During my second year I was sitting in a lecture hall in Athens, GA at the annual Georgia College Press Association conference with editors from nearly every college newspaper in the state. At these conferences, I admittedly tend to feel a little inept among other students who have established journalism majors at their colleges. At this specific conference however, I realized that what Tech lacks in niche liberal art programs, it makes up for in preparation for the real world job market, which is ever evolving to be more technologically forward.
Over the course of the presentation, the speaker drilled into us that in order to be competitive journalists we needed to have experience working with virtual reality and data visualization, as well as some coding knowledge, since that was the direction the field was going in. While all of the other students from liberal art heavy colleges were furiously jotting down those terms, I was astonished that my CS 1315 class, which I had to take twice after a valiant yet futile first attempt, might end up being beneficial down the road.
I know that getting a Bachelor of Science in Literature, Media, and Communication may seem strange. I vividly remember joking about it with one of my high school friends my freshman year, as they too were ironically getting a Bachelor of Arts in Physics and Computer Science from the University of Georgia. While I originally resented the technology and math heavy courses Tech forced me to take to achieve a B.S. when I would have been content never seeing an equation again in my life, it is moments like that conference when I realize I am miles ahead of my non-Tech counterparts.
STEM has constantly invaded my liberal arts education, making its presence known even in classes where you would not expect it. I remember sitting in my LMC seminar class, which was dedicated to studying Robin Hood, and having an in-depth conversation about the technological advancements of Robin Hood’s bow and arrow. At first I found these conversations to be a nuisance and, as someone who did not have a strong STEM background coming into Tech, they felt slightly inaccessible and exclusionary to me. After a while, I gained confidence in my liberal arts experience here and realized that in order for me to take full advantage of the brilliant minds at Tech, I needed to embrace the engineering invasions every so often.
Getting a B.S. as a liberal arts major may seem silly, but it’s one of the best decisions someone can make in today’s job field. Nearly every field is integrating more and more technology into their everyday business operations and that one coding class you have to suffer through will expose you to a world of knowledge that can give you a leg up in the job market, or at least that’s what I’m telling myself.
What was said at that conference made me evermore confident in my decision to be a LMC major at an engineering school. While those at humanities heavy institutions were jotting down what they needed to teach themselves in order to be a competitive candidate, I had already been exposed to all of those things through my classes at Tech. So, to all my fellow liberal art students out there, pay attention to the STEM concepts you’re taught in class. I know those long labs will be brutal and the lines of code might make you cry, but it will all be (hopefully) worth it in the end.