Giving Compass' Take:

• Benjamin Pimentel reports on the trend of tech companies seeking out individuals with liberal arts skills to drive the progress they need.

• How can funders help to connect skilled labor with companies that may not seem to be aligned with those skills? 

• Read about the future of liberal arts education


Jennifer Wolochow majored in philosophy and religion at Stanford, hoping to become a high school teacher.

“I just really enjoyed learning about why people believe different things around the world and how that informs their actions everyday,” she said.

But instead of a classroom, Wolochow now works on the Silicon Valley campus of a company that’s using technology to make learning more accessible to people throughout the world.

Her career journey, which led her to Coursera, a startup that develops online courses and educational programs, highlights a trend that has become more pronounced in the last few years. More companies in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics—or STEM—fields are hiring workers with liberal arts backgrounds, according to a recent report.

The trend, at one level, underscores how more opportunities have opened up for liberal arts majors for whom it is now easier to acquire new skills to land a job in tech.

“These days, programming languages are accessible enough for pretty much anybody willing to do the work,” said Roger Kay, a longtime technology industry analyst.

That was the case with Robert Dawson. After earning a degree in graphic design at Memphis College of Art, he subsequently learned new skills that led to his current position as the lead front-end developer at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco.

Read the full article about liberal arts skills at tech companies by Benjamin Pimentel at EdSurge.