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The Value of a Humanities Degree

By Alex McKechnie
Office of University Communications

February 6, 2014 —  

Andre Carrington

André Carrington, PhD

During a speech last week at a Wisconsin General Electric plant, President Obama reiterated his support for the manufacturing industry, encouraging young people to pursue a technical education – while simultaneously slighting humanities disciplines.

“I promise you,” he said, “folks can make a lot more, potentially, with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree.”

Obama added: “Now, nothing wrong with an art history degree — I love art history. So I don’t want to get a bunch of e-mails from everybody. I’m just saying you can make a really good living and have a great career without getting a four-year college education as long as you get the skills and the training that you need.”

This remark has raised eyebrows among art history majors – and across the field of humanities, with both Inside Higher Ed and The Chronicle of Higher Education, among a number of other outlets, covering the story.

We checked in with André Carrington, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of English & Philosophy in Drexel University’s College of Arts and Sciences, for his take on the debate.


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