July 19, 2018

History Majors: You’ve Got a Future in Tech

Paula Sansburn | COO, GreenFig
Written by:

Paula Sansburn | COO, GreenFig

We have all heard the joke: What is the difference between a large pizza and a history degree? One can feed a family of four.

For the purposes of the pun, history can be replaced with any liberal arts major. From English and art history to political science and philosophy — the notion has been that those who choose a humanities tract graduate from college with heaps of debt yet find themselves working as a barista or the checkout line at Whole Foods.

But that does not mean their liberal arts degree does not have value — even as we transform to a digital age.

Many assume in our current (and future) tech-consumed and driven world, that math and science education — software engineering, programming, coding, and the like — is the exclusive golden ticket to career success. To be sure, we need these kinds of minds and this kind of training.

But it is a mistake to believe that the liberal arts educated do not have a critical role to play in the digital workforce. Because after all, who is going to do the selling, the marketing, and the customer servicing of today’s technology services and products? Answer: Those who have honed critical thinking, writing, and interpersonal skills, and who possess the nontechnical ability to connect with end users a la their liberal arts education.

This notion is confirmed in “That ‘Useless” Liberal Arts Degree Has Become Tech’s Hottest Ticket,” a Forbes article providing example after example of liberal arts degree holders achieving success in today’s tech world, along with stats to back up the claim that tech companies are increasingly recruiting more nontechnical talent. The article uses the analogy of the automobile industry in the 1920s, which “created enormous numbers of jobs for people who helped fit cars into everyday life: marketers, salesmen, driving instructors, road crews, and so on.”

A similar trend is unfolding today.

The article goes on to reveal that “throughout the major U.S. tech hubs, whether Silicon Valley or Seattle, Boston, or Austin, Texas, software companies are discovering that liberal arts thinking makes them stronger.  Engineers may still command the biggest salaries, but at disruptive juggernauts such as Facebook and Uber, the war for talent has moved to nontechnical jobs, particularly sales and marketing. The more that audacious coders dream of changing the world, the more they need to fill their companies with social alchemists who can connect with customers — and make progress seem pleasant.”

And the ability to connect is what liberal arts thinkers do best. But do not pack your bags for Silicon Valley just yet, English majors. Yes, you have got great critical thinking, writing, and communication skills. And yes, tech companies are hiring nontechnical people like you.

But to land one of the aforementioned sales and marketing positions requires more than just a degree. While you have the right foundation, your university education did not prepare you with the up-to-date digital skills and experience required for a job-ready resume in the fast-moving, fast-changing digital age.

That is why a liberal arts degree crossed with a microdegree in applied business science from GreenFig is such a powerful combination for procuring a growth career in tech.

GreenFig’s curriculum has been tailored by industry experts to help you gain these high-demand skills and master critical strategic concepts in a short period of time. And unlike traditional online courses, GreenFig’s hybrid training platform is laser-focused on experiential learning — combining live, interactive online and offline team-based instruction, all the while guaranteeing its students gain real-world, practical experience. So you can demand a higher salary in an evolving industry faster than it takes to perfect latte art.

For more details on how you can transform your liberal arts resume into a tech-ready ticket in less than 10 hours a week, visit greenfig.net. Click here course schedule for September 13, 2017 term.

Paula Sansburn, 

COO

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The World Economic Forum cites, “[the digital economy] is disrupting almost every industry in every country. And, these changes herald the transformation of entire systems of production, management, and governance.” Where land, oil, and capital drove the past three Industrial Ages, this new “4th Industrial Age” is powered by “digital oil” – data. Companies are building and deploying systems of intelligence to prospect, discover, and refine the digital oil of the digital economy. And, the miners of this digital oil are “business scientists”. Business scientists must understand how to capture, observe, and utilize customer, financial, market, and product data. They do not necessarily have to be technical – as in know how to code – instead, they must learn how to generate and review business data and use their creative skills to operate business application software. In the US, politicians, academia, and industry leaders are currently placing a tremendous focus on technical training, coding, and other STEM programs. However, the unspoken truth is that many of these positions will eventually be eliminated through advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning. Additionally, many people are simply not interested or well-suited for these technical programs, degrees, and jobs. However, people who are creative and critical thinkers – products of liberal arts programs – are ideally suited to fill the positions of the digital economy. All they need is some additional specialized training and knowledge. Micro Education companies and microdegrees are well-designed to provide such training.

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