A couple of articles in the press inspire me to write this. First, The New York Times (As Tech Booms, Workers Turn to Coding for Career Change) and then Yale Daily News (CS50: Yale’s most popular course). The coding frenzy is there. The appreciation that programming is ubiquitous and a very creative kind of intellectual pursuit. and that tech jobs are booming and there is actually almost 100% employment. At Yale University, CS50, the first computer programming course in the curriculum is the most popular class. What? But wait: this is happening also (and perhaps more strikingly) outsideof  traditional higher ed.

So, while we in academic circles in the provinces debate and struggle over what it means to educate students in the Liberal Arts, others in California, New York and a few other places are investing in simple, 12-week programs that aim straight to the heart of needs. I’m talking about technology needs and the fact that now the field is ripe with work opportunities that pay good money and offer creative, coding jobs.

Companies like Galvanize offer specialized instruction in web programming in under 11 weeks. It costs $11,000 and has a 98% job-placement rate. Lots of non-computing people are taking them!

I do believe in Liberal Arts. But I increasingly question whether the Liberal Arts are a luxury that only some western bourgeois, often white-ish, rich girls and boys can afford. No doubt a lot of people would perhaps appreciate a quicker, deep acquisition of valuable, creative skills which later may afford them the empowerment of the Lib Arts. Depth vs. Breadth.