Phi Beta Kappa’s Arts and Sciences initiative has put out an infographic on education versus training. I’ve been looking about for the surveys and the methods so I could see what’s what, but I haven’t located anything yet. According to this survey, employers get it: they want smart people they can train themselves, people who think and write and with the resource to analyze and solve problems. There’s no apparent tradeoff between arts and science education, as scientists note that arts training helped them with their careers in science by ‘boosting innovation.’ Particularly telling is the 11 different jobs statistic, which has always been my shibboleth. So I teach you how to read a site map–bully for us–and how does that help you envision or move into jobs other than that? (That said, people are always learning and teaching: people learn being in the world, not just a classroom. But I hope a classroom is a place where you have a group of people ready to discuss what you are learning, which may or may not happen outside the classroom.)
Where is the drive to pursue training instead of education coming from? Perhaps it is something we have imagined. Or, perhaps, the complaints we get from industry come down to the fact that education is not sufficiently broad, nor are we teaching critical thought, writing, analysis or problem-solving.