Yes. Perfect. This is important, they're doing it right. I would venture to say that the specialization of the US education system, and the increased specialization especially in Engineering and Computer Sciences and in the sciences in general, is one of the largest problems in higher education today.
It's so important to learn how to think, to learn how to learn, to learn how fields are connected and interrelated even in indirect ways, and simply to learn that knowledge you cannot directly use still has value in its ability to train your mind to think about problems and make connections in new ways.
I am supremely thankful for my Bachelor of Arts in Comp Sci, for it gave me the freedom to take classes outside Engineering, in the arts. This liberal (aka comprehensive, varied, generous) arts education makes my computer science education flourish, and I believe has made me into the well-balanced person I am today.
What we need today are not people who can think intensely about one subject—we need people who can think about how to think, and apply that to anything. Well, we need both, surely, but we need some more generalists, or perhaps specialists who aren't myopic. We're getting overspecialized in the US, I think.
En d'autres termes, bonne travail France!
Recalling my own experience I got a BA in political science and I spent something like 30 hours in my major, and 90+ in general education.
It seems as though many people on HN (and in general) talk about how we need more STEM majors, but then complain that a degree that's very highly technical isn't broad enough. If you want people to graduate in a reasonable amount of time than it almost has to be one or another.
Traditionally, University exposed you to many things, various schools of thought and diverse subjects. The idea was to create an intelligent, rounded individual that could go out and become useful in a great many things. This worked when it was expected that the specifics of any job would be learned on the job.
Employers now however, don't want to do any training at all. They expect everyone, including new grads, to come in knowing everything they'll need to know. This is turning higher education into simple job training. They drop anything not directly related to whatever monkey position the school has decided to target you for.
The academic degrees, since they only have to target a subset of students, can then be considerably more demanding than a more generally accessible high school degree (e.g., Calculus being a mandatory subject in some countries rather than the equivalent of an AP course) and you will cover a lot in school what in the US you'd do in the first and second year of college. For the same reason, Bachelor degrees in Europe are typically three year rather than four year affairs.
However, that is only part of the story, and a full undergraduate degree in the US (at a good university) will offer you a broader education than what you get out of most undergraduate degrees in Europe; if you want a broader education than what European universities offer, many European countries will point you to affordable continuing education. For example, if you want to learn another language in Germany, many Volkshochschulen offer courses for 2-3 Euro per hour of instruction (more if you need it to be credentialed).
Or, more simply put, while you can learn the same things in either the US or Europe, the educational content is packaged in somewhat different structures. And it isn't that one is better or worse than the other; the differences exist more as a result of historical accident or because of how education interacts with the rests of society's institutions and structures.
For example, at Berkeley the L&S (Letters and Sciences) department was in charge of Computer Science (hence the BA) while the Engineering department was in charge of EECS (the more technical CS/EE major).
The Engineering department is one-track technical with very few outside electives, almost pure specialization. The L&S department was extremely broad and had great depth as well. I greatly enjoyed the latter, but both had great reputations.
I think diversity is important—some individuals will want to specialize, and the best you can do is offer them opportunities to branch out. Some people will naturally generalize. Encouraging a good variety of education is important and I think extremely valuable, but it isn't the best path for everyone. However 18 year olds aren't always the best ones to make decisions about their education and/or future ;)
Spain has a (more) specialized system in the undergraduate studies, even though it has been shifted lately (with the much hated Bologna process) to a brad system. Prior to the instauration of the Bologna process, an undergraduate student in Spain had two options:
- 1st cycle: 3 years of undergrad. I would say that it was pretty much equivalent to the undergrad in the US, but focusing only in courses relevant to the major.
- 2nd cycle: 5 years of undergrad. This is (at least in STEM, the area I know) similar to a undergrad+master in the US (Even though in the US are only considered as a normal undergrad).
It depends on the university; some have a small number of credits that you can/should spend on things separated from your major (even in some cases sports), other have nothing similar to that and 100% of the credits are relevant.
Currently the educational system in Spain is slightly different after trying to merge it with the rest of the educational systems in Europe. In most cases the change has been seen as a shift into an educational system where students are less prepared and have to pay a more expensive Master (after the undergrad) to receive the same education they received with an undergrad years ago.
I'm an Information Systems major (BS) and I took two philosophy and two psychology courses, plus archaeology and a bunch of other things in other subjects.
I agree with you: that's about the best you can do if you want to graduate in 4 years.
