Gone are the days of academic aspirations. Gone are the days when students went off to college to further their knowledge, and it was more than just a stepping stone to an occupation.
Gone are the days when a liberal arts degree merited much honor, because its holder had gone off to study literature or humanities.
Perhaps the economy and the dog-eat-dog society have played into the downfall of academic passion, or maybe students think they need to have practical reasons for footing the ever-rising tuition bill.
In today’s IT-focused job market, it makes sense to hold a degree in a field such as engineering or computer science.
What does that mean for the rest of us, those who are driven by the right side of the brain?
A degree in liberal arts is often seen as the easy way out, especially at an engineering-heavy school such as Louisiana Tech.
Still there are many choose to pursue useless degrees, e. g. English, history or geography.
While no one can speak for all of the degree candidates and established alumni, surely there are some who selected their paths in hopes of gaining a well-rounded education.
Having a degree in liberal arts means much more than simply knowing who wrote “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” or how many wars France has won.
Earning a degree in liberal arts means gaining an appreciation for academia.
As America follows other developed countries and begins to rely more on teamwork in the work force, a background suggesting group interaction becomes increasingly important.
I personally look back and can say that I have had a group project in almost every journalism course I have taken. That makes 11 different groups including this quarter.
There is so much than can be gained from working in groups beyond being a team player. Working in groups teaches people how to work with people they don’t necessarily get along with, and students learn how to be leaders and how to compromise.
Then there are the communications skills gained, but that is a given in a field like journalism.
The ability to put one’s thoughts into words may seem simple enough, but study in the field of journalism aids in such endeavors by forcing one to explore different mediums of communication and practicing exercises where the same idea must be articulated using different words.
So even though people may through their heads back and laugh when I tell them what I’m studying, I know I will smile when I walk across the stage to get my diploma, knowing I am prepared to enter the workforce as a valuable asset.
Yeah, I’ll probably come up with another point too…
Austin Vining is a junior journalism and psychology major from Minden who serves as the associate editor for the Tech Talk. Email comments to acv...@latech.edu.