s a world of jobs that haven’t even been created yet. At the end of the day, there isn’t a program job uncertainty doesn’t loom over, and this shouldn’t stop you from pursuing an area of interest.
3. You’ll Build Essential Critical Thinking Skills
Nothing looks better to a future employer than someone who is innovative. All of those hours you’ll spend analyzing and criticizing the information before you, you’ll have developed crucial skills that can be reapplied in the workplace.
4. Liberal Arts Traditionally Entails Any and All Areas of Study
This includes, but isn’t limited to Astrology, Philosophy, Biology, Visual Arts, English, and so on. If you’re just as passionate about the Sciences as you are with your Humanities or Social Sciences, just take a quick trip to Academic Advising and discuss with them your options to do a double major, or to even add a minor to your degree! This will add variety to your degree, and not only help you take more away from your university experience, but it will give a higher appeal to employers and graduate schools.
(Pro Tip: Nipissing University has an actual “Liberal Arts” program HERE).
5. You’re Passionate
At the end of the day, it all comes down to you. Should the liberal arts be something you’ve always wanted to do, why should the opinions of a handful of strangers, friends, or even family deter you? I struggled with this one the most, but in my last year of high school, I let go of what I thought acted as a job safety net and began to pursue something I was truly passionate about.
Just do you, and the rest will follow.