Posts from "May, 2014"

Fareed Zakaria On the Liberal Arts, Careers and the Good Life

Schooled in India, where the best education was rote memorization of technical knowledge, Fareed Zakaria tells in his recent graduation speech at Sarah Lawrence College how he discovered the power and advantage of liberal education in the U.S. He learned how to write, think, express himself and, above all, to self-teach.

In an era when successful companies, organizations, and even individual careers, depend on adaptability and innovation, the liberal arts should be central to everyone’s education.

Listen to Zakaria’s perspective here:

Full speech can be found here:

*thanks to Lynn Williams for link

WSJ: Languages Pay

In a globalized world, “language is the new oil,” claims Hans Fenstermacher, CEO of GALA. It stands to reason that among the liberal arts disciplines, language study, especially translation and localization (a 32 billion dollar industry), is on the rise. The WSJ captures this rise in terms of higher salaries; it’s not clear, however, that the author of the article (or, for that matter, the authors of the NACE study cited) see(s) the economic drivers pushing the pay of language majors to the top.


“Parents, don’t despair. Even if your child spends four years of
college reading Hungarian poetry or delving deep into the Faulkner
oeuvre, he or she can still earn a decent salary shortly after packing
up the senior-year dorm room. So says the National Association of Colleges and Employers, which
reports that the top-paying liberal arts majors for 2014 graduates are
foreign languages and literature (average starting salary $46,900) and
English ($42,200). The results are based on job offers that students
accepted earlier this year and were reported by employers in February
2014 primarily through a variety of government surveys.”

read here:

Researcher Finds that Study Abroad Improves Thinking Skills

The study, which focuses on an international MBA abroad program, argues that students become more “flexible, creative and complex thinkers.”

“[…] Using a
culturally diverse sample, we found that “multicultural engagement”–the
to which students adapted to and learned about new
cultures–during a highly international 10-month master of business
(MBA) program predicted the number of job offers
students received after the program, even when controlling for important
personality/demographic variables. Furthermore,
multicultural engagement predicted an increase in integrative complexity
the course of the 10-month program, and this
increase in integrative complexity mediated the effect of multicultural
on job market success…”

study here:

Time Magazine comments here:

Teaching Business by Reading Plato, Kant and Derrida?

The London Business School is now doing this, and the idea, the article states, was a response to students overly focused on the bottom line and to complaints by employers who say “recent
graduates are trained to solve single problems but often miss the big

But will one course do the job? I’m curious about how the courses are constructed to bridge the gap between disciplines. And wouldn’t it be better if the courses were taught by trained philosophers or, better, co-taught from business and philosophical perspectives?

*thanks to Crismon Lewis for link.