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It’s Not Just About STEM: The Case for a Well-Rounded Education

With the high cost of post-secondary education, you could be forgiven for wondering whether it's worth it to take classes unrelated to job training. Specifically, many students feel pressure to concentrate on STEM degrees, which yield the highest dollar-for-dollar return on investment. While the desire to be employable is good, foregoing a well-rounded education is short-sighted. Even if you're fortunate enough to love science and math, here's why you should leave the engineering department once in a while, in order to maximize your college experience.

With the high cost of post-secondary education, you could be forgiven for wondering whether it’s worth it to take classes unrelated to job training. Specifically, many students feel pressure to concentrate on STEM degrees, which yield the highest dollar-for-dollar return on investment. While the desire to be employable is good, foregoing a well-rounded education is short-sighted. Even if you’re fortunate enough to love science and math, here’s why you should leave the engineering department once in a while, in order to maximize your college experience.

(Photo Credit: Merrimack College/Flickr)

Education is the key to success. It teaches you how to think critically in life and gives you skills necessary to adapt to change. In addition, by developing learning habits and study skills, you will keep your wits sharp and prepare yourself for a lifetime of working toward fulfillment.

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Education Teaches You How to Adapt

Never underestimate the value of an education, beyond just preparing you for work. Job training prepares you to do a specific job, but it does not prepare you to be flexible, change goals, or adapt to new circumstances. A well-rounded education teaches you how to think and prepares you for life.

By stretching beyond your comfort zone, you’ll also learn to appreciate the perspective of people who have different opinions, approaches, and priorities. 

Studying Teaches You Discipline and Organization

Cramming doesn’t work. In order to really learn new information, you have to study consistently throughout the semester. By doing so, you develop habits that will come in handy whenever you want to learn a new skill — something that will come up again and again, over the course of your career. In addition, you’ll learn how to multitask and keep track of more than one thread at a time, which is essential for success in any job. 

Learning Keeps Your Brain Sharp

If you’re attending college while you’re fairly young, you’re probably not thinking more than a few years ahead, and that’s OK. But developing a lifelong love of learning and the habits that support it means that you’ll be able to keep improving your mind throughout your life. It means that you’ll never stop learning, whether it’s by taking an art history class, playing a musical instrument, or just reading up on something on your own,. Learning and using your brain keeps neurons firing and making new pathways, which keeps your mind active.

Education and learning are never wasted. They make us who we are, and they enable us to be flexible in changing world. A well-rounded education makes it easier for people to adapt when new technologies make old jobs obsolete, and we must all continue to learn new things.

Tell Us What You Think

Do you think obtaining a well-rounded education is worthwhile? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


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