The past ten years has seen dramatic shifts in the majors of college graduates. Copyright © 2019 Vaziri, Tay, Parrigon, Bradburn and Pawelski. Curr. doi: 10.1016/j.jvb.2005.11.003, Tizon, C. (2013). Despite a growing number of studies demonstrating the importance of fit between interests and major/career, an increasing discordant rhetoric can be heard emphasizing either STEM or the humanities in education and work. Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. In one corner of this academic boxing ring stands STEM: Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. doi: 10.1006/jvbe.2000.1771, Stanford Humanities Center (2017). “It’s a placeholder for ‘my kid is a smart kid.’ The danger is in the parents of kids at elite universities who really think their kids just have to zero in on that science.”. Much has been made of the so called 'debate' between the liberal arts and STEM, despite the fact that one field does not overshadow the other. The implications of radically favoring STEM and discouraging humanities is detrimental both to society and individual students. On the other hand, perception of interest fit was a significant and positive predictor of all well-being and financial outcomes, suggesting that those who experienced more fit between their job and their interests not only reported higher levels of work satisfaction (b = 0.62, p < 0.001), but also higher levels of life satisfaction (b = 0.57, p < 0.001), financial satisfaction (b = 0.04, p < 0.001), and personal income (b = 0.29, p < 0.001). 57, 11–22. Below, we discuss the implications of our study along with its limitations. Front. |, Association of American Colleges and Universities, 2013, https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/feduc.2019.00143/full#supplementary-material, https://www.humanitiescommission.org/_pdf/Hum_Report_Card.pdf, http://www.aacu.org/leap/presidentstrust/compact/2013SurveySummary, https://www.usnews.com/news/us/articles/2016-01-29/in-kentucky-a-push-for-engineers-over-french-lit-scholars, https://www.bentley.edu/files/prepared/1.29.2013_BentleyU_Whitepaper_Shareable.pdf, https://www.burning-glass.com/research-project/stem/, https://www.humanitiesindicators.org/content/indicatordoc.aspx?i=34, https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2013/01/30/north-carolina-governor-joins-chorus-republicans-critical-liberal-arts, https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BUDGET-2016-BUD/pdf/BUDGET-2016-BUD.pdf, http://shc.stanford.edu/why-do-humanities-matter, http://nscresearchcenter.org/snapshotreport-degreeattainment3/#more-2111, Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). Beam, A. doi: 10.1177/1745691612449021, Nye, C. D., Su, R., Rounds, J., and Drasgow, F. (2017). While there has been a growing desire to channel and groom more young individuals to move into STEM careers, proponents of the humanities have challenged this idea. Humanities perspective is needed in all global challenges The second conviction around which the debate swirls is that the world desperately needs the insights of the humanities. One concern in the first study is that individuals' personality and ability level may confound with perception of interest fit. The choice of majoring in STEM or humanities must be motivated by a fascination and intrigue in said subject — not from societal pressures and myths. Person–environment Congruence and Holland's theory: a review and reconsideration. Why we still need to study the humanities in a STEM world (iStock) By Valerie Strauss Valerie Strauss Reporter covering education, foreign affairs … In addition, interest fit accounted for significantly more variance in work satisfaction and life satisfaction, compared to the major field. My experience was that STEM majors took far more English / History / Sociology / etc. The educational system has pushed scads of STEM programs, in elementary schools and even earlier. Manage. This publication was made possible through the support of a grant from Templeton Religion Trust. The opinions expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of Templeton Religion Trust. U.S. News. *Correspondence: Hoda Vaziri, hoda.vaziri@unt.edu, Front. While personal income is positively linked to emotional and cognitive well-being, research has shown that there is satiation point, beyond which limited gain or even lower life evaluation is reported (Jebb et al., 2018). Detailed information about the operationalization of variables is included in the Supplementary Materials. The interest-major congruence and college success relation: a longitudinal study. However, research also suggests that income is not linearly related to well-being indices such as emotional well-being and that there is a satiation point, after which limited gain or even lower evaluation is observed (Jebb et al., 2018). Facts & Figures The debate over the role of the humanities in higher education and American life reached new fervor this summer with the publication of several high profile reports and articles. What is surprising, however, is that despite the recognition of the importance of fit in prior research, as a society, we are moving toward a climate in which studying in STEM majors are overemphasized, humanities majors are undervalued, and more competent individuals are channeled and pressured into STEM careers. Within the humanities, one can learn another language, which can open the window into a new culture, a new worldview.”. Janitors? In response, arts and humanities institutions are reacting to these trends by highlighting the values of the arts and humanities to societies and for individuals. Regression results and relative weight analysis predicting well-being outcomes (Study 2). Hum. Multiple regression was used to examine the influence of major choice and interest fit on each well-being outcome, while controlling for demographic and individual characteristics. The nature and power of interests. We used data from 8,151 college-educated employed adults from the United States as surveyed in the Gallup-Purdue Index (GPI) since 1985. Hulleman, C. S., and Harackiewicz, J. M. (2009). College outcomes included economic markers of collegiate success (i.e., income) and well-being metrics as measured by the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index (i.e., work satisfaction, life satisfaction, and financial satisfaction). The development, evolution, and status of holland's theory of vocational personalities: reflections and future directions for counseling psychology. Providing equal or comparable funding and marketing for both STEM and humanities is an imperative component of fostering academic freedom and integration. Individual professors can incorporate STEM and humanities into their respective classrooms by provided context for one discipline against the backdrop of the other. The New York Times. Available online at: https://www.gpo.gov/fdsys/pkg/BUDGET-2016-BUD/pdf/BUDGET-2016-BUD.pdf (accessed November 6, 2017). Morris, M. A. University of Houston. The data that support the findings of this study are available from Gallup, but restrictions apply to their availability. 