Opinion

Let’s Branch Out Of STEM

HALEY ARMSTRONG

STAFF WRITER

“Oh, you aren’t interested in technology? You want to follow a humanities track? Oh, your future will plummet. You live in the Silicon Valley – just try working at Google instead.”

Unfortunately, this recent conversation with my neighbor encapsulates the Bay Area point of view. This region has been brainwashed by the highly venerated goal of technological success.

Living in the Silicon Valley, I live through criticism of the humanities on the daily. We currently live in a society almost intoxicated by technology, dictated by the values of haste and impulsivity.

Accustomed to the tangibility of technology and knowledge, Bay Areans crave the lazy way of life: what can guarantee success for my child? What can I do to get into a “good” college? Ironically, as Silicon Valley parents type these questions into the search bars of their iPhones over and over again, their children are raised to believe that the secret to success lies right their in the screen.

Technology seems like the indisputable path to a prosperous life. With science and technology eclipsing the humanities, many programs involving social studies and the arts have been cut to make room for greater focus on the sciences.

In reality, these innovators and scientists need the arts and humanities to encourage cultivation. Through the humanities, students learn the ideas and beliefs that have guided human beings and shaped civilizations for thousands of years. The core skills that liberal arts students acquire – synthesis, communication, creativity, and analytical thinking  have never been more relevant in the job market. Employers need the capabilities that students gain in the humanities.

If our future only yields technological robots, destined for success in the technological and scientific fields, we are creating a dangerous destiny. Using these new technologies with the aid of Apple and Google is dangerous when solely focusing on them without consideration for the humanities.

As interest in the humanities is dwindling, the compassionate, empathetic mindset that the liberal arts provides is pushed aside by the same curt, rushed viewport that we wish our
technology emulated.

So sure, working in technological fields may almost guarantee t a ticket to a successful career, but it is the paths within the humanities majors that lead to better societies.

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