Over the weekend, billionaire investor Mark Cuban attended the NBA All-Star Technology Summit in New Orleans. In an interview on Friday with Bloomberg journalist Cory Johnson, Cuban discussed the evolving times with robots starting to replace human workers for their jobs. Due to automation, Cuban believes robots will make a significant impact on a broad array of industries. Asked by Johnson, Cuban then made some bold predictions about the future of jobs and the new workforce. The future of jobs Cuban believes will reside within the liberal arts and humanities. “The nature of jobs is changing”, said Cuban.
As the interview went on, Johnson believed Cuban also implied that as technology evolves and software is programmed at a more advanced rate than before, adults would go back to school and learn how to program software or study finance. However, that is not what Cuban was attesting at all. Here is an excerpt of Johnson and Cuban’s interview where Cuban explained why he believes liberal arts is the future of the workforce:
Johnson: “So essentially what you’re making the case for is education and job training for grown ups.”
Cuban: “No, no. I think that won’t matter. What are you going to go back and learn to do?”
Johnson: “What it takes, right? Whether it’s finance, whether it’s software programming.”
Cuban: “No finance. That’s the easiest thing — you just take the data have it spit out whatever you need. I personally think there’s going to be a greater demand in 10 years for liberal arts majors than there were for programming majors and maybe even engineering, because when the data is all being spit out for you, options are being spit out for you, you need a different perspective in order to have a different view of the data. And so having someone who is more of a freer thinker.”
Mark Cuban’s statement on the future of jobs is aligned with that of computer science and higher education experts. They believe that the “soft skills” that are found more in liberal arts students could prove to be more of an advantage over students with STEM backgrounds. “Soft skills” like adaptability and communication will be more important in an automated workforce. Majors like English, Philosophy, and foreign language majors are just some of the many liberal arts majors that will prove to be vital in the future job markets.
So the next time you tell your parents you want to study literature or art history in college, tell them it might not be a bad investment after all.