In today’s times there is a clear-cut distinction between certain tertiary educational courses, namely the two major aspects of Commerce or business and Humanities or liberal arts. I believe though that the distinction of the two interwoven materials is incorrect and that an integration of the materials taught must be established. In this essay I will clarify that the one is not more necessary than the other but that they are equally essential and crucial to the development of civilisation’s enhancement.
There are vast similarities and differences between these two faculties with regards to their content, skills taught and overall educational learning. Most of my essay will revolve around how the Commerce and the Humanity faculties not only prepare you for life’s ambitions, experiences and setbacks but also the role that a the degrees play in the lives of students.
In my essay I will convey the response that a Commerce degree does not necessarily prepare a student for life’s experiences nor that it is much superior to how a Humanities course ensures a student’s higher learning and further development. A problematic scenario however is created when a comparison is made between the two faculties and that is that the two faculties may view certain facets of the world the correspondingly.
On the one hand the Commerce faculty deals with what works and anticipates predictions, numbers, trends, how the world works from a business perspective and how the core needs and wants of the world are satisfied but on the other side of the spectrum the Humanities faculty preaches philosophical concepts, why the world works, understanding human behaviour on a larger scale, the teaching and understanding of complex ideas by studying history and through data collection.
Personally I review the Commerce or Humanities faculty in equal regard however with regards to the comment “A career without a life is empty; a life without a career is tragic” I cannot come to an understanding and agree more. The Commerce faculty may have a constricted and narrow approach to teaching certain materials in the Commerce courses but I believe that various other positive life lessons and skills are learned indirectly from those materials.
Some of the major and most vital skills learned from some of the alleged “tedious and useless” Commerce courses for example accounting, teach the most vigorous of life’s skills including problem solving, critical thinking, data handling and writing and speaking persuasively. These are also only the indirect skills being acknowledged and recognized when the genuine skills being taught are how to record and report on the financial transactions of a business. This proves how versatile, balanced and essential one of the most loathed subject courses in the Commerce faculty is and how important it is for life and a career as a whole.
Therefore with regards to the Commerce faculty it not only adequately prepares you for a career in a specific field but also enriches a student’s life and furthers their development. The role a Commerce degree plays in the life of a student is therefore tremendous. It acts as a balancing of practical and theoretical life lessons and skills being communicated and learned which ensures the students optimal choices in life as a whole and in his/her career choice.
Another factor that is positive for Commerce students is that of job possibilities and choice. Most Commerce degrees are held in high esteem and can assist in securing a career in a specific field. Commerce students are taught many practical skills used in the workplace and will be very beneficial when trying to acquire a job. I believe though that the Commerce faculty does adequately prepare the student for both life and a career but that just by saying that a Commerce degree prepares one for a career is ill-advised and misguided.
The problem though is that many of the students enrolled in the Commerce Faculty are not exposed to other certain life skills that the Humanities faculty teaches and that could be incorporated in the student’s courses and therefore further enhance their development. The Humanities faculty prides itself on not teaching practical skills but rather educating their students on perspective. The courses that are provided and taught in the Humanities faculty are primarily subjective.
Courses for example like philosophy, politics, ethics and economic history are largely source based and opinionated whereby justification is fundamental and facts or source work must be well documented. Philosophy on the other hand is another topic for review. A subject like philosophy which is a higher learning subject should not only be taught in mainstream Humanity courses but also incorporated into most Commerce degrees as it teaches a way of thinking that is vital to all parts of life and especially can be integrated with regards to a career choice and the skills learnt could be manipulated in the business world.
The different ways of thinking taught in philosophy could be advantageous in the workplace when creative ideas are needed or an extra tool for problem solving need be incorporated. The Humanity faculty’s major social skills include creativity, inspection, predictions, the development of interpersonal skills, perspective skills and theoretical knowledge and understanding. These skills can more than adequately prepare one for the job market and ensure a career.
Some skills learnt in the Humanities can also be specialized in order to learn a certain trade or expertise for an example a student could take anthropology as a course and further on in their educational career could specialize into becoming an anthropologist. The foremost factor that I have a problem with though is when people compare the two faculties. Both faculties must be measured on different scales and appeal to very different people.
The idea of tertiary education though as a whole can and should be measured not by the individual resources that it comprises of but the skills learned as a whole. The argument here is that it does not necessarily matter whether you study a Commerce or Humanity degree but as long as the student is being shown and is learning the obligatory social skills needed to ensure sustainability and further growth of humanity. Another problem I have about the discussion of whether or not the one degree is superior than the other is that degrees in actual fact do not teach students practical knowledge.
When an educated student with a degree in hand wants to acquire a job usually the company needs the person to require job experience. This not only disputes the complete argument of whether or not a degree prepares one for the job market but also which degree is better suited that the next. Practical experience earned from previous occupations is not only held in higher regard than a degree but is more useful to an employer whom does not want to waste time teaching a new employee, when he can employ a candidate whom already possesses the necessary skills.
Therefore I believe that a fusion of Commerce “practical” skills and that of Humanities “theoretical” skills should be introduced. The fusion of the discussed skills would be immensely beneficial to all students wanting to get involved in the business world and would assist the same students on everyday decision making. A mixture of these skills would also adequately prepare a more balanced student for the labour force of South Africa and therefore improve the efficiency of the South African economy.
The problem though on the other hand is that students which would have a more diverse set of skills and knowledge may be disadvantaged in certain areas of the business world as opposed to a more specialized student introduced into the job market. A specialized student may have extra insight into a particular career and therefore more “useful” or “valuable” to a company but the perfect combination of a predominantly business orientated degree unified with a small number of Humanity courses for example philosophy and economic history would produce the perfectly balanced student for both the career world and life.
In my essay I have explained and clarified that a clear cut Commerce degree on its own is not the optimal choice for a student wanting to enter the business world or the optimum choice to ensure they fulfil their full potential in life. Therefore as I have discussed in my essay a perfect balance of Commerce courses and a merging of Humanities courses will be impeccable and flawless in the development of the future generations of the South African populace.
Courtney from Study Moose
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