Fareed Zakaria Defends Liberal Arts Education

CNN's Fareed Zakaria discusses his new book "In Defense of a Liberal Education."
3:10 | 03/29/15

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Transcript for Fareed Zakaria Defends Liberal Arts Education
I promise you, folks can make a lot more potentially with skilled manufacturing or the trades than they might with an art history degree. That line from president Obama represents the kind of thing Fareed zakaria is trying to counter in his newest book, "In defense of a liberal education." Fareed's back with us to talk about it. You make the point. The president ended up having to apologize for that, by the way. He reflects there a bipartisan consensus in Washington that is dangerous and un-american. What did you mean? In Europe, it's always been true that education is much more skilled based. Much more job training. By 16, you're much more streamed. In America, we took the view, no, it's important to build broad, general skill, critical thinking. Because, our economy has always moved very fast. It's changed. Your first job is never the same as your fifth job. I think the world today favors that kind of American liberal education. Of course, science and technology has to be a part of it. So does English, so does history. You come to it with your foot in both camps. You grew up in India. Education based in science and math. A lot of rote learning. You were drawn to the idea of a liberal education in America. I fell in love with the idea of being able to take physics and poetry. Part of it is I think people don't understand, so much of what you do in life is critical thinking. The stuff you learn specifically in a trade is obsolete five years, six years later. The ability to learn. The ability to get passionate about something is not. That's why Jeff bezos, the founder of Amazon says, I want my senior executives to write six-page single-space memos to me. Because if you have to write down an argument, there can't be any logical gaps. What do you say to parents and students saddled with this huge debt? We know how expensive college can be. I have to be sure to train for a job? And they've got to have some faith. The data shows while engineering and technically trained students start out with a slight advantage, it evens out over time. And the most important thing they have to remember their son or daughter is going to be good at the thing he or she can be passionate about. The thing he or she can work hard at. Love. That's the most important thing. We all know this. If you love your work, it doesn't feel like work. So push them to be passionate. To work hard. Obviously, you have to get lucky. That's true even if you're an engineer. Any parent should read this book. "In defense of a liberal education." Thank you very much, Fareed cc1 Test message

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