At least at the universities I know of, majors being too specialized isn't really considered an issue.
You mean humanities graduates. The Liberal Arts is not about making better managers, that's what an MBA is for, the liberal arts is about exposing students to a wider variety of fields. We have way too many people majoring in fields like history or literature, without corresponding educations in math and science for them to be truly "liberally educated."
The point of education is only partly to prepare individuals for a specific career. (Technically, that's not even education, but rather "career training.") The other part is to give them the intellectual tools they need to be parts of society, not just as good worker drones, but as citizens and fully formed individuals. This is something the liberal arts does attempt to address, while specialized training does not. Having a strong knowledge of history really helps when it comes to voting, for example.
Even from a career preparation standpoint, however, there is a point to liberal, or at least multidisciplinary, education. That is having an understanding of multiple fields makes it much simpler for one to understand how one field affects another. Just about anyone with a CS degree can write software to a spec but someone with knowledge about both CS and accounting might actually understand the spec when it comes to accounting software and anticipate the needs of clients.
All that said, one really needs to differentiate between the liberal arts and the humanities. The humanities are set of disciplines such as history, philosophy, art, etc. which alone, have limited practical use but have a long tradition of being studied in western society. The liberal arts is an approach to education that seeks broad exposure, including the humanities but also including disciplines such as math and science. This term dates back to the reign of Charlemagne, FWIW.
Big money, big technology may be in the USA, but your average undergrad really doesn't need too much of that.
(Of course, America has the best schools. If you're going to attend one of those, by all means, and work hard!)
I would argue this is a specific problem, and not the intention or desired result of a Liberal Arts education. The intention is as this article states: to learn how to think correctly across boundaries of fields and within them. To solve problems better, not just be more general.
Of course this is sort of a No True Scotsman, but arguably any kind of education isn't working if it's not creating a positive impact on the value and ability of the person being educated.
In the sciences, people are over-specialized. I run into scientists frequently who are quite smart, but lack understanding of statistics, math, causality, and philosophy of science. This might have been acceptable back in days before large data sets, but now the way we do science has changed considerably, and scientists are largely unaware of the philosophical implications of this.
There are plenty of colleges that offer a B.S. in computer science, for example, whose graduates can't pass the fizzbuzz test. Meanwhile, hundreds of art history majors go on to have productive careers. Specialization is orthogonal to competence.
Doesn't follow from
>There are plenty of colleges that offer a B.S. in computer science, for example, whose graduates can't pass the fizzbuzz test. Meanwhile, hundreds of art history majors go on to have productive careers.
Look at employment rates for Art History Majors vs. CS majors.
Of course, running in parallel to doing my degree, I spent an enormous amount of time coding, going to tech/geek events, reading documentation and so on.
I value my formal education. It's taught me to think widely about a wide range of things including the nature of language, the basis for politics and the state, religion and the good life. (Plus, a thorough knowledge of Kierkegaard is kind of sexy to the sort of person I'd want as a boyfriend.)
I don't pay you trash to think. I pay you to work at scale!
This isn't to say better or worse - it's just a tradeoff.
Started studying a Bachelor of Commerce in Computer Science (lots of maths, financial stats, etc). Then I switched to a Bachelor of Commerce in Socio-Informatics and Marketing (less technical programming, more applied work). However, socio-informatics is actually an Arts degree (it includes courses such as management theory and systems design).
So during my time at university I did science (maths, computer science, stats, programming), finance/business (accounting, financial planning, marketing, entrepreneurship) and arts (philosophy of systems, sensemaking, organization theory).
I specialised to mathematical and scientific subjects exclusively at the age of 15, and would have it no other way. Cultural learning I can pick up informally as and when I want to.
We have the specialists. We need the generalists to make sense of them.
In general it is a paradox, because educational systems would try to teach you how to think and at the end you realize that there was a hidden agenda that makes you think and combat them. While others combat you too.
I recognize greater value in people who focus on a field and have a diverse and broad knowledge background than in those who are specialists alone. Surely the depth of the specialists is required, but the adjunct skills of the generalist turn out to be more important for knowledge work such as software and business, and important in unmeasurable and undefinable ways. They are all around more productive people, better problem-solvers, better learners, more collaborative, more well-rounded, and many more buzzwords which actually turn out to have true meaning in this case.
Ce jeune Français parle français.
(Usually this illusion is shattered once/if they attend university, thankfully.)
