By: Brooklyn Lile
As the first semester of senior year is dwindling down, one of the most commonly asked questions is, “What do you plan on majoring in?” Students may throw out varying arrays of options from Biology to Economics, but the true divide is whether their major is considered a STEM major or a liberal arts major. Not only is this a rather prevalent topic among seniors, but also for many politicians as well.
In a recent interview, Kentucky Governor, Matt Bevin, went as far to say that liberal art majors “don’t matter.” How could one argue with that methodology? There is no scientific proof that a liberal arts major is needed or beneficial for any career, so why do hundreds of American colleges and universities still offer them? Thousands of famous and successful individuals have thrived in art-based careers with a STEM-based degree.
Take Vincent Van Gogh, for example. He was one of the most influential artists in the history of Western art. What was his major? Civil engineering, of course. How could he possibly have the creativity to paint the way he did without an engineering degree? Pablo Picasso, another important figure in art history, was also a STEM major. His biology major with a concentration in pre-medicine was extremely beneficial to his artistic style. He has often attributed his unique Cubism style to his vast knowledge of how adenosine triphosphate (ATP) is produced in the human body. It’s hard to forget Stephen King, one of the most respected authors of our time. King has always been an extreme supporter of STEM programs, accrediting his several successful horror novels to his terrifying experience as a chemistry major.
Based on these individuals’ examples, there is absolutely no need for liberal arts majors. Why would art and English majors be needed when the most successful artist and authors are engineering and natural science majors? This argument generally baffles liberal arts supporters and causes them to mention their (arguably) most mindless and feeble defense: happiness.
Many argue that they would not be happy working in a STEM-related field such as engineering or medicine. How crazy is it that some believe we need doctors and engineers who actually enjoy their respective disciplines? With the way the economy is today, there is no time to worry about what occupations make people happy; they just need to pursue what jobs are available and in demand. It’s clearly not important to consider that marine engineers, physicians, dentist, veterinarians, finance workers, and chiropractors have ranked among the top six careers with the highest rate of suicide, all of which are branched off of STEM majors. Don’t worry, if Matt Bevin claims STEM majors are more beneficial, then that statistic shouldn’t be pondered.
Along with myself, several other seniors may be trying to decide what they want their college major to be. Take my advice: don’t consider a future career, happiness, or life expectancy, just major in STEM.