Humanities and Human Resources

The implicit social contract of higher education bringing higher wages is compromised, with “overqualification” and underemployment a graduate’s nightmare.

Often, universities are blamed for leaving students underprepared for the job market, teaching outdated disciplines like literature, logic, philosophy and drama.

Don’t be fooled. You can’t monetize intangibles. There is no price for the priceless.

Yet it is these intangibles that endure, what’s left of our world once we’re gone. The patronage of the Habsburgs, Romanovs or Bourbons was ostentatious and wasteful in a way that’s unimaginable today – yet how many come to see the beauty of their palaces and collections? Perhaps Ludwig II, the “mad” king who nearly bankrupted Bavaria to fund his fairy tale palaces and the operas of Richard Wagner, was not so mad after all.

The truly great captains of industry have always known this: Few remember that Alfred Nobel was a mining and military-industrial magnate – but everyone knows the prize he endowed. The same is true for the Guggenheims, Andrew Carnegie, Joseph Pulitzer and John D. Rockefeller.

So let’s make a real investment and ensure that this generation has something of lasting value to leave behind.

Binu Starnegg
Manila born, Brooklyn bred and a longtime resident of Vienna, Binu Starnegg is currently managing editor for Metropole, where he completes myriad tasks with style and aplomb. Photo: Visual Hub

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