Hope for liberal arts majors

The skyrocketing cost of a four-year college degree has understandably forced high school students and their parents to question the wage premium attached to a liberal arts degree.  Yet there may be an answer as a result of what Amazon intends to do with a third of its U.S. workforce by 2025 (“Amazon’s Education for Bernie,” The Wall Street Journal, Jul. 12).

Recognizing that many jobs today won’t exist in a few years, Amazon intends to retrain about 100,000 employees at a cost of $700 million in “high-demand occupations.” What’s noteworthy is that employees who possess the wherewithal to make the transition, in my opinion, are most likely to be liberal arts majors, rather than necessarily STEM majors.

I say that because thinking flexibility is the key to learning new material.  It’s not that STEM majors are incapable.  On the contrary. But their knowledge and skills are extremely narrow.  As a result, they may find themselves at a distinct disadvantaged compared with their fellow workers who are more flexible.

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