Liberal Arts vs STEM: Which Education Path Is Right for You?

liberal arts vs STEM

It’s projected that about 3.7 million students graduated from high school between 2018-2019. With such a large percentage of people graduating from high school, it doesn’t mean that they’re sure what they want to do in the future.

Whether or not you just graduated from high school, you might be torn between liberal arts and a STEM program. Which college education is the right option for you?

Make the next 4 years count! Read this guide on a comparison between liberal arts vs. STEM programs to decide which is the right choice for you.

What Is STEM?

As you’re comparing a Liberal Arts EDU and STEM, it’s important to note that STEM is short for science, technology, engineering, and math. Liberal arts means that you study a range of disciplines, from science to literature.

Many STEM programs could have a liberal arts foundation. As technology advances and turns to artificial intelligence, it’s important to understand the philosophical, ethical, and economic implications of this.

It’s also important to be able to answer the different questions of privacy when it comes to data and the digital world. As you study Psychology and other liberal art disciplines, you’ll better understand how the internet can shape political beliefs.

Better Understanding a Liberal Arts Degree

As you’re exploring what to study in college, liberal arts disciplines will include formal, social, and natural sciences as well as the humanities. Formal sciences include stats, logic, and math.

Natural sciences are physics, chemistry, and biology. Humanities include ethics, literature, theatre, and art. Social sciences are gender, psychology, sociology, and philosophy.

It’s not about memorizing content, but being able to think critically and better understand the world around you. These skills will help you as you enter the workforce when you complete college.

How STEM Programs and Liberal Arts Are Similar

While many believe that there’s a disconnect between the 2, they’re actually quite similar. A STEM program also tries to make a well-rounded individual by having other courses such as social science, ethics, literature, programming, philosophy, and more.

Even if you want to become a computer scientist, understanding the different aspects of society and human nature is important for success. They could also help you in your computer science and other math or science courses as well.

STEM Majors

As you’re exploring the different types of colleges, those that offer STEM majors will include Computer and Information Sciences, Biological and Biomedical Sciences, and Engineering. Other degrees include agriculture, architecture, physical science, and others.

Some other examples of STEM degrees include:

  • Physics
  • Zoology
  • Statistics
  • Nursing
  • Physical Sciences

Liberal Arts vs. STEM

As you’re choosing between STEM vs. liberal arts, decide what you enjoy doing most. STEM focuses more on specific outcomes.

This could include the output of products, building a parking lot, etc. If you choose a STEM career, since they’re more in demand currently, you could have a higher salary than those with Liberal Art degrees.

Liberal arts are more focused on public service, humanities, and teaching. It focuses more on helping others and less on building and creating physical products.

Some other examples of liberal arts include:

  • Art
  • American Studies
  • Advertising
  • Accounting
  • Applied Science

Do I Need To Choose Right Away?

If you’re not sure what you want to do, you could sign up for a basic liberal arts program. This way you’ll have different pre-requisite courses under your belt before you choose a major.

Speak with an advisor at your future college to help you determine which path is right for you. You could also save money and head to a local community college while you’re deciding which path is right for you. Community colleges tend to have easier and less expensive courses that you could have counted toward a 4-year degree.

The Myth About a Liberal Arts Degree

Many are under the impression that if they go for a Liberal Arts Degree, then they’ll be jobless after college. This isn’t the case.

Liberal art courses could give you a strong foundation to be useful in the workforce. STEM and liberal arts don’t need to be a competition. No matter what career you’re choosing, take a look at projections for job openings and the requirements for those positions.

While some jobs might overlook a Liberal Arts Degree, it’s a mistake since these are well-rounded individuals who have studied vast topics and can think critically as well. It’s a good foundation for several jobs whether you’re heading into business or teaching.

Can You Compare Stem and Liberal Arts?

Many are in agreement that you can’t compare the 2 since they’re both important and go hand-in-hand. This is due to the fact that math and science fall under liberal arts as well.

Many are under the false impression that STEM degrees are better than a Liberal Arts degree, but this isn’t the case. You’ll even find STEM programs in elementary schools.

While STEM programs do deserve recognition and attention, so do Liberal Art degrees. If you want to compare the 2 of them, you’d need to take math and science out of liberal arts.

Determining Whether Liberal Arts vs. STEM Is Right for You

After exploring this guide, you should have a better idea of when you compare liberal arts vs. STEM, they’re both important. As far as which is the right option for you, this comes down to your interests and passion.

Would you like to read more informative educational content? Be sure to check out our other articles on our site today.

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About the Author: mike