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Hi, Kevin Coupe here, and this is FaceTime with the Content Guy, and I want to follow up this morning on the FaceTime commentary I did two weeks ago, bemoaning the fact that some colleges seem to be getting rid of humanities courses and majors in favor of a focus on STEM subjects that a) people seem to want and b) people seem more willing to pay for.

I thought it was short-sighted then, and I think that even more right now.

There was an interesting piece in the Wall Street Journal the other day about a new study from the labor market analytics firm Burning Glass Technologies suggesting that while the left brain “is popularly associated with logic and analytic thought; the right, with intuition and creativity,” one has to be careful about putting too much emphasis on one over the other.

That’s because, the survey says, “many of the good jobs of the future … will require being good at using both sides of the brain.

According to the story, “To some extent, that future is already here. Jobs that tap both technical and creative thinking include mobile-app developers and bioinformaticians, and represent some of the fastest-growing and highest-paying occupations.”

The term for just employment is “hybrid jobs,” and the Journal suggests that their growth is twice that of traditional employment. And they pay better.

What Burning Glass found is that “many employers want workers with experience in such new capabilities as big-data gathering and analytics, or design using digital technology. Such roles often require not only familiarity with advanced computer programs but also creative minds to make use of all the data.” And they found that many employers will be better off if they offer existing the employees the ability to have the side of their brain that is being less used further educated so that they can live up to the new demands of the economy.

What this means, I think, is that schools aren’t doing anyone any favors when they focus on science and math-based programs and give less emphasis to the humanities, which is where a lot of creativity is encouraged.

I love the line from Pablo Picasso: “The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.” I take it seriously, and I even think about it when I choose stories for MNB. I am dismayed when I hear about schools that do not invest in them, or make them less important than science or (heaven help us!) football.

There’s a lot of dust out there, sometimes so much that it obscures vision and inhibits heart. To be more effective, more relevant and resonant, we have to do our best to wash it off our souls.

That’s what is on my mind this Thursday morning. As always, I want to hear what is on your mind.


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