The Liberal Art Graduates Are Vindicated, And How

An answer for all those who questioned you for studying liberal arts.


How many of you took Arts stream in college? How many of you graduated in psychology, literature, political science or history? And so many times were we asked “Why did you take this subject? Now you can only become a teacher or give government service exam?” So many of us were chastised as being weak in studies just because we had an inclination towards the Humanities stream.

Now is the time to be vindicated.

From the IT hubs to financial giants to the South Bloc in Delhi, liberal art graduates are being recruited like hot buns. In this information age, it is truer than ever before that Knowledge is Power. And the social and psychological problems facing mankind need the Humanities nerds.

The most important factor behind this trend is that Arts students take up their subject because of their passion. A student studies history because he loves the subject, not because an MNC will hire him. Hence, these students have a larger perspective on situations.

In his book ‘’The Fuzzy and the Techie, venture capitalist Scott Hartley suggested that technical skills can be picked up by anyone with an internet access. A writer can successfully become a rich online blogger with simple web designing tools like HTML.

The list of successful people with humanities graduation is long, and includes billionaires likeStewart Butterfield, Slack; Jack Ma, Alibaba; Susan Wojcicki, YouTube; Brian Chesky, Airbnb.

It does not matter whether you know computer programming. What matters is whether you can ask the right questions. Biometrics have been around for a long time. But it takes critical thinking to link it to citizen identification to create Aadhar, which has become the biggest system for financial inclusion and poverty alleviation. It has become important to rethink the importance of learning technical skills only.

Gary Saul Morson and Morton Schapiro, professors at Northwestern University suggest that economic problems require solutions rooted in literature. They argue that when economic models fall short, they do so for want of human understanding. The present political situation has vivid echoes in George Orwell’s Animal Farm.

So, when someone teases you for taking Arts in college, assure them that you will find your way faster to Silicon Valley or the Parliament, while they spend nights resolving misbehaving codes.