Subjects like literature and history may become a thing of the past.
Liberal arts aren't doing too well in the 21st century. Liberal arts programs are being cut around the country in favor of curriculums that prepare students for tech jobs. The Atlantic recently published an article documenting this change in Wisconsin.
In 2015, Governor Scott Walker nearly changed the University of Wisconsin's official mission."The 'search for truth' would be cut in favor of a charge to 'meet the state’s workforce needs'," explained the article. The official words were never changed, but the state indeed seemed to change its mission. University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, for instance, announced it would stop offering majors in geography, geology, German, History, French and two- and three-dimensional art.
This is just part of a change affecting education throughout the country. As tech takes over, liberal arts majors seem like a poor bet for the job market. Tuition is so high that many students feel they need to graduate with the skills to get a job to pay back their loans. In short, everyone's behavior here makes sense. It's just a shame, one that reflects the problematic lack of perspective running our society.
The tech boom is a problem for the environment. Occasional green inventions, such as better solar panels, are good news. But for the most part, tech is a machine that eats resources and spits out waste.
"All the world’s economies continue to face big challenges in using energy-the lifeblood of the industrial age-while maintaining environmental quality," explained The Brookings Institution. "Although U.S. energy efficiency is much greater than ever before, growth in the economy has assured rising energy consumption. While the average fuel efficiency of new passenger cars has more than doubled since 1975, the environmental gains are increasingly offset by the popularity of lower-mileage light-duty trucks and sport utility vehicles, increases in miles traveled per vehicle, and large increases in vehicle ownership."
Tech is also at the center of climate change.
"In the United States, the energy sector accounts for more than 85 percent of total greenhouse gas emissions, with energy-related carbon dioxide alone responsible for about 80 percent," The Brooking Institute continued.
Liberal arts is all about holding up a mirror to society. Arts carefully examine the present, placing it in a broader context and figuring out what to do. In trading liberal arts for tech, we're fueling the industrial fire while eliminating people's ability to see the flames.