The Importance Of Academic Electives
They teach you a critical perspective on other areas. One of my first year, undergraduate anthropology classes had a few medical students in it. They were being encouraged to try out other areas so that they had a better perspective of the world – which makes a lot of sense when you realise medical staff have to be able to deal with people from literally anywhere.
You may not get exposed to this other set of variables during your time at university. It also lets you see if you like a topic, without committing to an entire degree in it. Careers, interests and opportunities all change over time. Particularly careers. A job for life is no longer a thing.
Now, I guess the real question is if we still need to learn in this particular manner, when we can use Google, YouTube and probably Wikipedia to find out pretty much anything.
And my response would still be yes. BUT, only for those who are looking at studying. You need to learn “optional information” in the same context as you’re learning your main topic.
What might it spark later?
I think this is what people might miss. There is a benefit to streamlining life in some areas – ones that could otherwise create mess. I don’t think learning ever creates mess. I’m sure it’s not marketable or cool, but I learned a lot of valuable things in my first year of uni, and I still use them today, even though they were “off topic” to my area of study.
Do you think education is diverse enough these days?