A liberal-arts degree is an appropriate degree to obtain. Employers prefer someone who can think creatively and critically. This topic is important because some believe that a liberal-arts degree will not help you obtain a decent job in the job market these days.
Part 1: The general argument made by author Sanford J. Ungar in his work, 7 Misconceptions About the Liberal Arts, is that a liberal-arts degree is misconstrued as not being the best degree to obtain in this day and age. Author Ungar contends that a liberal-arts degree is a useful degree to obtain. More specifically, Ungar finds that “A 2009 survey for the Association of American Colleges and Universities actually found that more than three-quarters of our nation’s employers recommend that collegebound students pursue a “liberal education.” He writes “An astounding 89 percent said they were looking for more emphasis on ‘the ability to effectively communicate orally and in writing,’ and almost as many urged the development of better “critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills.” “Seventy percent said they were on the lookout for “the ability to innovate and be creative.” (Misconception No.2) In this passage, Ungar is suggesting that employers would like to have a liberal-arts graduate working for them. Essentially, Ungar’s belief is that corporations and some highly technical fields, are led by people with the liberal-arts degree.
Part 1(cont.): The general argument made by author Jeffery Spicer in his work, On Finding Common Ground, is that psychologist Carl Rogers believed that people cannot settle differences because they are more focused on expressing why someone is wrong rather than trying to understand the other parties’ point. Author Spicer contends that according to Rogers people lead with emotion rather than understanding. More specifically, Rogers finds that people don’t communicate effectively. He writes “According to Rogers the principal difficulty preventing people from settling their differences, indeed from communication effectively in an everyday sense, was that people couldn’t stop evaluating one another.” (paragraph 4) In this passage Rogers is suggesting that our emotions get in the way of us communicating effectively with one another. Essentially, Rogers belief is that if we put our feelings to the side, we would be able to communicate more effectively and may be able to solve our differences.
Comparing and Contrasting Sources Template
According to both Ungar and Spicer/Rogers we as people need a better way to communicate effectively. They both find learning to communicate effectively can assist you in all areas of your life, but they differ on the subject of obtaining a liberal arts degree to learn to communicate effectively. Ungar argues that a liberal-arts degree is essential to obtain. However, Rogers argues that you can learn to communicate effectively by using Rogerian Argument. Overall, they align on the issue of communicating effectively but depart in opinion about obtaining the knowledge to do so.
Entering the Conversation Template
While I agree that we as humans should learn how to communicate effectively because it will help tremendously in our everyday lives, I cannot agree with Ungar and Rogers/Spicer perspectives regarding learning how to communicate effectively. Although Ungar and Spicer/Rogers make a legitimate point about learning how to communicate effectively being essential to your life, they fail to account for the fact that many people may have disorders/diseases that can keep them from doing so. Whereas Ungar and Spicer/Rogers place ample attention to the issue of communicating effectively, they leave out the very important topic of mental illness. Those who have not reviewed the research about mental illness might agree with Ungar and Rogers on the issue of communicating effectively. However, those who have spent time reading current research about mental illness will find that Ungar’s and Rogers’ arguments are flawed. Being diagnosed with a mental illness could hinder you from obtaining a liberal-arts degree and from learning to communicate effectively. According to Newsweek.com “nearly 1 in 5 Americans suffer from mental illness each year.” That is 1 in 5 people who may not be able to obtain a liberal-arts degree, and depending on the severity of the mental illness, they may not be able to learn how to communicate effectively. Newsweek.com also states “The data compiled by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) also indicates that approximately 9.3 million adults, or about 4 percent of those Americans ages 18 and up, experience “serious mental illness” -that is, their condition impedes day-to-day activities such as going to work.” I myself am learning everyday to communicate effectively, and I also understand how very important it is to succeed in life. I am diagnosed with multiple mental illnesses and have experienced my mental illness effecting a job. I was working at a retirement community, when I first started the job, I told management I am mentally ill/disabled and it may take me longer to “learn the ropes” than someone who doesn’t have a diagnosis. At first everything was ok but the job became too stressful I was in the bathroom hiding in a stall crying almost everyday because the job was so high paced, crowded, and stressful. I ultimately ended up quitting the job.
Until I read 7 Misconceptions About the Liberal Arts, I never really knew that a liberal-arts degree could get you a decent career, or that employers actually would prefer someone with a liberal-arts degree. I myself always believed the only field of study you should be in is medicine. When I first started college, I wanted to be an EMT, then I decided I wanted to be a Surgical Technician. Now I am going to become a mortician/funeral director. After reading On Finding Common Ground I now believe I will need to know how to communicate effectively very well in the job field I am going into. Time.com has an article called 10 CEOS Who Prove Your Liberal Arts Degree Isn’t Worthless. After reading the list of people who went very far in life with a liberal-arts degree it made me understand Ungar’s article even more. Both Ungar and Spicer/Rogers make very valid points that I agree and disagree with. I learned a lot from both articles and plan to study more of Rogerian Arguments.
Part 2: The misconceptions Ungar rebuts most effectively is that a liberal-arts degree could be very beneficial and you can obtain a good career with the degree. In Misconceptions No.4 Ungar could have put the percentage of college graduates who have a liberal-arts degree versus those who have a degree in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. In doing so I would have a better understanding or those who have a liberal-arts degree versus those who have a degree in one of the STEM fields.
In Misconceptions No.6 Ungar could have put more research on the percentage of people in the United States who have liberal-arts degrees versus the number of people in China or Germany. In doing so would give me a better idea of how many people in the U.S. versus China or Germany have obtained a liberal-arts degree.
Part 3: The Rogerian Argument was organized very well. The context of the argument made it easier for me to understand. I believe the argument to be both pathos and logos, because its talks about emotions but also uses a good example when he mentions the roommate situation. The strategy or the argument was very well put and I appreciated the fact that everything broken down into different sections covering every point and subject.
Part 4: Though a liberal-arts degree may be a good degree choice, A degree in the STEM’s field could also get you a good career and help you go far in life.
- Spicer, Jeffrey. “On Finding Common Ground.” Writing Commons. https://writingcommons.org/open-text/genres/academic-writing/arguments/318-rogerian-argument. Accessed 17 January 2019.
- Ungar, Sanford J. “7 Major Misperceptions About the Liberal Arts.” The Chronicle of Higher Education. 28 February 2010. https://www.chronicle.com/article/7-Major-Misperceptions-About/64363. Accessed 2 January 2018.
- Bekiempis, Victoria. “Nearly 1 in 5 Americans Suffers From Mental Illness Each Year.” Newsweek.com 28 February 2014, https://www.newsweek.com/nearly-1-5-americans-suffer-mental-illness-each-year-230608. Accessed 28 January 2019.
- Linshi, Jack. “10 CEOs Who Prove Your Liberal Arts Degree Isn’t Worthless.” Time.com 23 July 2015, http://time.com/3964415/ceo-degree-liberal-arts/. Accessed 28 January 2019.