On the Benefits of Taking “Impractical” Courses

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humanitiesIn a recent article from The Washington Post tiled, “Please, Students, Take That ‘Impractical’ Humanities Class. We Will All Benefit,” Ronald J. Daniels, the president of Duke University, makes a case for taking “impractical” humanities classes. For one, those “impractical” courses have practical benefits in the job market. As Daniels writes, “It is true that many employers are looking for graduates with specialized technical skills, but they also look for other capabilities. As the world is transformed by artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation, the uniquely human qualities of creativity, imagination, discernment and moral reasoning will be the ultimate coin of the realm. All these skills, as well as the ability to communicate clearly and persuasively, are honed in humanities courses.”

But more importantly, those “impractical” courses help us to lead meaningful, purposeful lives. As he writes, “When students, and graduates, inevitably face moments of ethical decision-making, of sorting fact from fiction on social media, and of reconciling individual aspirations with obligations to their communities, they would be aided by the habits of discernment and deliberation that have distinguished the humanistic tradition for centuries. Perhaps best of all for the country is the vital role played by humanistic inquiry in the development of better, more informed, more capable citizens. That is an especially resonant value in the United States’ present moment of uncertainty and division.”

You can read the rest of the article here.

And you can find loads of “impractical” classes at PCC here.

 

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