An online music entrepreneur, David Kalt always had a bias in favor of degrees in computer-science and engineering. It's a message he preached–until he realized that his business experience showed something else. Kalt now thinks:
Looking back at the tech teams that I’ve built at my companies, it’s evident that individuals with liberal arts degrees are by far the sharpest, best-performing software developers and technology leaders. Often these modern techies have degrees in philosophy, history, and music – even political science, which was my degree.
How can this be?
It’s very simple. A well-rounded liberal arts degree establishes a foundation of critical thinking. Critical thinkers can accomplish anything. Critical thinkers can master French, Ruby on Rails, Python or whatever future language comes their way. A critical thinker is a self-learning machine that is not constrained by memorizing commands or syntax.
Writing code can be just as stimulating as playing guitar or learning chess. Therefore, like musicians, many of the best programmers are self-taught. They don’t write their first line of code in a classroom. Instead, they learn Ruby on a laptop while at Starbucks, just for fun.
Most liberal arts degrees encourage a well-rounded curriculum that can give students exposure to programming alongside the humanities. Philosophy, literature, art, history and language give students a thorough understanding of how people document the human experience. Technology is a part of our human experience, not a replacement to it.
Music to this English major's ears.
I've written before that I believe that anyone armed with a liberal arts degree and willing to work will not starve.