Dear Readers,

Yesterday, we
gave you the following practice topic for WAT –MBA and B.Tech. are gearing up with the market. Are liberal
art courses like Sociology irrelevant in education today?”
. This topic had
appeared in the 2013 joint entrance for new IIMs. In this article, we will look
at the technique to tackle this topic and some of the major points to be

Guidelines – How to Approach this Question

This topic has two components –
a statement and a follow-up question. The statement is, thus, the premise on
which the question is centred. The focus has to be on formulating an essay
which answers the question and is founded on the statement.

Since this topic pertains to
education, you should provide relevant and relatable points, and back them up with
ample anecdotes.

Fundamentally it is a
comparison question and therefore, you need to present the relevance or
irrelevance of both MBA-BTech as well as Humanities courses.

The central idea would be how
the shift to science-oriented and professional courses have undermined the
value of liberal arts or how liberal arts have gradually lost importance.

How to write the answer to this question

As this topic asks for an
opinion, the first thing to do would be to make two categories – one in favour
of and the other against the topic – and add relevant points in each.

FOR the topic

In an era dominated by MNCs and
commercial giants, liberal art courses have lagged behind because unlike
management and engineering courses, there is no proper professional and
technical training.

Since the marketplace is
abundantly occupied by management and engineering graduates, Humanities
students are hardly provided with any industry exposure. This contrast is
further reflected in the disparity of campus placements. While science
graduates have some degree of certainty of getting placed right after education,
humanities students have few placement opportunities.

With a majority of job market
demanding management and engineering graduates, most people have become
increasingly unaware of the value of liberal art courses. Peer pressure has
also made students to become apprehensive of picking a course which may lead
nowhere vis a vis job opportunities.

Elaborate on how the pressure
to follow the majority has led to anxiety in students about pursuing humanities
despite being interested.

AGAINST the topic

Liberal arts have been a major
part of society and other defining socio-political and economic structures.
Their role in the evolution of humanity cannot be neglected because some of the
first theorists of the world, like Aristotle, earned a name for themselves by
delving into humanities.

Since our workplace is too
dominated by engineers, the collective thinking canon has become very linear
and monotonous. Liberal art graduates are critical to societal systems because
they provide fresh, constructive and non-stereotypical viewpoints. This will
provide balance to workplaces.

A lot of new areas are coming
up that require creative thinking ability and this asks for more and more
Humanities graduates. There are also those domains which need students from
diverse backgrounds to build up a balanced product.

Try to cite some examples. Mark
Zuckerberg, for instance, was studying Psychology at Harvard before he dropped
out and created Facebook. Research similar examples; this will substantiate
your arguments.

In the conclusion, briefly
summarize both the sides of the argument and then present a logically derived
conclusion. Regardless of your personal opinion, give a rational conclusive
point. It would be ideal to not use personal pronouns. Instead, try to use
sentences like “the importance of liberal art courses cannot be undermined” or
“science-oriented courses have made a mark for themselves as they facilitate
better and more stable career opportunities”.

The next
practice topic is – “What are your views
on FDI in retail?”
(IIM Bangalore, 2013)

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