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Why arts majors deserve more respect

By Aisha Sajid, February 1 2018 —

Arts majors are often the punchline of jokes at the University of Calgary and the value of their degrees are often ignored. While they often aren’t considered as impressive as professional degrees attached to specific career paths, it’s time to change that thinking. Society has come to judge university programs solely by how much money degree-holders will earn. This understanding fails those with more ambiguous career paths. Here are a few reasons arts majors deserve more respect:

They are risk-takers:

Students who choose degrees in the Faculty of Arts are more likely to pursue their degree because they actually enjoy and excel in their field. They realize following their intuition will pay off one day and don’t let naysayers get to them. Some even acknowledge that they could succeed in a more lucrative field but the work they do in arts that they are more passionate about offset any potential shortcomings.

They are well-rounded:

Many curriculums such as sociology, anthropology and psychology overlap in their guiding theories and content. This means arts majors are able to connect concepts and gain a broader understanding within multiple classes, moreso than someone in a very specialized program. This learned skill allows these students to work in a variety of fields that people in other programs miss out on.

Our entertainment industry:

Every time you turn on the TV or stream something on Netflix you might think you’re just killing time. But in reality an incredible amount of time, effort and talent from people that are passionate about arts went into creating that content. Whether it be animators, graphic designers, sound producers or actors, these specialists allow our entertainment to be top quality. Our culture would not be nearly as rich without these arts majors working in entertainment.

Forward-thinking:

Automation is apparently going to take everyone’s jobs. But instead of panicking, we need more people to create new opportunities. The issues that the world didn’t address in the past need to be fixed now. That won’t happen without arts majors. Companies are looking to fill technical positions with people possessing arts degrees because they acknowledge that a change in perspective can change how a company will solve a problem.

This isn’t to say that any major is better than another — only you can decide what you want to study. Just be sure not to impose your opinion on someone else’s discipline as fact. Next time you meet an arts major, take an interest in their degree and the career they are pursuing. Don’t just assume they’ll be serving you at your favorite fast-food joint in five years.



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