From a recent Daily Beast essay.
Certainly, it is more practical to study engineering than philosophy. The country has a high demand for engineers. America also needs doctors, computer programmers, chemists, mechanics, and janitors. Does America not also need art historians, artists, philosophers, novelists, journalists, and well-rounded, thoughtful, and intellectually independent adults?
Gore Vidal defined an intellectual as “someone who can deal with abstractions.” Does the mediocrity of the job market mean that America no longer needs people who deal with abstractions? Only someone already painfully unable to deal with abstraction would draw such a suicidal conclusion.
I’m pretty sure that a computer programmer is someone who can deal with abstractions.