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post #61 of 89
How refreshing to hear others champion the value of education as an end in itself. While I respect and appreciate the necessity of a business education, and believe that the business major can emerge from university as a well rounded individual, I fear that the humanities component is often perceived as useless fluff. As a double major in biology and chemistry from the University at Albany, and a graduate student insufficiently focused to earn a degree form Union, I've always been drawn in the direction of my heart. Were an opportunity for another go possible, I'd probably become even more "impractical" by pursuing studies in western civilization: philosophy, literature, art, history, etc. Without question, my studies, both formal and informal, in these subjects have had the greatest impact on my--please forgive the use of a word in a language in which I'm not fluent, but which expresses my meaning--weltanschauung. We are in desperate need of curricula that require a liberal educational base for all students, or we run the risk of our universities turning out young people with, as I believe Ben Johnson(?) said, over-developed bodies, moderately developed minds, and under-developed hearts.
post #62 of 89
We are in desperate need of curricula that require a liberal educational base for all students, or we run the risk of our universities turning out young people with, as I believe Ben Johnson(?) said, over-developed bodies, moderately developed minds, and under-developed hearts.
Well said.  Actually, I think this saying could be attributable to the English playwright you were thinking of and applicable to the Canadian sprinter with the same name.
post #63 of 89
This begs the question, important for what?  An unfortunate effect of a society where everything is measured in dollars is that it's easy to lose sight of the real purpose of higher education.  Education is supposed to show students that there is life beyond their limited worlds, that there are wonderful traditions of literature, art, science, that human imagination has led to incredible discoveries and produced wonderous things.  Simply stated, a good education enriches life.   When someone asserts (and usually belligerently) that "college education is a waste of time" I know right away that that person is nearly invincibly ignorant, belittling something he either does not understand, or envies and hates. As for business school in particular - I don't believe it is really education.  It is training, and it can teach effective management.  Leadership, imagination, and drive cannot be learned from a syllabus.
LA Guy; we find ourselves on the same page again. All the kids I know in UNDERGRAD business schools have very little liberal arts education and are not encouraged from thier deans to take courses outside of business. They are duped into thinking that the cirriculum is "well-rounded" by admissions people. B-schools should just be marketed for what they're worth; a trade school. I always say that if the best thing you got out of college is a good job, then you missed the bigger picture. College is about exploring the world and taking in culture while finding yourself in the process. I'm quick to dismiss someone who says, "I don't need college, or college is a waste of money."
post #64 of 89
I don't want to assume too much, and I certainly don't want to appear patronizing, but when I was in college in the late seventies/early eighties, most universities still required a liberal arts core, in addition those courses within the major. If I can remember correctly, whether a business, physics, or philosophy major, every student had to take a minimum number of credits in social sciences, science, literature, foreign language/computer programming, art/music, etc. to meet graduation requirements. Have things changed so drastically that this liberal arts core requirement is no longer needed to graduate? Can one spend four years in college taking nothing but classes in one or two subjects and still graduate with a BS or BA?
post #65 of 89
 Can one spend four years in college taking nothing but classes in one or two subjects and still graduate with a BS or BA?
You'd be surprised, I know finance majors that are only alloted 4 courses outside the b-school curriculum in their entire 4 years. Does this fit you're definition of "well rounded?" I don't think so. It's all about money. Deans of these schools base their success on how many students are placed in Goldman, Merrill, etc... and what their starting salaries are. Students must fill out a survey before graduation about where they got hired and at what salary. This data is used a major selling point to perspective students and parents thinking about attending the school. I can't even begin to tell you about the messed-up mindset kids coming out of these programs have. It's borderline brainwashing.
post #66 of 89
I'm very sorry to hear this, as a solid liberal arts education is the finest accomplishment that we can achieve (IMHO). Let's hope that the cycle will eventually reverse and educators will begin to see the errors of their ways. While some might ridicule my apparent naiveté, I truly believe that the very survival of our civilization depends on our continued grasp of the course and history of the world over the last 2700 years. We are indeed the mightiest, but without our hearts we are surely destined for barbarism. I don't mean to make a vapid stab at profundity, but I do feel very strongly that the time is long past for us to re-commune with what is most important. Each person must answer for himself what this is, but I submit that few of substance would suggest material wealth alone.
