Hacker News new | comments | show | ask | jobs | submit login

There's been a lot of hating on us poor liberal arts graduates that didn't have the foresight to know that our education was going to invariably lead to crushing, static unemployment, so I figure I'd throw in my $.02

I've been building and tinkering with computers since I was 11 and it has always been sort of a foregone conclusion that I would go into CS or compe. But when I started college, for a number of reasons, I decided I wanted to study physics. But a few years in, I realized I wasn't really getting the full-bodied education that I was hoping for. I noticed this in myself as well as my peers in comparable science/engineering programs. It turns out, many of the programs that leave you with marketable skills necessarily sacrifice breadth of understanding.

This isn't to say all cs grads know nothing of the world, but it was a noticeable problem. There is, of course, virtue in training people to think only about a single field and think about it deeply and constantly. But I didn't want to be one of those people, so I switched to Political Science.

Political Science, at my school, was an interdisciplinary program - it allowed students to design their own concentrations within the framework of the program. Because of this, I was able to take advanced level courses in philosophy, music theory, english, astrophysics, economics, and computer science. No I'm not an expert on any of these, but I have the groundwork to understand any of them that I wish to personally pursue further. And many of them, I have.

Of course, after five years of college, I finally realized that I'm most passionate about writing, advertising, and technology, but I'm stuck competing against people with more specifically tailored credentials. This is obviously a problem, and I'm not going to claim I haven't spent nights wishing I had just stuck with something that would land me a job and a life of comfort. But comfort is as dangerous as it is pleasant and a lack of it often spurs the greatest innovation. That last part, however, I'm still working on.

But what about my CS friends? Some of them are legitimately well-rounded and interesting people... and some sold their souls at 100 hr/wk at nyc firms making 100k but they'll never see the world with the appreciative eyes of the destitute - they'll always want more because that's all they've ever been taught to value. Many will live lives hopelessly seeking satisfaction through abundance.

Save your pity for those guys, thank you.

PS: I don't really think all these guys are doomed because they took high-stress, high-paying jobs, I just wanted to represent the other side of the coin. Don't assume all LAS grads are forever useless... also, if you have the means, hire one. (specifically, me)

Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | DMCA | Apply to YC | Contact