STEM vs. Literature

According to Florida, reducing the tuition expenses for sciences, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields could lure many undergraduates into choosing the area. The STEM subjects are believed to have a high demand in the market compared to other topics. Humanities, art, gender subjects, and other subjects are to pay higher tuition rates unless they convince the state that they form a crucial part of the market. The proposal aims to freeze fees for three years for major disciplines that require high proficiency and pay high wages while increasing other subjects’ charges. The tuition freeze program also covers fields that are career-oriented like those that contribute to the entertainment industry. Florida’s government considered lowering costs for STEM discipline as an investment due to the high salaries earned by those in the market. The graduates in the major areas could contribute to the economy’s growth by paying taxes once they graduate on the freeze tuition program. The state officials also believed that the difference would prompt students to make an informed decision while choosing their career. Young people could not just pick up a job because it is easier and cheaper to pursue (Weissmann, 2012).

           In my perspective, career selection is a calling that an individual should make by analyzing his/her abilities without any external pressure. The attempt to reduce the charges for STEM disciplines provides a weak extrinsic motivation to encourage students to choose the field. The low performance experienced in some STEM fields and dropouts could be attributed to the lack of personal intent while selecting the subject. According to Webley, 2013, due to STEM fields’ complexity, giving external motivation to the young generation to pursue them may not be enough. People need to take careers that they are passionate about and want to do. Education aims to mold us into independent and enlightened individuals but not just for money’s sake. Imagine if we all major in STEM fields and neglect humanity lots. Could there be teachers, journalists, entertainers, and philosophers? A world deprived of balance in terms of career is doomed to economic failure. Eventually, we would encourage students to pursue humanities disciplines when we realize the impact of the imbalance.

           The Florida proposal is based on the assumption that students who choose humanities fear the complexity of STEM fields. Many students find their calling in humanities disciplines without necessarily worrying about the other subjects. When students decide to major in humanities, they are aware that other STEM fields offer a more promising future, but they choose it anyway because of passion. The Florida proposal also assumes that all graduates in STEM fields get employed upon completion. However, many graduates in the technical and sciences fields have tar marked in the industry without employment. If we fill our market with STEM specialists, we certainly expect to cripple the market capacity to absorb more of them. The government also fails to keep track of data concerning careers in high demand. The proposal generally operates under the illusion that STEM fields are always the best in paying and absorbing graduates. Our society’s culture misguides us that the best careers to take are in engineering, medicine, business, and science sectors but does not tell us that they do not guarantee employment (Weissmann, 2012). Emphasis on career decisions should not be on the value of money it provides. Students need to choose what they like and find a commitment to pursuing to lead a happier life in workplaces.


Webley, K. (2013, January 3). College costs: Would tuition discounts get more students to major in science? [Video].

Weissmann, J. (2012, November 5). Should science majors pay less for college than art majors? [Video]. The Atlantic.

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