While it’s true that you can’t argue that the color yellow is superior to green, John Grandin (“Another View: Young professionals need more than a narrow set of job skills,” Oct. 19) restirs the age-old pot that academia needs an infusion of the arts and humanities into science curricula.

But we’ve seen that movie before. We don’t make infantry men learn band instruments even as we instill basic warfare training for Army band members. There is a measured difference between a bachelor of arts degree in civil engineering and a bachelor of science degree in civil engineering; it’s not that they’re different but equal.

His theme that non-liberal arts people can’t adequately convey reason – or, as the secondary headline states, “communicate effectively and think analytically” – is philosophically corrupt.

Moreover, he contends, as the headline states, that we non-liberal arts types have a “narrow set of job skills.” On the contrary, in today’s employers’ market (public and corporate), the job applicant is expected to have not only the niche technological training but also skills in what were once separate vocations.

For example, I once interviewed as a entry-level Maine Department of Transportation worker for a position calling for a commercial driving license and skills as a carpenter, mechanic, mason, welder and heavy equipment operator – all for $10.20 an hour. Yet, absent is the criteria for Colonial history or women’s studies.

There’s nothing wrong with having the passion and/or talent for ceramics or to be a Shakespearean actor, but it is another kettle of fish to dole out free jobs by quotas merely because an applicant had liberal arts courses (on purpose or by requirement), or, as with affirmative action, lacks competitive qualifications for the job.

On the flip side, journalists aren’t going to hire me merely because I can build a bridge.

Bill Caan

Brunswick