More on the liberal arts debate

If the Gates vs. Jobs debate on the job-related-vs-liberal-arts education isn’t enough, here’s a little debate in Bloomberg Businessweek:

Robert E. Geer, College of Nanoscale Science & Engineering, University at Albany-SUNY, writes:

… To compete—and succeed—in today’s global economy, our universities must do more than simply impart knowledge. They need to offer specialized courses of study that teach students how to create knowledge, innovate, and blend multiple disciplines to forge new pathways in science and technology.

Linda H. Halisky of the College of Liberal Arts at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, counters:

In a recent Harvard Business Review item, writer Tony Golsby-Smith points to the limitations of an education focusing more on skills that prepare us to “control, predict, verify, guarantee, and test data” and less on the aptitudes necessary to “navigate the ‘what if’ questions” the real world presents. …

… This debate really needn’t be about one or the other: It’s the cooperation and interplay of the liberal arts with vocation-specific training, as it turns out, that holds the most promise.