Can someone help me understand why people choose to spend 3 or 4 years studying for a degree in soft fields such as sociology or history or english literature, when it is so clear that first, it would be next-to impossible for them to get a decent-paying job; and second, they will spend the rest of their lives being mocked by computer scientists, engineers, data scientists etc. as being significantly less competent/intelligent; not to mention the fact that their fields provide nothing of value compared to STEM.
I don’t even like CS. I was a HP student in JC. I’m inclined to say that I hate it. I hate computers, I hate math. But I dragged myself out of bed everyday to do it. I graduated FCH and I now have a high-paying job.
I understand how much someone can love subjects like history and literature. I love world history with a real passion. I just don’t understand how people can spend money to study it. I have had JC classmates who are studying history at some of the most expensive universities in the US. Why?
I’m not discrediting history/literature as “easy” subjects. The amount of time you have to spend digesting all the readings and to package them coherently in your mind in order to put forward a critical argument is sometimes more difficult than any math or CS class I have had to take. My best friend studies anthropology and his readings are so esoteric (and long) that it is a wonder how he manages to synthesize them all. But the stigma that humanities-types are inferior in intelligence is nothing new, and it will always be a puzzle to me that someone will subject themselves to that sort of societal discrimination.
If I was born to a rich family and I know I wouldn’t have to work for the rest of my life, for sure I will be pursuing a degree that I am passionate in. I’d even do a PhD. But for the majority of us who do not have that luxury, it will forever elude me that someone would graduate with a history degree, with which the only thing they can do is teach.