post #67 of 89
San Diego State University (as well as all Cal State Universities, and University of Californias, and Cal Poly Technic Universities) all give you about two years of liberal arts education, including social science, history, public policy, several types of english/linguistics, philosophy, anthropology and sociology. After two years of these classes, you start to take upper division and major classes, but you are still required to take upper division "exploration" classes, which can constitute of the same subjects that are in the lower division G.E.'s. Most students get away with taking easy exploration classes that barely satisfy their credit requirement and thus bypass the upper division liberal arts education. I completely agree that college is not about getting a degree so you can make more money after you graduate. That would be simply following a linear, unpersonalized, minimalistic path.
post #68 of 89
While I certainly agree with the other posters about the value of a liberal arts education, I will say this: At the university that I attended, the undergraduate population was divided into three basic groups, academically speaking: the science and engineering majors (S/E), the liberal arts majors (academs), and the architecture majors (archis). I received a degree in electrical engineering and another in history, so I took a lot of classes in two of those three areas. There were a whole lot more S/Es in my academ classes than there were academs in my S/E classes. In general, the S/Es finished with a better education because they took both liberal arts and science/engineering courses. The academs frequently managed to graduate with no understanding of science, technology, or the scientific method, which left them grievously unprepared for responsible membership in modern society.
post #69 of 89
College of San Mateo; too many years BA, Liberal Studies, San Francisco State University " When you've got a problem with swine, you've got to call in the pigs." ---S.I. Hayakawa
post #70 of 89
JD Washington & Lee University School of Law BS an university in California. Sorry can't be more specific or you will be able to ID me in less than 5 minutes.
post #71 of 89
BA, 1994,  Bennington College DC, 2003,  Life Chiropractic College west -Tom
post #72 of 89
Working on the following at Tulane University of Louisiana ... Bachelor of Science, Economics Bachelor of Arts, American Politics Minoring in Business I became interested in clothing when I took a trip to Italy after my freshman year of high school. I didn't want to go dressed as the typical tourist, so I packed my more fashionable things. After receiving some compliments, I made it a point to dress my best.
post #73 of 89
Undergrad: University of Wisconsin at Madison MBA: George Washington University
post #74 of 89
I'm not saying that college isn't necessairly a good thing. But, I think that right now, there is too much of an emphasis that everybody needs to go to college. I don't see why the fact that Troy didn't go to college would somehow hurt his career. I was trying to raise the point why today's college degree is now the equivalent of a high school degree 40 years ago. LAGuy: I might not have gone to Caltech, but I did go to college, so please don't call me ignorant. Today's colleges have become too isolated from the real world. They need to do more to prepare their graduates for post college reality where they need to find a job. Why is that there are all these pre-requisites so that you have to end up taking a class that studies the underlying grammar and structure of sign language yet there really aren't a pre-reqs for basic computer skills which you will use once you graduate. It just seems that I should have just gone to a JC, and taken classes like how to cook, instead of these rather esoteric classes.
post #75 of 89
I suppose it's a case-by-case basis.  I've got one friend who was a "C" student on chemistry exams but was probably by a good margin the best student in lab.  He is tremendously talented when it comes to practical application of most anything - not, as some say, "the application of what we learn in the classroom," but rather what he doesn't learn in the classroom.  This guy seldom cracks open a textbook.  He just has an uncanny ability to figure out what is in front of him, whether it's building a gas cylinder-powered car, doing a chemistry experiment... I know some graduates of "prestigious" universities who have amounted to little in the "real world."  I also know some university graduates(from both "prestigious" and "regular" institutions) who have done some really amazing stuff.  I know many, who did little beyond high school, who have not gone far. I really do think that a college degree today is like a high school degree was many years ago.  Today even an MBA is common and not something guaranteed to make a large difference.  Many feel that a college degree gives some measure of credibility.  Many of my friends who are going on to medical school say that they are doing it for respect, financial success, and the fact that people are more likely to listen to what they have to say if they have "M.D." behind their names. People say that Larry Ellison, Bill Gates, and Richard Branson didn't finish college but managed to become billionaires.  This shouldn't go to say that college isn't important.  Gates and Ellison, though they may not have finished, went to college.  Gates, I think, was close to graduating from Harvard.  Ellison apparently dropped out of the University of Illinois after two years, went to the University of Chicago for a semester, then dropped out.  Really though, the odds of becoming a billionaire are probably (close to) equally unlikely whether or not one finishes college.  If one has sufficient ability and desire to learn on his own and has good creative skills and imagination (and is something of a visionary), it is possible to attain success, however you may define it. I will measure my success on whether or not I find basic satisfaction in life.  Whatever I earn, I just want a (hopefully decent) roof over my head, food on the table, clothing, if necessary a car to take me places, a job I mostly enjoy, and hopefully as a result of all this - happiness.
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