Study liberal arts — and gain power – CNN.com

As higher education has gotten far more expensive, parents and legislators demand better “return on investment.” The greater the focus on ROI, the more attention is paid to “strategic” fields with obvious employment prospects, like business and computer science … But the rush to “practical” education, which has accelerated since the Great Recession, arises not so much from optimism about what science and technology can do for our country but from anxiety about falling behind in a time of severe inequality.

But don’t take my word for it. Ask Barack Obama (political science), Conan O’Brien (English and history), Michael Lewis (art history), Oprah Winfrey (speech and drama), Stephen Colbert (philosophy and theater), Ted Turner (classics), Clarence Thomas (English literature) or Natalie Portman (psychology).

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