Unlike programs where students are trained on a very specific set of skills, the Arts take the more liberal approach and teach a variety of skills… completely transferrable and a great asset to any employer. It is underestimated how valuable a transferrable skill set really is, mostly because the understood definition of ‘success’ is out-dated and craving disruption. When I say “craving disruption”, I mean that the concept of success urgently needs to be redefined in how people measure it. It’s unfortunate that we live in a world where success is defined by the number of zeros in your salary rather than the skills and determination that got you there in the first place. I believe that success is measured by the balance of three things: (1) being good at something, (2) liking what you do, and (3) getting paid to do it. Note that all three are not mutually exclusive, and often times the elements influence one another. The first element - although fairly broad - means exactly what it sounds like: being good at a particular subject. This could be anything from a specific software development language
to an incredible comprehension of Shakespeare’s sonnets. The second refers to overall happiness, motivation, and passion, and the third is obvious. These components influence each other in the sense that there is no particular order to them; money very rarely comes before being good at a particular skill… however, it can absolutely influence whether the job is enjoyed. Unlike other faculties, the Arts faculty thrives off passion - encouraging their students to discover and learn about what interests them. This is obvious when we look at the undergraduate course calendar for a program like Psychology, which offers dozens of different courses on a wide variety of specific subjects within the department. This creates a vast amount of options and possibilities for anybody to find the topics that interest them. It is the perfect faculty for the self-motivated individual, determined to study what they like and ‘make it theirs’. In comparison to other faculties, the Arts facilitate success by nurturing the thirst for knowledge and desire to learn. In regard to the previously mentioned ‘measurements of success’, it begins by making sure the participants enjoy what
they do; the accompanying skill set is built on top of this foundation. By “making it theirs”, I mean that the passionate Arts student will extract the transferable skills from their studies on their own. This is one reason why marketing the Arts can be such a challenge - the expertise that can come out of an Arts degree is completely subjective and so vast. In comparison to other fields of study, it is extremely difficult to attach a label to the value of every single graduate’s degree – it is intangible and tremendously diverse. So, as for finding a job “related to your field”, the Washington Post does not have the authority to declare what is or what is not related. It is up to the students: the ones whose passion and determination has put them through post-secondary, and the ones who have assembled a skill set from these interests. It is Arts students that will be successful and find (or make) a job in whichever field they like, getting paid to do what they love. And the next time somebody laughs at my degree, I’ll be sure to let them know why earning an Arts degree is the best decision I’ve ever made.
The 6th issue of Passion8 Magazine