In fact, I'd argue the opposite. The French system places a big emphasis on learning grammar, conjugations, spelling and things like that - which frankly is a waste of time. I don't think I ever took a grammar course in the US. I couldn't tell you what a prepositional phrase is, but I can write a good essay.
I learned how to write a good essay because I thought I had something to say and I wanted people to hear it and understand it. Same with other facets of communication, like public speaking.
Sure you get better at things you actually enjoy doing, but sometimes you need to force yourself or - in the case of children - be forced to do something over and over to learn. I think teachers try to make writing more interesting, but it can be a pretty hard thing to do. Most kids will hate it no matter what they write.
Writing, perhaps, but not good writing. Most of good writing is the ability to synthesize ideas and construct prose people want to read.
Nobody wants to read your average student's five paragraph essay. On the other hand, I spent a large part of the weekend bingeing on Michael O. Church's blog, because the dude can write.
The dictée is not as prevalent today as it was 20 years ago, and I don't think I have done one after the age of 11.
The problem with oral debate is that its too easy to fall into the "persuade" aspect instead of "convince". And the last thing we need is pupils yelling at each other all the time. By forcing the argumentation in a written form, you make it a lot harder to write fallacious reasoning without being called on it.
That said, the typical dissertation includes a synthetic part where the ideas of the previous parts, which expose one thesis and its opposite. So there is a form of debate there, but again what is judged is the consistency rather than the opinions supported by the student (at least that's how it was when I took it, in the scientific-oriented version of the "Bac").
...otoh, having a "philosophy test" in school kind of kills all the use or fun of the subject, but if you do it, at least try to get something out of it by not adding unnecessary constraints!
That's not the difference between philosophy and math. The difference is one of effectivity, not efficiency. Science adds real-world relevance, but substracts rigour.
Everyone really should take class in Symbolic Logic.
In philosophy, the questions being asked don't have an absolute answer. Something as vague as "Who am I?" is difficult, just as something as specific as, "What is property?" is quite challenging. This makes it all the more important to discuss the method of answering because it's really the most concrete thing you can take away from a class: exploring a particular thinker's ideas can result in your agreement or disagreement (or better yet, a tangential exploration of your own) and they're all valid consequences.
So, your experience may have just been limited to your university or area.
But do you really believe that mastering e.g. basic predicate logic is going to make anyone smarter? The same argument is often made for mathematics but invariably without proof.
Or, just forget the ancients and talk about every day issues, eg abortion, gay marriage, gun rights, etc. etc. I just lament the fact that most students get a negative impression of the field from their required "History of Ancient Philosophy" course, which usually focuses on Plato's metaphysics, completely independent of context. Most students think, "This guy is completely insane and this has no relation to my life whatsoever, time to tune out."
For example, I may just be a heathen, but Nietzsche's whole style seemed to be boldly asserting things, making fun of anyone who thinks otherwise, yet rarely bothering to make an actual argument.
I like the idea that everyone should take a semester's worth philosophy course somewhere along the way, but I don't know if it would do most people any good. An actual rhetoric course, with a focus on logical argument, may do better.
This is precisely what I often found irritating. One of my friends once asked me, "You seem to like philosophy -- why don't you do any?" My response was essentially that certain parts of philosophy are simply TOO HARD for me in the sense that it is often all to easy lose objectivity, logically reason about ethics, etc.
"I'll just stick to math, thanks, where I at least know how to systematically approach and think about problems under the framework of accepted mathematical logic."
This is probably also why Nietzsche is (at least to me) infinitely easier to read than most philosophers.
I'm actually taking Intro to Logic in the second term of summer classes and looking forward to it!
Well, I think understanding the difference between things which are empirically true and logically true is valuable - experiment versus symbol manipulation.
Apart from logic or math, I'm not sure where else you could really learn the distinction.
On the other hand classes on ethics (which illustrate how not black and white the world is) and social philosophy (which present ethical models on which to base our society) both have been invaluable.
Had I to do it over again I would have started by studying rhetoric (the art of persuasion), a larger field of study that seems (to me) more relevant.
Look at this:
I quickly looked through them and didn't find anything directly relating to symbolic logic. Most of symbolic logic was trying to understand what was at first pretty confusing notation and then trying to figure out how to represent things like sets without using Venn Diagrams.
At the end of the day I don't think you start to understand any larger truths about logic. Knowing how to write out De Morgan's law with symbols is frankly kinda useless.
Maybe it helps with mathematical thinking, but that's not relevant to most people.
