Different jurisdictions have different requirements for teachers. Some places require applicants to have a bachelor’s degree in the discipline they want to teach and a master’s degree in education. Some places require applicants to have at least a bachelor’s degree in specialised education (e.g. Social science education). Some places accept applicants who only have degrees in general education.
From my perspective as someone who have never applied for a teaching job, let alone become a teacher, I don’t like the last arrangement. Surely, if you want to teach a discipline, you need to have more than the basic knowledge. Ideally, I prefer the first arrangement. But, I will accept the second one as well. Of course, you can correct me if I am missing something here.
I think you know where I am going with this.
Yes, teaching and business are definitely two different professions. But, they have something in common: they also need to have knowledge in other disciplines. Just like teachers who need to be well-versed in the subjects they are teaching, businesspeople should also be so in the products and services they sell.
How can you be sure what you offer is of high-quality when you know little about it? This should be common sense and I don’t need to explain it in details.
I have two proposals:
- You are not allowed to get a degree in business unless you have working experiences and/or another degree in a non-business field.
- Your undergraduate degree should be a double major: in business and a non-business field.
In both proposals, some classes must be dedicated to liberal arts. I believe businesspeople should also be contemplative about their products and services.
Let’s just say you are in the tech business. Obviously, you need to maximise your profits as possible. But, ideally, you should also think about the impacts of your products; will they benefit mankind in the long run OR will it cause new problems and exacerbate existing ones?
You need to take the s0-called useless classes: history of technology, philosophy and ethics of technology, sociology of technology, psychology of technology, any classes which force you to perceive it beyond profit-making.
The morally undignified among you will think I am a moralistic prick for holding businesspeople to moral standards. The cynics among you will think I am a naive boy who puts too much moral expectations on those capitalist pigs.
Those among you who share my grievances about businesspeople and believe changes for the better is possible… will probably be healthily skeptical about my proposals; you will probably argue forcing business students to study liberal arts won’t make them more ethical and societal pressures are more effective in enforcing and regulating behaviours.
I actually do believe that as well. But, I still think my proposals are worth a try.
For one, depending on where you live, societies can be either too permissive or too supportive of businesspeople’s sleaziness, believing profit-making endeavours should never be restricted by anything, not even morality. Hence, why expecting societal pressures to work their magic will leave you disappointed.
And yes, there is no guarantee mandatory liberal arts courses will breed future ethical businesspeople. But, I am confident there will at least a handful of students who are compelled to rethink their entire worldview.
And those handfuls are certainly worth it. While we certainly should reach for higher stars, I still think one ethical businessperson is way better than having not a single one.
Unlike my other blogposts, this one is uncharacteristically optimistic and hopeful, almost naive-sounding even.
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