Changing Education: Why We Need More Focus On ‘Soft’ Skills


Liberal arts majors know the reaction well — there’s likely a slow nod when they tell someone what they’re studying, perhaps a stunted pause, and then the dreaded question: «But what are you going to do with that degree?» While huge value has been placed upon STEM subjects, the value of a liberal arts education seems to have deflated. In fact, enrollment in liberal arts programs is down nationally in the U.S.

While everyone’s been cheering for traditional STEM style subjects, however, there’s been a worrying trend: Many managers and executives find their employees’ soft skills — such as creativity, communication, and collaboration — are not up to par. Moreover, these competencies aren’t traditionally gained through STEM education today. In terms of interpersonal skills, the training we’ve received so far is inadequate. So in what ways can educators work to change this?

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