When hiring in the tech sector, most employers look for applicants who hold computer science degrees, computer engineering degrees and information system degrees. This mentality makes sense, but it has created an industry rife with homogeneous ideas. STEM programs focus on skills and ultimately, landing jobs. While this is obviously important, these programs don’t allow for free-flowing ideas, discussions and debates that help shape new perspectives. Today, we look to technology to solve large-scale human problems – and that requires critical thinking that is often lax in STEM graduates.
“Every industry is being disrupted, and the war for talent within the technical industry is extremely tight. Being creative and finding solutions without a bias is necessary. We need to challenge our clients, our candidates and ourselves to create more options. Every position is expected to have technical expertise and advanced project management skills!” Says Sharon Tsao, CMO, Contemporary Staffing Solutions.
To solve this problem, many tech leaders are suggesting that liberal arts and humanities graduates may hold the keys to the future.
Humanities Graduates Are Creative Problem-Solvers
In the tech industry today, creative problem-solving is an absolute must-have skill. While it’s true that not every single humanities major or minor in the country is creative, people who study liberal arts spend years reading, writing and looking for new angles and developing new theses on topics that have been studied for centuries. They are trained to look at “old” ideas in new ways, and they can bring that talent to the tech industry, offering new perspectives on challenges.
Humanities Graduates Understand How To Listen Actively
Communication is a two-way street, and successful tech pros know how to explain their position and teach others, but they also need to have strong listening skills. People who study the humanities are taught how to listen to words being said, and to make inferences about what is not being said. They also understand the importance of collecting many different viewpoints and inputs to gather as much information as possible before drawing conclusions. Active listening, information-gathering and curiosity should all be traits that leaders seek when hiring in the tech sector.
Humanities Graduates Consider Many Perspectives
In STEM classes, students are taught specific skills and competencies, and there is not much time spent debating theory or considering new ideas. However, humanities programs allow time for discussion, debate, and parsing out competing opinions. People who spent time in liberal arts and humanities programs are used to seeing problems through different perspectives and understand the value in diverse ideas. In our global economy, the ability to remain flexible without being rigidly tied to one idea is a critical success factor.
Major Tech Companies See The Value in Liberal Arts
Hard skills in technology are absolutely essential for success, but major tech businesses are starting to branch out and actively seek employees with a background in humanities and liberal arts. Companies like Carbonite, PayPal, Slack, IBM, HP, Microsoft and more hire liberal arts graduates each year. According to a recent survey of 500,000 US workers in the internet industry, nearly 10,000 had degrees in psychology, around 9,000 held degrees in English and 6,000 were graduates of history programs. Overall, less than 30,000 had computer science degrees.
If you are looking for tech talent and you want to improve your recruiting and hiring strategies, the IT experts at CSS can help. Contact us today to learn how we can help you achieve your technology hiring goals.
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