I'd say that the program on a whole doesn't focus too much on historical philosophy, although it can, if you want. The problem is that the majority of the intro classes are historical. Philosophy is a gen ed requirement there (similar to France's secondary school system), so the average non-philosophy student's exposure to philosophy is obscure Aristotelian metaphysics.
Most of the international rankings are heavily biased in favour of English speaking countries and particularly the USA (especially ARWU). It's mostly fine in sciences where all the important publications are in English. It's clearly dubious in the humanities. Beware this kind of claim.
- Give student senates power. That means (1) a significant amount of money and (2) the permission to spend it. There are some definite limits on what they can do, though I'm not sure where to put those limits, but for the most part, give them experience in actually handling the budget for a heterogenous group that exceeds their Dunbar's number. That experience includes consequences. I'd absolutely expect to see dictatorships, rebellions, and anarchies all arise without adult input, too.
Of course, this will never happen, since there isn't any such money available. I actually wonder if it'd be feasible to get someone wealthy do just donate a chunk down at some primary schools in order to try it out.
Of course both had their share of "how the hell is this relevant to my life" reactions. But also those invaluable "ahah" moments, which make philosophy so wonderful. Hacking has this too. You walk out of the classroom with new cognitive pathways that you didn't know you had. You'll never see the world with the same eyes again.
I couldn't have put it better myself.
I came into my required undergraduate philosophy course doubting that I'd get anything out of it (having mostly finish the undergrad physics+math majors)... and I was pleasantly surprised.
Quite disappointing , but still very enlightening (even more if your teacher is cool).
As a math+physics student with a bunch of friends in my university's engineering school, I hear all too often engineers disparaging the humanities as "useless", "bullshit", etc. and it's really quite disappointing and close-minded. They simply miss out on an incredibly important and fundamental part of the human experience. It is almost impossible to overstate the significance (historical or otherwise) of philosophy and literature, to the point where I would expect anyone who considers himself an "intellectual" to have had at least brief experiences with the humanities (or at least thought about difficult philosophical questions or whatnot on his own time).
There's nothing worse than listening to a young person who is an eager proponent of, say, "postmodernist philosophy" when you know that he hasn't a whit of knowledge about evolution or science in general. I usually mumble "that's interesting" and shuffle off to another conversation.
But your point is well taken: philosophy still has much to contribute - a great deal of it passes through the scientific filter unscathed. But it is important to study science first. Only then does one have a firm foundation for examining philosophy.
But keep in mind, the content is not all there is to it; the historical context and influence on society is also an integral part of the humanities. Or at least, that's what I think -- I try to take a historico-contextual approach to it, especially when I know, say, Aquinas' arguments don't hold water.
I guess my intellectual is anyone who has built up a strong foundation of techniques for analytical thinking, whether it be from the sciences or the arts. In some sense, I think that any such intellectual should be aware of this huge background of literature/philosophy that has come to shape Western civilization; it is important for scientists and engineers, who make a significant practical impact on the world in all sorts of ways, to understand the basic ideas and assumptions of Western civilization, especially in today's increasingly cross-cultural world.
We have 1 course of philosophy on our last highschool year (if you're doing a scientific baccalauréat).
(Along with math, biology, physics, french, history/geography, english, a second langage and a third option (which can be a third langage, it was chinese for me)).
No one wants to sit through a philosophy class in High School. It was the "boring class" we had to pass. It was "too soon".
Then in university we have this mandatory SHS which means human and social science course, which is basicaly philosophy for bachelors.
(This is in a math degree)
It's not more interresting, it's just that people are more mature and are more interrested in the topic. Way better than forcing it to kids in highschool who are still living at their parents imo.
Also because it solicits your brain a lot. Which is always good.
And finally because you use math every day. There are some things in math you are not going to use yes, but most of the program is important imo. So many people nowadays just can't do simple calculus it's worrying (especially when we need to split the bill).
It's the only class that isn't below the threshold of pedagogical competence, you mean. The response isn't "well, then everyone should learn math, and memorize these multiplication tables!"; the response is fix the other subjects.
> Also because it solicits your brain a lot. Which is always good.
If a subject doesn't solicit your brain, should it be taught at all?
> And finally because you use math every day.
Really? I don't. If you're using math every day, it's almost certainly not math. It's a dessicated corpse slashed to pieces for easy consumption by children. Why? Because reasons. You've given the example of splitting the bill, for instance, but people use this example too much: stop trying to save on quantities smaller than a dollar and just tip more.
