Some time ago a semi-retired professor of History expressed casual contempt for the view a History degree was about learning critical thought. It was a passing encounter, but one that stuck with me. I am of the long considered contrary opinion that this is precisely the purpose of a Humanities/Arts degree. I have observed with some wonder that tenured faculty seem to think that their undergraduate students are all to be treated as future professors. Well. I doubt that one in ten graduates with a B.A. in History will remember much of the specifics of their years in university. And I would hope that fewer than one in ten will aspire to the professorate. I know personally there are far too many History PhDs floating around. But, if guided properly these students will be able to bring an evidence-based critical eye to life as it unfolds. Not only this, they should be able to think creatively, ‘outside the box’ as it were, if taught well. Increasingly the major growth field in employment in the western world, high tech, is seeing this – stories abound of large tech corporations and small looking for creative minds to complement technical expertise.
Here is the latest on this from the business magazine Forbes: