More reasons to study history, this time from The Atlantic. Some key passages:
“[W]hen businesses go hunting for CEOs or managers, “they will say, a couple of decades out, that I’m looking for a liberal arts grad,” said Judy Samuelson, executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Business and Society Program.”
“[T]o succeed in the long term, [students will] require an education that allows them to grow, adapt, and contribute as citizens—and to build successful careers.”
“Put simply, business majors seem to be graduating with some of the technical skills they’ll need to secure jobs, but without having made the gains in writing or critical-thinking skills they’ll require to succeed over the course of their careers, or to adapt as their technical skills become outdated and the nature of the opportunities they have shifts over time.”
“A 2014 study of the Collegiate Learning Assessment test—administered to some 13,000 undergraduates as they entered and exited university—found that business, health, and education majors substantially underperformed students in the humanities, sciences, social sciences, and engineering … in writing, complex reasoning, and critical thinking by the time they’d graduated.
“Those are the weaknesses that a liberal-arts education can address. “Liberal arts majors … are the students who have the active minds, who are asking the big questions,” said Erika Walker, an assistant dean at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business. That, she said, was a mindset that all students require. “What we need to strive to achieve for the students who aren’t asking the big questions is: challenge yourselves.””
“Businesses want workers who have “the ability to think, the ability to write, the ability to understand the cultural or historical context of whatever business decision they’re making,” added Rachel Reiser, assistant dean at Boston University’s Questrom School of Business. If undergraduates want to find success, they need to master those skills.”
“And beyond the career advantages that these skills confer, there’s a broader case for offering a liberal-arts education to the hundreds of thousands of students who graduate every year with business degrees. It doesn’t just increase their economic competitiveness, it also strengthens their ability to contribute to the broader society, and to lead fulfilling lives. “We as educational institutions have two jobs: to prepare them to enter the profession but also to prepare them as human beings and as citizens,” Iacovou said.”
Bottom line: take more history classes!
Read the full article here.