PRO: STEM vs. Humanities

Should the U.S. education focus more on STEM education at the cost of the humanities?

Bernard Chen, Assistant News Editor

The truth is… poems don’t cure cancer. While the humanities may enrich the mind with culture, history and literature, it contributes little to nothing in the effort to advance society. If anything, the humanities regress the progress of the human race, as it focuses on the past rather than the future. In contrast, the sciences, technologies, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields, further society as a whole.

In recent years, studies have shown that applicants for humanities majors have been on the decline. Harvard University has reported a decrease of 20 percent in humanities majors in the past 10 years. Moreover, students in high school have been focusing their efforts in STEM topics more than to humanities.

This shift in majors provides a foundation for a more advanced society. As more and more students go into various STEM fields, the scientific community of the U.S. will be fueled and thus, the amount of advancements made will greatly increase. This boost in STEM majors can help contribute in solving the world’s problems through practical solutions and studies.

It has always been a long-standing belief that STEM majors are more profitable than the humanities. For students whom may be on a tight budget, money is especially important. While in STEM fields during college, these students are able to begin their career with reputable companies by doing research at institutions and earn a higher income than others not in this field. With the rising prices of consumer goods and the competitive atmosphere of academia, there is no doubt why students are choosing more lucrative STEM professions over humanities professions. Simply, the payout rate of a STEM major is generally much greater than that of a humanities major. More money will be beneficial to students paying their college tuitions and will be supportive of furthering STEM research.

Progress and wealth come as a benefit of STEM but at an expense of the humanities. While one may argue that history is very important to be civilized and cultured, the greatest scientists of today came after the philosophers of the past, showing how modern times are moving toward STEM. Since then, the amount of advancements made in medicine, technology, and science has grown exponentially, leading our world toward a more STEM related future.

STEM can fix the problems of this society while the humanities only lingers over what has already happened. Subsequently, STEM is a direct path to success because with further emphasis on these fields, students, as well as others, are able to reap more benefits and push the technology of the U.S. to become even more advanced.