It’s our constitutional right to have the freedom to pursue happiness through choices like jobs and schooling. Florida Governor Rick Scott, with his new plan to boost Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematic (STEM) degrees in college, may be trying to change that. Scott is cutting funds from majors that are part of liberal arts programs, such as psychology and anthropology, to fund the STEM program. This cut could have tremendous influence on one’s career path.
Scott is using money from different majors in order to enhance the STEM department when only 20 percent of Florida students are STEM majors. As a potential liberal art majors, I will not be persuaded to change my interests for Scott.
What he doesn’t seem to realize are the setbacks this may cause for the prospective college students. If there is a dramatic increase in those four specific areas and hundreds of college students are graduating with the same degree, then the value of the degree will go down as well as the demand for those jobs in society.
In his plan to cut funds for liberal arts majors, the value of those degrees will increase while competition in those fields will decrease. Discouraging students from going into these fields will potentially degrade certain aspects of the economy instead of improving it.
All majors are important to different positions in society and liberal arts degrees are just as important as STEM degrees. For example, students with liberal arts degrees often dual major or use their undergraduate degree to apply to law or medical school, according to The Alligator.
“If we’re going to compete in the world economy we have to get better,” said Scott. It’s an understandable goal considering countries like China excel in math and science compared to America, but that doesn’t mean we should undermine the importance of majors that contribute as much as Scott’s “core” programs.
Although Scott does have good intentions with enhancing the STEM majors, I don’t necessarily agree that he is funding them through budget cuts from “less important” majors. If he can find a way to finance those programs through other funding then it would be a solid start to developing Florida’s economy and decreasing the unemployment rate. Hopefully he can achieve that without neglecting students who are planning on entering the programs loosing funding.
Erica Everett/Centerspread Editor