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Humanities vs. STEM

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  In today’s society, we rely on facts, striving towards truth. As a result, college majors that incorporate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (also known as STEM) has become increasingly popular. Often, these majors are prioritized over those regarding humanities. According to American science journalist and humanities professor at Stevens University John Horgan, many college students who often major in STEM courses “don’t see the point in old impractical stuff that doesn’t have to do with their careers”. While this may be true, in a society that places such a high emphasis on advancing technologically and scientifically, we need humanities now more than ever.

  In science, there is truth. You find answers and receive certainty. In science, mathematics, and engineering classes, you are given facts and answers. Everything your professors and teachers say is the absolute truth, and many do not think to question the answers that are given to us. However, humanities remind us to question those answers, to ask “why?” Contrastingly, they give you uncertainty and doubt. This skepticism allows us to question and undermine the answers that were given to us. “I believe the humanities encourage greater questioning of social norms, as well as specific types of thinking and judgment skills that STEM does not offer.” said sophomore Laila Latifi.

  Our world is technology driven. Every nation aims to lead the world in advancement. From the development of transportation such as the canals and railroads, to the automobiles; from the light bulb, to the moon landing. Throughout history, you can see the emphasis on STEM.

  “I increasingly question this definition as it only seems to address economic comfort, while significantly downplaying the benefits that come with studying the humanities,” said Latifi. Although STEM plays an important role in the advancements of the world today, there is a decrease in the interest for fields regarding humanities. Humanities – seemingly the exact opposite of STEM – is also a key player in the game of societal development. While STEM gives logic and truth, humanities allow us to question the facts that were spoonfed to us since we were young.

  Due to the increase of jobs regarding STEM, such as programming and coding, sophomore Olivia Andreson stated, “I find [the shift of emphasis on STEM] somewhat disappointing because the humanities provide so much culture.” The humanities, as its name states, is what makes us human. According to Stanford University, since humans have been able, we have used philosophy, literature, religion, art, music, history and language to understand and record our world. It is a natural and necessary part of being human.

  Nonetheless, the choice of major is ultimately up to you. “Do what you are passionate about … even though it is a shame that the humanities are decreasing in popularity, there are plenty of careers that combine the two fields together,” advises Andreson. Both STEM and the humanities play a vital role in this society. Choose whichever career/major that interests you, but be cautious of the field that is decreasing.

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Humanities vs. STEM