During my undergraduate years, one subject captured my heart: sociology. My dad felt differently. Like the good Indian engineer father he is, he insisted that I study “something practical.” My solution? I worked my behind off for a double major in sociology and economics. Most importantly for 19-year-old me, it satisfied the man with the checkbook. But it also gave me a set of skills—from market analysis to multicultural awareness—that I have used again and again in my career helping colleges around the world. Dad, you were right all along!

Someone else who knows a thing or two about Indian dads (being himself a Mumbai native and a father) is the writer Fareed Zakaria. In his book In Defense of a Liberal Education, Zakaria shows how a similar “do something practical” attitude, taken to extremes, has translated into a movement to rid U.S. colleges of allegedly “useless” liberal arts subject—like sociology—in favor of those seen as teaching more work-ready skills, like computer science.

The good news is that this is a false dichotomy. The more challenging news is that colleges urgently need to do a better job incorporating both types of teaching into their curricula.

About the Author:

As President of Revature, an employer of entry-level tech talent, Amit Sevak spearheads various growth initiatives at the company, including higher education partnerships. Revature has just launched a new offering with its university partners called the Revature Accelerator Program (RAP), which provides college seniors with an opportunity to get intensive training in a work-relevant discipline like coding or CRM software. Amit previously held leadership positions at universities in Europe, Asia, Mexico and the U.S. In 2017, he founded Mindset Global, an advisory services firm where he continues to serve as chairman. Amit is an active mentor to start-ups and nonprofits in education, healthcare, and social impact.