Tag Archives: article

Liberal Arts Grads and Tech Business — Forbes article

30 Jul

That ‘Useless’ Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech’s Hottest Ticket.”

A great new article in Forbes business magazine on what degrees like English equip grads to do.

Here’s a teaser:

“Studying philosophy taught me two things,” says Butterfield, sitting in his office in San Francisco’s South of Market district, a neighborhood almost entirely dedicated to the cult of coding. “I learned how to write really clearly. I learned how to follow an argument all the way down, which is invaluable in running meetings. And when I studied the history of science, I learned about the ways that everyone believes something is true–like the old notion of some kind of ether in the air propagating gravitational forces–until they realized that it wasn’t true.”

So, get to reading, thinking, and discovering. Who knows where it’ll lead you!

— Dr. Norman


Personal assistant: a ticket to glamour and possibly self-loathing

14 Apr

rs_1024x759-141204153408-1024.birdman-emma-stoneI’m not sure whether to recommend this or to tell you to run. Run screaming, as fast as you can. But this article from Dissent Magazine provides a fascinating glimpse into the world of the “personal assistant,” portrayed by Emma Stone recently in Birdman.

Read at your own risk!

How English (and philosophy, and history) Work

3 Dec

Here is an article by Paula Krebs, dean of humanities at Bridgewater State University in Massachusetts, appearing in Vitae. It’s initially about how Victorian writers might respond to the recent and unfolding events in Ferguson, MO, but eventually widens its focus to talk about what people educated in the humanities (e.g., English, history, & philosophy majors) bring to the table, work-wise, that more narrowly educated people do not. Here’s an excerpt:

My former boss used to talk about the time he met a police officer who, it turned out, was an alumnus of our university. They got to talking, and my boss was really impressed with the officer’s perspective on his job and his community, his human-relations skills, and his sense of himself as a professional. The officer said he owed it all to his education. He had, it turned out, been a philosophy major. … We are not making a strong enough case for a liberal-arts education that helps students to understand the differences and connections between the ways that social sciences, humanities, and sciences see and act on the world. We undermine our own universities when we allow our students and the general public to see higher education as job preparation alone, rather than job preparation that is also preparation to be citizens and leaders who understand a complex world. It’s preparation to be a worker who understands the connections between work and the world in which it takes place. It’s preparation to be a worker who can invent his or her next job, not just apply for it.

See more at: https://chroniclevitae.com/news/819-ferguson-and-the-liberal-arts

Internships? Or “cooperative employment”?

21 Jan

Here’s an interesting idea: instead of internships, have students work for 6 months in a “cooperative employment” arrangement before graduation. The university arranges the employment; students get paid. In some ways, the EN internship program is moving in this direction for many of the reasons the author mentions, but I’m not sure if we’d want to go as far as Drexel does. The article is written by Drexel’s president–so, beware the biased source. However, the comments following the article provide some critique/balance.

Put Undergraduates to Work, For Their Own Good” (Chronicle of Higher Ed, 1/21/14):


Food for thought: do unpaid internships “pay”?

4 Nov

Take a look at this thought-provoking article from the Atlantic Monthly that suggests that college students who get unpaid internships don’t necessarily have a leg up in the post-graduate job market. (Note that for English majors in the studies they cite, there appears to be little difference between students with no internship, those with unpaid internships, and those who have paid internships.)

The question they leave unanswered is, why is this?

The comments section debates this question. My $.02: many internships for college students, especially those in EN-friendly fields (marketing, communications, PR, advertising, journalism, publishing), are frankly not worth very much. Yet I would argue that internships per se are not the problem: rather, it’s the kind of internship you get, and what you do once you get it. I think it’s important in these fields more than others that interns need to make sure that they are obtaining skills, developing networks, and the like– these are tangible and important benefits from having internships, and are usually not guaranteed by the employer. It’s up to you– the intern– to make sure you get out of the internship what you need in order to ensure future success.

What do you all think?

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