The purpose of education is to inform upcoming generations the necessary skills to follow a career path and to obtain a meaningful position in society. However, education faces different obstacles dealing with changes and advancements over time. In his excerpt "Preparing for a Career," Derek Bok, former Dean of Harvard University, declares that universities are required to meet the demands of students and employers to build a curriculum that includes vocational training courses as well as promoting critical thinking through liberal arts education. Bok claims that universities have failed to fully integrate the two main components demanded by the students and employers successfully and for this reason, students' educational needs are not fully met.
Bok explains that students tend to gravitate towards vocational courses, or pre-professional programs, because society perceives these courses to create competitive students when applying for a post-undergraduate education. These courses prepare students for a specific career and develop expertise in skills related to science and technology. Bok argues that vocational training doesn't have an advantage over a liberal arts education because it lacks critical thinking since the curriculum consists of material necessary for that specific career. This broad study only benefits students after the first ten years once they have started their career. If they choose to advance in their career path they are at a disadvantage because they lack strong communication skills, creativity, they do not focus on interpersonal and students also lack the ability to analyze and evaluate an issue in order to form a judgment.
Not only are there vocational course trainings but there are also the Arts and Sciences majors. These majors will specialize in a specific subject such as psychology, business management, or public relations. This traditional road to a career benefits students as much as vocational programs because the liberal arts education stresses the importance of collaborating with others, ethical morality and discipline.