Indeed, it's an instance where it'd be useful to teach "mental math" by telling kids to memorize this Wikipedia page: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mental_calculation Which is precisely the kind of memorization and thoughtless spoon-feeding you decried.
Except, presumably, those kids who choose to do the philosophy bac?
The article is about the Litterature section and of course I believe Philosophy is an important topic if you chose to study litterature. I was more talking about other majors (but I still think philosophy is important later on when you're already opened your mind a little bit by leaving highschool and entering university).
1. The scientific method. Starting from the logical positivist school of thought, philosophers are converging at falsifiability as the primary criterion (cf. Popper, Wittgenstein).
2. Justice. Starting with rather crude notions of utilitarianism, it is possible to construct a transcendental notion of justice that is based on fairness (cf. Rawls, Sen). It is also possible to approach it from a theory on transcendental morality (cf. Kant).
3. Consciousness. This is a rather tricky topic that can be tackled by an analytical philosopher who has studied some neuroscience (cf. Metzinger).
4. Tackling the free will problem. When tackled in isolation, there is a dichotomy between compatibilism and incompatibilism (cf. Schopenhauer). However, attempts have been made to derive it from quantum decoherence and MWI (cf. Yudkowsky on LessWrong ).
5. Foundations of mathematics. While there are prominent platonists (cf. Gödel), there are several alternative approaches to the problem (cf. Spinoza, Hilbert).
To conclude, I'd say that some training in philosophical thought is essential to enabling the student in thinking about various questions that pop up during her lifetime. The goal is not to get definitive answers, but to have a good consistent framework to think in.
If it's about mucking up and memorizing someone else's thoughts (that you probably don't even agree with), then it's terrible.
I don't know which of above it is; but I will say, the examples in that article are splendid ("Is truth preferable to peace?", "Does power exist without violence?", etc.) These are things students should really think about; and I think it's great that it's mandatory for everyone (if it's being done right).
History (in general) gave us a great deal of examples, but we did not study the ancient and modern philosophers (Plato, Aristotle, Nietzshe, Schopenhauer) just for the sake of knowing them.
I think it's great to do that in high school ; however a lot of students found it extremely hard and struggled to find value in it. (But then again, they struggled to find value in anything we did)
Which is more than twice the hours a Belgian student is exposed weekly to the topic whatever her cursus is.
That said it doesn't mean that you shouldn't memorize anything at all, otherwise you are soon going to run short on ideas. Think about it as building software on top of existing libraries rather than rewriting all from scratch.
Take "Is truth preferable to peace?" for instance. Maybe it could bring you into a utilitarianism vs consequentialism debate (that's where I would go anyway, but I guess there are other interesting approaches). But if you've never studied these, well, good luck reinventing the wheel...
There is an interesting comment that illustrates the distinction between US/Europe education systems by observing that in Europe high schools are general followed by focused specific subject studies, whereas in the US there is a lot of focusing already happening in the high schools. Interestingly, though, there seems to be a general education requirement for an undergraduate degree; since I am from Europe this seems to have the purpose of ensuring that all admitted students get to the same level before specializing.
So, in theory I like it, but the execution is not the best.
If you don't understand Hegel you won't understand Adorno as fully, frinstance. Whether or not understanding Adorno is important is another issue entirely.
Similarly, seeing the vibrant debate as it unfolds through time prepares you for the lack of consensus and sheer vitriol among modern philosophers.
History of philosophy is essentially the history of thought itself, and as such is invaluable.
Perhaps it should be taught under the name "history of philosophy" rather than "philosophy" though?
I think it is very arrogant of we contemporary people to think that 17 something kids can think by themselves and should not need to dig the past to answer such important questions.
And in a philosophy class, as I received them in France when I was young, the teacher would expose contradictory positions and let you prefer the one you want. So, yes, you'd get a low score if you wouldn't name Plato on a question about idealism, but you would get the best score if you show personal and deep understanding of the topic.
Surely this depends on whether you are trying to imbue them with the correct answers or a deeper understanding of the question? Both are valid objectives but I could believe emphasising one would often be at a detriment to the other.
and he is still thinking about philosophical issues as he pursues his career as a programmer in New York City's startup scene.
That said, what has this curriculum requirement done for France? Is France dealing better with assimilating immigrants, or figuring out full employment for young people, or managing sustainable energy supplies, or doing any other kind of problem-solving in the real world better than other countries? If so, what? If not, why not? Does France indeed have a systematic educational advantage from its program of school philosophy courses, or is this just one more mandatory school requirement that many students blow off?
