Florida Gov. Rick Scott thinks the state doesn’t need any more anthropologists… or philosophers, or any of those other pointy-headed liberal arts degrees. After all, what kind of a job can you get with a college degree that doesn’t teach you how to live in the real world?
“You know what? They need to get education in areas where they can get jobs,” Scott told a right-wing radio host Monday morning. He continued: “You know, we don’t need a lot more anthropologists in the state. It’s a great degree if people want to get it, but we don’t need them here. I want to spend our dollars giving people science, technology, engineering, math degrees. That’s what our kids need to focus all their time and attention on. Those type of degrees. So when they get out of school, they can get a job.”
I suppose it will come as a shock to Mr. Scott, but the reason most people go to college isn’t just to get a job. Getting a college degree — or three of them — in a “soft” area like, oh, say, theatre, can teach you an awful lot about things other than just theatre — including science, technology, and engineering if you study scene design — as well as instruct you in the fact that there is a lot more to life than just getting a job. There’s learning how to use the knowledge and experience you gain from being around different ideas and people. You learn how to think; wisdom is not measured by degrees.
There’s also the fact that while there is nothing at all wrong in getting a degree in something like science — but wait; isn’t that where they teach “evolution”? — or math, a lot of the people in this world who got degrees in the so-called “arty” majors; people like Carly Fiorina, Clarence Thomas, Billy Graham, and Ronald Reagan, or people who got no degree at all; like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, end up hiring or being the bosses of people who got the math, science, and engineering degrees. That seems to be a fact that Mr. Scott hasn’t learned in his long and illustrious academic career.
By the way, the state of Florida spends more than ten times on football at colleges and universities than it does on anthropology. Now there’s a good use of our educational resources.