Why Technology CEOs Want to Hire Liberal Arts Students

While ambiguity and shades of gray tend not fit the paradigm of technological solutions, they represent the arts' most powerful capabilities: to express life with all its complexities. 

Steve Jobs was famous for recognizing the limits of technology despite having the most successful technology company on the planet. In order for technology to inspire rather than solve mundane problems, said Jobs, it must be infused with the liberal arts and humanities. Today his perspective is echoed by an increasing number of tech CEOs. To them, a liberal arts degree teaches individuals how to live and thrive in uncertain environments. While ambiguity and shades of gray tend not fit the paradigm of technological solutions, they represent the arts' most powerful capabilities: to express life with all its complexities. 


"Stephen Yi, CEO of web advertising platform Media Alpha, says that the liberal arts train students to thrive in subjectivity and ambiguity, a necessary skill in the tech world where few things are black and white. 'In the dynamic environment of the technology sector, there is not typically one right answer when you make decisions,' he says. 'There are just different shades of how correct you might be,'he says."

Perhaps most importantly, a liberal arts education allows individuals to think about technology in a fundamentally different way. While the complexity of contemporary technology can easily orient people into a problem-solution mindset, a broader approach can emphasize the human element, i.e. how people integrate technology into their lives to realize their own values. 

In his Big Think interview, Ray Kurzweil argues that many qualities emphasized in the liberal arts, like having a thirst for knowledge and pursuing information for pleasure are essential to encouraging a new generation of entrepreneurs. 

Read more at Fast Company

Photo credit: Shutterstock

Compelling speakers do these 4 things every single time

The ability to speak clearly, succinctly, and powerfully is easier than you think

Former U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee rally at the Anaheim Convention Center on September 8, 2018 in Anaheim, California. (Photo by Barbara Davidson/Getty Images)
Personal Growth

The ability to communicate effectively can make or break a person's assessment of your intelligence, competence, and authenticity.

Keep reading Show less

Scientists invent method to extract gold from liquid waste

The next gold rush might take place in our sewers.

Shutterstock
Surprising Science
  • Even though we think of it as exceedingly rare, gold can be found all around us.
  • The trouble is, most of the gold is hard to get at; its too diluted in our waste or ocean waters to effectively extract.
  • This new technique quickly, easily, and reliably extracts gold from most liquids.
Keep reading Show less

How 'dark horses' flip the script of success and happiness

What defines a dark horse? The all-important decision to pursue fulfillment and excellence.

Big Think Books

When we first set the Dark Horse Project in motion, fulfillment was the last thing on our minds. We were hoping to uncover specific and possibly idiosyncratic study methods, learning techniques, and rehearsal regimes that dark horses used to attain excellence. Our training made us resistant to ambiguous variables that were difficult to quantify, and personal fulfillment seemed downright foggy. But our training also taught us never to ignore the evidence, no matter how much it violated our expectations.

Keep reading Show less