What a Liberal Arts Education Should Be

Freshman must take introductory classes in economics, psychology, philosophy, computer science, and four other subjects of their choice. The following year they cannot take more than two classes in any individual department. They also must take at least two more introductory classes.  After their sophomore year, when they’ve truly been exposed to numerous subjects, they can pick a major and study whatever they want.

I’d even argue that all of college education should be like this. If you don’t know what you want to do after high school then you should spend a year getting a taste of everything. If you do know what you want to do then you should begin working in that field and learn on the job.

Of course this could never work in today’s labor market because there is no job an 18-year-old could have for four years  that will leave him with the official qualifications necessary to compete with people possessing undergraduate or graduate degrees.  If you want a job that pays well, higher education has monopoly on dolling out the qualifications that will get one for you.  This causes people who know what they want to do to waste time on other subjects.  And because colleges must account for focused study, it probably causes people who don’t know what they want to do to cast a narrower net than they should.


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