Thursday, 4 September 2014

GRE writing issue task: salaries in the arts and sciences

Issue task:
People who work in the arts and humanities should earn less than those who work in the sciences and economics because the benefits of the arts and humanities to the population is less important than that of scientific or economic endeavours.

Write your own response to the recommendation in which you discuss why you either agree or disagree with it. Support your response with evidence and/or examples. Use a hypothetical set of circumstances to illustrate the consequences of accepting or rejecting the recommendation, and explain how this informs your thinking.

There are as many path of careers as there are people in the world. Everybody has his or her own vision of life. One of the main demarcation between these outlooks on life can be noticed in the case of choosing either work in sciences and economics or work in the arts and humanities. The main issue here is if people who work in the arts and humanities should be paid more or less than people who work in the sciences and economics considering the importance of the result of their work. In my opinion, the current situation shows clearly that people who work in the sciences and economics receive better salaries on average. In my view, this situation will continue, but the reason of the current state is not because of the importance of the work.

Firstly, considering the current situation, without any doubts the jobs in technology and economics are well-paid. The demand for these professions is increasing each year and this is a highly valued position but there is not sufficient number of students who want to pursue this path. This is why many prominent people like Larry Page, Sergey Brien (cofounders of Google) or Mark Zuckerberg promote so called STEM studies. Technology and economics changed the way we live dramatically in the last 100 years. These branches provided us with tangible effects and as a result we lead longer, more comfortable and healthier lives.

Secondly, from the economical perspective, the market regulates the salaries and demands for different jobs. Governments can invest part of their funds in the art or humanities but this can bring only a minor effect. The sciences and economics have bigger influence and can reach more people on the whole. In the current situation, especially in European countries, we can detect a stable growth of the whole societies. This situation does require to produce goods on a global scale and technology can handle this demand, whereas art is rather more original and customized to specific needs. The art is a luxury that most people cannot afford.

Thirdly, the STEM studies are more demanding and burdensome. Even from my personal experience, I am studying computer science and have to study and work on my projects much longer than my friends who studied the arts and humanities majors, for example, classical music. Undoubtedly, people who are pursuing the arts and humanities in the framework of their studies have passion. Thus, we should not be afraid that by paying them less we would find nobody who would like to study the arts. On the other hand, the higher salaries for the sciences and economics would persuade people who hesitate between these the arts and sciences. Eventually, they would select the STEM studies or economics studies and contribute more to the society, at least fulfilling the current global need.

In conclusion, there are many compelling reasons why those who work in the sciences and economics should be paid more than those who work in the arts and humanities. Furthermore, it is rather impossible to judge the benefits and importance of work in these cases. Increasingly, there can be greater synergy from combining scientific pursuit with the human insights from the arts.

BTW, another great essay can be found here:

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