On the Importance of Arts in STEM

This is likely heresy. Good, I like being a heretic. We wander the wastes. Talk to burning bushes. Wonder “why oh why me” even as we bark half-mad truths that, deservedly so, divorce us from the mass of the sane.

Here goes anyway.

There’s too darn much Arts in STEM today.

Or put another way, the caliber of STEM graduates needs to be appreciably more improved and I don’t really see that it has over the last couple decades. More specialized, absolutely, but that’s a different story.

While I understand the desire of colleges to turn out well-rounded graduates that’s simply not what the business world needs more of. Businesses need four year grads that can work at two-year professional experience. What does “Geology of Natural Parks” have to do with being a better bit flipper or bean jockey?

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

Nothing.

Yet we persist in believing that well-rounded grads are better people. You know, what? Yes, they are. But that rounding is called life experiences. It’s about self-discovery and following your own cultivated preferences in arts. You can be a renaissance man or woman, you don’t need college for that – and college can’t make you one either. It’s an innate thing.

If it wasn’t such a slow, bottle-necked process, I would be advocating for the return of Crafts Guilds. How’s that for being a luddite?

STEMs need to have greater focus on their skillsets coming out of college. It is of personal benefit to them and to the larger business world, always hungry for talent. They can take some vacation time and visit their nearest natural park for a geology lesson.

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