The best education for becoming an excellent human being is also one of the best educations for a career.
Gutenberg College exists to help students become excellent human beings. This goal stands in opposition to our culture’s deeply ingrained view that higher education’s main function is to further a student’s career goals. This modern approach to education assumes that living well and wisely does not require education and that the key to a good life is having a good job. This is a reversal of priorities.
What role, then, does career training have at Gutenberg College? Living well and wisely entails taking responsibility for oneself. An important form of that responsibility is financial responsibility, typically accomplished by a vocation. Another form of that responsibility is to use one’s gifts and training to encourage, love, and support other people. In some cases, a vocation can be a means to that end. Thus, vocation is an important goal of a Gutenberg education.
Fortunately, the best education for developing excellent human beings is also one of the best educations for a career. The characteristics and skills required to become a mature, independent thinker are exactly those which are beneficial in the work force. While most careers require specific skills and knowledge, all of them require clear thinking, good interpretive and writing skills, respectful and articulate interactions with coworkers, and integrity. While specialized job skills will morph over time, and workers may change jobs, the skills of a liberal arts education are always pertinent. While a technical degree might help win your first job, employers are increasingly promoting good thinkers and good communicators.
A liberal arts education, then, is not just a luxury for the few. Nor is it, as pundits claim, a waste of time and resources that might be better spent in a lucrative “career track.” A liberal arts education provides a foundation for life, and career is a part of life. The question is not whether you will have a career; the question is whether you will do it well.