Harvard’s Liberal-Arts Failure Is Wall Street’s Gain: Ezra Klein

Author: Klein, Ezra
Source: Bloomberg
Year: 2012
Number of pages: 3

[This document has not yet been rated] [You must be signed in as faculty to rate this document]   1169 views


In recent years, many top universities have tried to guide their students into careers other than finance.

In 2008, Drew Gilpin Faust, the president of Harvard University, went so far as to give a speech to graduating seniors asking them to stand fast against Wall Street’s “all but irresistible recruiting juggernaut.” Tufts University is paying the student loans of graduates who go into public service.

No high school senior gets her acceptance letter from Harvard and begins thinking about the exciting life she will lead constructing credit derivatives. But that’s where many students end up. Even after the financial crisis. Even after the bailout of Wall Street. Even after the dominant cultural metaphor for Goldman Sachs became a money-sucking vampire squid.

In effect, Wall Street -- like a few other professions, including law, management consulting and Teach for America -- is taking advantage of the weakness of liberal arts education.

My hunch is that we have underemphasized the need to learn skills, rather than simply learn, while in college.

Search for
Teaching Materials