Liberal Arts Education In The 21st Century

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The 21st century has seen an overwhelming emphasis on education and knowledge as these are known to be the driving force of economic growth.
On an individual level, the ability to land a decent paying job which will be able to secure one’s future is a widely sought after phenomenon by most graduates. This is supported by Burriesci’s observation that “advanced degrees are measured by their ‘return on investment’.” As such, many pursue education as a means to achieve better career prospects. Hence naturally, the majority would express greater interest in courses such as Medicine, Business and Law that would bring about lucrative returns as opposed to pursuing their passion in the liberal arts. The factor of time however has brought about changes
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However, it is also important to consider the varying degrees in the value of a liberal arts education across the globe. This is dependent on the different backgrounds, cultures and conditions. In the case study of Singapore, competitiveness is a known and common trait. This stemmed from the government’s continued and persistent emphasis on progress and development since the early days of independence. As such, people looked towards avenues which could bring about tangible results such as economic growth hence placing importance on the Science. While there are still those who believe that the Science is superior to the Arts, most Singaporeans are able to see the value in the Arts today. Another example could be the difference between a First and a Third World nation. Today, liberal arts degrees are most commonly offered in the US. There are hundreds of dedicated liberal arts colleges in the US, signifying the acceptance of a liberal arts education. Whereas in India, there is an unspoken but well understood assumption that one pursues liberal arts or the humanities in college only if one could not get into the desired fields of science and commerce. Furthermore, there are very few established liberal arts institutions in India. Thus, it is evident that while in some parts of the world, liberal arts is celebrated and widely accepted, in others, people still favour the Science over the Arts.

All in all, this essay has summarised the arguments that are for the assertion that a liberal arts education is valuable in the 21st century. However, while this may be true, it does not apply to the whole world. It is therefore more accurate to state that the value of a liberal arts education is increasing due to the changing
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