In any case, what I learned is the philosophy questions everything and sometimes this is good and sometimes it can be troubling because people really believe what they think they understand - this is true in any field. However, one thing that bothers me is that history shows that just as some group thinks they have it figured out, another group/person comes and changes all that (e.g. Feynman, Einstein) and then another group rises from that thinking they are right again - the cycle continues.
One last thought is about my first philosophy class, which I very much enjoyed, but the lack of happiness of my professor's face was scary and troubling. After the class, I had so many questions about who I was, my religion, the air I breath, and the things I see/feel, etc. So much questioning cannot be too healthy for the human mind, but philosophical specialization is probably what prevents insanity (I hope).
From a casual reading of the wikipedia article it appears that there are Baccalauréat qualifications (professional, technology) that you can obtain without a philosophy test.
So philosophy seems a requirement for the general Baccalauréat.
Here is the wikipedia link to the Baccalauréat qualification http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Baccalaur%C3%A9at
Universities in Poland do at least PE and in most cases have an introduction to philosophy in first year. I moved to England to study and I was shocked to discover they don't care about this at all.
> Does power exist without violence?
This one, I like.
When I was a teenager, I agreed with the French model as presented in this article. But as I continued on to university (in Canada), my 'inner discourse' turned into "How practical and valuable do employers see my education?" This turned out to be what I preoccupied myself with the most right before graduating university (around three years ago) and even now that I am in the US.
Well, it turns out North American employers don't see humanities or liberal arts degrees as creating critical thinkers. Or at least they don't believe people with either of these degrees are capable of enough critical thinking to come up with solutions to business problems. This means they are less valuable. They are lower on the critical-thinking ladder, so to speak. The only notable exception is philosophy majors, but even those are approached by employers sceptically at first. Anyway, because of this, it seems like your character, personality, and interests are key in deciding if you're a right fit. But this kind of opens up a complicated discourse on social dynamics, interview double-speak, and so on and so forth. Basically, more prejudices are at play, I believe.
This French model is good for personal growth, for creating a virtuous citizen, and a knowledgeable, cultured person, which was the point of educational institutions in part of the Middle Ages and, ultimately, in the Renaissance. France has a history of this stuff. Many writers in the 1900s spoke of how learning the French language meant learning about culture, philosophy, art, etc. Stuff that would sound "sophisticated" nowadays. So if you wanted to be cultured, you learnt French. What was the opposite? English. Learning English was many times looked down upon by liberal arts and humanities folks, because most people learnt it to conduct business. Learning English did not include learning about art, culture, and literature. Of course, there are very few exceptions, but this holds even in modern times. Most people learn English for business. To quickly trace its origins and demonstrate how old this concept has been in place (and how it is now phased out, which should tell us something about adopting it in its entirety), the concept of being "cultured" was associated with a specific type of curriculum that created "well-rounded" citizens. Being "worldly" came from the idea of "homo universalis" (man of the world, universal man) that was used in the 15th century. It came from the most notable example, Renaissance Italy. Renaissance, as in "rebirth". And it was called as such because in this time, it was a return to even older emphasis on classical notions of what was important for a society, which originated many, many centuries before 15th century Renaissance Italy. I don't think the answer lies in this type of curriculum.
My point: All this sounds fine and dandy, but how does this translate into getting employed, which seems to be the focus of our civilization these days? This is a rhetorical question (for me): it doesn't translate. The critical thinking part of this type of curriculum has already been put in place in other more technical degrees (such as Engineering and CS) that offer a better employment rate with higher pay. It is what our society has deemed more important and values more and rewards. We are ultimately to 'blame' for things being like this. I spent many years hoping for this French model to work and for people to change their prejudices and have people with humanities or liberal arts degrees live a decent life with a decent job, working in what they love, and being able to afford to start a family.
These days, I am lucky that I work my 9-to-5 crappy writing job (which is not sustainable, by the way, and for which I had to move to a different country to find) and cannot even think about renting my own apartment, starting a family, or indulging in a few things here and there. I go to work by day, and work on learning technical skills (programming, a few CS concepts here and there) at night and sometimes on weekends, when I'm trying to make myself available to my immediate family, so as to avoid getting them upset by my estrangement.
Yes, if I move out to the middle of nowhere I can probably find something with slightly better pay. But as someone with a liberal arts degree, I can't say cows and hay inspire me to continue living.