In an effort to make their degrees more practical, many liberal arts colleges are creating interdisciplinary programs that mix a healthy dose of computer science into traditional curriculum. This allows students to study important subjects they are passionate about, yet at the same time learn practical valuable skills that set them apart when it comes time to seek jobs and internships.
If you are your child are struggling over the right major, them them consider an interdisciplinary degree such as digital and computational studies.
The advantage to mixing a liberal arts degree with training in computer science and programming are students who have strong critical thinking and writing skills, but who can also keep up with their technology-inclined peers. This results in a professional who can link the knowledge they know and love with the globally connected digital world.
How to Pick the Right Program & School
Interdisciplinary programs can be crafted by specific colleges, such is the case with Bates College in Maine, but they can also be crafted by students working alongside professors and advisors in the school.
How do you know if your student has found a school that's a good fit for their goals? Bring up the interdisciplinary question to prospective professors and advisors. Either they are fully prepared to craft something for your student, or you are not asking right school. You need nimble-thinking people who will actively build a program for your kid. When melding traditional knowledge with an evolving new landscape, the old degree programs no longer fit.
What Can Your Student Do?
Examples of Interdisciplinary Programs
The various colleges of Carnegie Mellon work together to provide custom educational experiences. Their Music and Technology program builds on the school's century-long history of producing great musicians by teaching modern means of producing, sharing, manipulating and quantifying the sounds we love. The Integrative Design, Arts and Technology Network delivers concentrations and minors on topics such as game design, interactive entertainment, entrepreneurship and learning media. The classic arts and engineering school is staying creative.
Is your child a caring people-person focused on healing? That nurturing side can have a technical edge. Someone needs to keep the human touch in the increasingly robotic medical industry. Consider the field of Bioinformatics, which is creating a new breed of scientist able to bring together biology, mathematics and problem solving. Unlock genetic and cellular secrets to find currently unimaginable remedies and cures. Computers aren't going away and neither is healthcare. Find a way for one to make the other more efficient and you will always have good work.
You played with toy robots and so has your kid, no doubt. Those things are not science fiction anymore. And they need to be taught everything. Artificial intelligence is hungry to learn all the things we know. Are you raising a historian or a philosopher? The robotics field wants her. That knowledge needs to be injected into the minds of developing technologies. Your student can be the one to do it. How did C3PO get so smart?
Whatever your child's path, ask the right questions to determine if your chosen school has the flexibility and vision to handle it. The best universities are adapting by joining their traditional core with modern technology.
It Hasn't Been Imagined Yet
The best course of study for your student doesn't yet exist. It is a unique blend of what's out there and what is yet to be created. Technology has become entwined in our lives in previously unforeseen ways. It isn't going to stop.
Did you ever imagine your car would use aviation radar to control your following distance on the highway? Did you think your telephone would one day become your fitness coach? How will your child change the world?
Encourage your student to take whatever passion, from history to language to art, and find a way to do it newer and smarter. The right, adaptable school with the proper interdisciplinary program will help both of you make it happen.
They can get a head-start on choosing the perfect major by trying Majors Matcher.