For those who know me, of course I would share this article, a topic near and dear to my heart: "Liberal Arts in the Data Age" by Harvard Business Review. Below is an excerpt.
"...this STEM-only mindset is all wrong. The main problem is that it encourages students to approach their education vocationally—to think just in terms of the jobs they’re preparing for....If we want to prepare students to solve large-scale human problems ... we must push them to widen, not narrow, their education and interests..."
To be clear, I am not anti-STEM. Quite the opposite. Currently we are indeed gender lopsided in the STEM fields and this has to change. However, I believe that one-sidedness in anything does not enable us to think and develop the most creative and innovative solutions. I fear we are pushing our kids too far in the STEM direction as the de facto narrow endpoint for career success. Guess what, you don’t have to code to be in technology. You don’t have to be an engineer to work on building the next spacecraft. We need anthropologists and sociologists and economists and artists to name but a few, and we need these skills in STEM! We are hungry for gender diversity in these fields but we also need diversity of background and thought. Yes, I want my kids to understand coding language and be encouraged to test hypotheses in science, and I want them to believe that they can do/be anything they want. But, these so-called "soft subjects" should not be forgotten. Liberal arts encourages studies in all subjects. It requires courses in the math and sciences even if you are an English major. It requires courses in the arts, even if you are pre-med. It produces students who think out-of-box, who know how to write and communicate, and encourages openness and creativity that are invaluable in the workplace, most especially in tech.