The phrase “higher education”, means something different to each generation. For our parents and grandparents, having a bachelors degree would typically mean the ability to work at job with comfortable pay, and retire once you hit old age. For some, that meaning still remains. However, in today’s culture obtaining a bachelors degree is held the the same equivalency as a high school diploma was in past years.
Students today will typically not find a job in their field immediately upon graduation, and will often start at low salaries that make it difficult to get ahead when first starting off. Paying student loans, adjusting to life post-graduation and becoming settled are difficult tasks to accomplish all at once. So, the concept that college is a place that you attend in order to obtain a piece of paper that will gain you a job can be harmful. People will have a false idea of exactly how many doors are open to them after completing their undergrad, or may just chose to study a subject that they feel will get them a job without actual interest in the field.
Colleges try. General education programs are intertwined within a typical four year program, allowing students to explore interests as long as they fit into their schedule, and satisfy specific graduation requirements. However, as the article pointed out, these “curriculums” tend to place courses together that the university feels satisfies giving you degree; however, may not better you as a person or for the ever-changing world. Programs that are hard set allow students to take the exact same courses, and graduate with the exact same degree, all fighting for spots in the same job market upon graduation.
Programs such as Interdisciplinary studies allow a student to learn, while also putting together a program that fits their career goals. Rather than stick to a strict set of courses they must take, a conscious thought goes into building a major that makes sense for the education and professional goals of a student.
Personally, I believe as time goes on that interdisciplinary studies will continue to grow at universities. The world is far different than it was even ten years ago. Technology rapidly advances to the point where people are growing up proficient in tech that was just invented within their life time. Interdisciplinary studies allows a student to get a range of education while still specifying a focus. This not only allows people to be consciously thinking of their future, but also allows for them to show that they have a want to learn and be adaptable to what changes will hit the work force throughout their lives.