Liberal Arts Education and IT

A liberal arts education, the primary purpose of higher education for many generations, was originally intended to prepare young people to be able to understand complex problems and apply their skills to solving problems in diverse fields. The value of liberal arts education is lost on many stakeholders, including many who advocate for coding, STEM, and other specialized fields in K-12 schools. I recently had the chance to visit a student who was working as an intern in an “IT shop;” the company developed and sold specialized data products and he and the team on which he worked spent their days writing code, managing databases, and checking for data consistency. I arrived on a day on which they were preparing to migrate to a new data center. The manager for of the office described the team that was undertaking the project as, “all talented people, none of whom studied computer science, they were all curious and good thinkers and very active learners who developed expertise that they share.”