Liberal Arts Majors Get High-Tech Education

I know plenty of folks who have a liberal-arts degree. Many went on to find meaningful work in various fields because their studies covered a broad spectrum. Some floundered for a while before they latched on to a good career because – well – their education was so broad. I think it was different when I was in college, however. Today, graduates need to bring a special skill set to the table in order to lasso a job in a very tough market.

Enter a cool program from Cornell University. According to The Wall Street Journal, the program taps liberal-arts students and gives them training in high-tech fields. The goal is to have these students bring humanistic values to technology fields and address ethical quandaries in the fast-changing digital world.

“We’re all seeing today the incredible challenges of producing digital technology that reflects humanistic values,” says Daniel Huttenlocher, dean of Cornell Tech. “The goal is to start to train students who are thinking about these issues when designing technologies.’’

If I were to go back to school and embark on a new career, I think I’d vie for a position that was steeped in technology and what we used to call the “touchy-feely” degree. While I can apply html code to achieve my goals on, there’s no mistaking me for a technology genius. I do, however, feel pretty confident that I’m good at addressing ethical quandaries.

Traci-bio-photo.jpgTraci Purdum is Chemical Processing’s senior digital editor. She’s mastered programming the time on the microwave. You can email her at