Two generations ago in London, so it was said, banks in the City preferred to hire graduates in philosophy to those in economics. The way philosophers did their thinking was apparently considered particularly conducive to the requirements of High Finance.
This may – or may not – still be the case.
In any case, Roone Arledge, the man who transformed television sports coverage in the United States, was a student of Hegel. He also heard the lectures of Lionel Trilling and Mark Van Doren at Columbia. His Times obituary reported:
“Mr. Arledge brought to the programs he later produced what he learned in these courses: the importance of narrative and the role of the hero. Years later the announcers of ABC Sports were taught to emphasize what Mr. Arledge called the story line of whatever game they were covering and to focus on a star whose personal story could transcend the outcome of the events itself.”
According to a recent survey in The Wall Street Journal, the job market in the U.S. for graduates in the humanities (let us broaden the field) holds up well in comparison with graduates in marketing, economics, environmental engineering and – especially – psychology.
Let us assume that “Other Majors” includes majors in philosophy. MIS means Management Information Services. Please note that English, Political Science and History rank higher than Marketing.
Conclusion: According to this survey, no case can be made for cutting university courses in the liberal arts from the undergraduate point of view. Academic decision-making is obviously influenced by other considerations.
Source: Atlantic Monthly online