Stem Vs Liberal Arts

Aicha Ly | Opinion Editor


This article title reflects the thought millions of college students ponder, as they make the decision to further their education. Some people are naturally inclined to prefer liberal arts over STEM; maybe they have always struggled with math but excelled at creating alternate worlds and perspectives with words and images. They wander the journey of adulthood through postsecondary education, tempted to delve deeper into their passions. But, they face a dilemma in the form of a question: What if it is not worth it? Employers are constantly looking to recruit STEM oriented people as the world rapidly digitilizes with technological advancements made to meet international demands.

Twenty years ago, Smartphones were not extremely popular. Hoverboards and self-driving cars did not exist, online tests were not an everyday occurrence. This is no longer the case. People have become addicted to this new dimension of possibilities; possibilities of creating different identities, of learning new things with a few taps on a keyboard and meeting people across oceans, borders and time zones. This addiction is profitable. Companies have capitalized on the products of STEM. STEM has become relevant in every aspect of the economy, from healthcare to schools and more. Since there is a constantly increasing demand for it, it is observed as more financially beneficial to sharpen STEM skills in order to maximise employment skills and improve quality of life as a result. So, should students deviate from their liberal arts passions as they advance their education?

It depends. Like most things in life, this matter is not black and white. There are many factors that should be taken into consideration when considering this topic, because the answer is subjective. For example, what is the risk-reward ratio? If you know you are not good at art but excel in coding and engineering, and you decide to major in art because you are passionate about participating in it, this is a high risk situation with a low chance of rewards. You will likely encounter debt that you will not be able to offset, which will lower your quality of life. However, if you are artistically talented, passionate about art and have good networking skills you can possibly afford to spend your post secondary education on exploring art and can create a successful art career. Being realistic while spending money on exploring interests and abilities in college is key.