69, 64–89. In other words, we argue that it is not the choice of major or educational track (i.e., STEM vs. humanities) per se, but whether individuals' interests are congruent with the major or occupation that leads to enhanced individual outcomes. In addition, while the percentage of variance in personal income accounted by interest fit was not significantly different from that of major field, interest fit was a more important predictor compared to the major field in explaining work satisfaction, life satisfaction, and personal satisfaction (Table 1). Budget of the U.S Government: Fiscal Year 2016. This speaks to a broader point: the whole question of whether a student should choose Stem versus the humanities, or a vocational course versus a liberal arts degree, might be … Though an understandable sentiment, it is unfortunately not completely accurate. The data were used under license for the current study and are not publicly available. doi: 10.1016/0001-8791(72)90012-7, Chatman, J. Sci. A meta-analysis of the relationship between interest-based job fit and job satisfaction also suggests that perception of fit is more strongly related to satisfaction with supervisor, coworkers and work in general compared to satisfaction with pay and promotion (Morris, 2003). Psychol. Humanities traditionally include disciplines such as history, languages, literature, philosophy, classical studies, religion, art, law, politics and human geography. Bachelor's Degrees in the Humanities. Meir, E. I. American Academy of Arts Sciences (2013). STEAM investigates the same concepts, but does this through inquiry and problem-based learning methods used in the creative process. Association of American Colleges Universities (2013). While proponents of STEM majors rely heavily on the economic advantages of STEM degrees, we argue that such an emphasis on solely economic outcomes may omit or even mislead what is valued by individuals and societies (Diener and Seligman, 2004); therefore, a broader metrics of human well-being should be considered. A merger in vocational interest research: applying Holland's theory to strong's data. The results also indicated that the interaction between interest fit and major was only a significant predictor of work satisfaction (b = 0.04, p < 0.001), such that the effect of interest fit on work satisfaction was stronger for STEM majors (b = 0.65, p < 0.001) compared to those in the humanities (b = 0.58, p < 0.001). Inspire our creativity? Furthermore, individuals may craft their jobs (either cognitively or behaviorally) so that it fits better with their interests (Wrzesniewski and Dutton, 2001). Educ., 17 December 2019 I chose to frame the arts more widely to include the humanities, and asked the attendees: How do we identify the challenges we wish to work on? doi: 10.1016/j.jvb.2016.11.002. Society continually degrades these professions and yet fundamentally relies on them. The humanities crisis is multifaceted. Assouline, M., and Meir, E. I. They’ve instead taken to fabricating artificial environments in which STEM and humanities are not only partitioned, but made perpetual adversaries. They remain underrepresented in engineering True change will occur only when society ceases belittling humanities as a “dead-end major.” Lana Del Rey, an award-winning musician, studied philosophy. The emphasis on STEM programs and jobs has permeated politics, education, and the workforce system. (2005). (2015). This gives way to an even larger, generational dilemma. Furthermore, past research has not examined the differential effect of fit perceptions across majors. In line with this research, our results point to the important role of the match between individuals' interests and their career to their future well-being. We propose that perception of interest fit is more important than the domain itself per se. Psychol. The results of the regression analysis indicated that, STEM majors had higher levels of personal income (b = 0.28, p < 0.001), and slightly higher levels of life satisfaction (b = 0.06, p < 0.001). 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Wri… Here, we report unstandardized coefficients (b), which represent how much the outcome variable would change with a 1-unit change in the independent variable. Those with applied STEM majors earned nearly 50 percent more than social science and history majors at ages 23 to 25, but only 10 percent more by ages 38 to 40. The results of the RWA analysis (Supplementary Figure 2) indicated that perception of interest fit accounted for 87, 50, 23, and 10% of the explained variance for work satisfaction, life satisfaction, financial satisfaction, and personal income, respectively. Even more devastating is that university programs are often so strict in their segregation of STEM and humanities that those within STEM are unable to study the history of their own field. (2006). doi: 10.1177/0963721414522812, Spokane, A. R., Meir, E. I., and Catalano, M. (2000). Our results suggest that while majoring in STEM fields may result in slightly higher levels of personal income, the perception of fit between individual's interests and his/her job also plays a significant role in personal income and a more important role in their well-being. Dir. With rapid technological and scientific advances and a growing demand for modernization, a stronger emphasis has been placed on science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors and careers. Received: 05 December 2018; Accepted: 21 November 2019; Published: 17 December 2019. Bellwether institutions such as Harvard have also noted the decline in the number of undergraduate humanities majors — the percentage fell there from about 24% in 1964 to 17% in 2012. Pythagoras, whom you can thank for the Pythagorean Theorem of right triangles, founded a religious brotherhood whose studies included the metaphysics of numbers, music, astronomy and even the nature of souls. 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