Quora Question: Which humanities subject will be totally irrelevant and obsolete in the near future due to brighter career prospects of STEM?
Why should any humanities subjects become irrelevant? Let’s think about what the humanities teach:
An appreciation of beauty (art, literature)
An understanding of the past (history)
An understanding of how people communicate (languages)
How to examine big ideas and think about questions of meaning, purpose, knowledge, and reality (philosophy)
Now, imagine hiring someone for a STEM career. You have two candidates who are equal (or roughly so) in their STEM knowledge.
But, one also has a rich background in the humanities. Who would you rather hire?
It is often the case, that subjects that appear irrelevant turn out to be deeply connected. There are very close connections between all of the humanities and all of the STEM disciplines. They inform and enrich each other.
This relevance is often seen in the work world. But, even if it weren’t would that render the humanities irrelevant? Is work and career success all that matter to being human?
What about the love of beauty, the understanding of history, communication, big ideas? Aren’t these an important part of something beyond career and success? Like being human?
And, don’t we want authentic human beings at work in STEM fields?
There are several books that make these points very well and show the many connections between the humanities and STEM fields. Here are a few you might find insightful:
David Epstein Range: Why Generalists Triumph in a Specialized World
Daniel Pink A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future
Steven Johnson How We Got to Now
Steven Johnson Wonderland: How Play Made the Modern World
Michael Gelb How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci
KEVIN J. BROWNE
Philosopher / Educator