Famed billionaire Mark Cuban, who has a degree in business administration, is going against the tide by endorsing the liberal arts and predicting that the skills gained through a rigorous liberal arts education will be what’s needed to succeed in the future.
Owner of the Dallas Mavericks and one of the “sharks” on the highly-ranked “Shark Tank” television show, Cuban recently spoke on Bloomberg TV about the economic future of the country and the value of a liberal arts education, like the one offered at Christendom College.
“I personally think there’s going to be a greater demand in 10 years for liberal arts majors than for programming majors and maybe even engineering,” Cuban said. He noted degrees such as English, philosophy, and foreign languages as being the most valuable because he believes that liberal arts graduates bring a different perspective to the table and can then decipher that data better with that different view – and this is the key to success in the future.
Cuban may be interested to find that his theory about the importance of learning critical thinking skills through a liberal arts degree lines up with the teachings of Blessed John Henry Cardinal Newman and Pope Benedict XVI.
John Henry Cardinal Newman wrote about the power of the liberal arts in his work, The Idea of a University, in the mid-1800s, explaining that by seeking the truth through various disciplines, a student of the liberal arts cultivates a new intellectual power – an intellectual habit of mind – enabling him the ability to master any subject.
He observed that liberal arts graduates attain an intellectual prowess in which they can take up any career and thrive with competence, grace, versatility, and success, equipping them for a life of leadership and excellence.
Pope Benedict XVI, in speaking to students in England while beatifying Cardinal Newman, warned students not to focus on too narrow of an education, but rather embrace a broad education because it would benefit them, society, and the Church better.
“Never allow yourselves to become narrow,” he said. “The world needs good scientists, but a scientific outlook becomes dangerously narrow if it ignores the religious or ethical dimension of life, just as religion becomes narrow if it rejects the legitimate contribution of science to our understanding of the world. We need good historians and philosophers and economists, but if the account they give of human life within their particular field is too narrowly focused, they can lead us seriously astray.”
The top skills sought after by employers are critical thinking and communication skills, and the ability to solve complex problems. In fact, according to Forbes magazine, 93% of employers think these skills are more important than a job candidate’s college major.