How will the rise of AI in the workplace impact liberal arts education? (Higher Ed Dive)

July 8, 2024

Demand for liberal arts education has declined in recent years as students increasingly eye college programs that directly prepare them for jobs. But according to many tech and college experts, as businesses launch advanced AI tools or integrate such technology into their operations, liberal arts majors will become more coveted. 

That’s because employers will need people to think through the ethical stakes and unintended consequences of new technologies. Companies may also need people to help improve the written commands given to chatbots or resolve challenging customer service disputes that AI can’t handle. 

College leaders therefore need to take action as AI changes the workforce, scholars say. 

While robotics in the 1990s replaced many blue-collar jobs, AI will replace jobs that require college degrees, or even graduate degrees like attorney positions, predicted Ray Schroeder, a senior fellow at UPCEA. Schroeder estimates big changes will occur over the next three to four years.

“This is really a significant factor in employment and of course, those of us in higher education are monitoring it closely because we want to be able to give our students the skills that will enable them to thrive in this emerging workplace environment,” Schroeder said. 

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