Opinion

Staff Editorial 1/21: Study what you love, not what’s cheaper

Choosing a major should be easy: You find your passion and you pursue it. The price of a degree should be secondary, if even a thought at all.

But for prospective students looking to attend a public university in Florida, they are faced with a tough decision because of Gov. Rick Scott’s campaign, which encourages students to pursue a STEM major – science, technology, engineering or math.

Since 2011, Scott has advocated for state colleges to steer their students away from liberal arts. He believes that freezing tuition rates for STEM majors will give students the incentive to pursue a degree in these fields.

“If I’m going to take money from a citizen to put into education then I’m going to take that money to create jobs,” Scott said. “So I want that money to go to degrees where people can get jobs in this state.”

Fortunately, this does not affect private institutions and at the University of Miami, the Year of the Humanities is underway.

Scott’s mentality poses a disturbing thought: Should students put their dreams on hold in order to pursue a degree that costs less and pays more in the long run?

Liberal arts degrees teach practical skills that are necessary for the real world. They focus on the most vital component to success: communication skills.

Every major has a purpose and making one degree more expensive than the other sends the wrong message. We have been instilled with the philosophy that if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life. But what happens when you don’t do what you love? Misery isn’t a better alternative.

For students pursuing a STEM major, a job after graduation is not guaranteed. If they do land a job, they will most likely have a decent starting salary. But who is to say that liberal arts majors won’t?

Scott’s reasoning behind freezing tuition for STEM majors is due to higher employment rates. He said jobs for STEM majors are “on the rise” and needed more than liberal arts majors.

If STEM majors are more likely to get hired, then their tuition should cost more. But, that isn’t fair either. Students should not be influenced by factors such as tuition when choosing a major. The fair thing to do is keep tuition equal among all majors.

Maya Angelou once said, “Success is liking yourself, liking what you do and liking how you do it.” Do not allow price to dictate your passion.

Pursue your dreams and the money will come.

 

Editorials represent the majority view of The Miami Hurricane editorial board.

January 20, 2013

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