"As conceived in the 19th and first half of the 20th century, a liberal education was, to a considerable degree, the antithesis of a professional education," he said. "There is now much more career preparation at the undergraduate level--whether it is pre-med courses or the like."
But while Harvard has, for a long time, prepared students for their professional lives after graduation, TECH will be the first Harvard program that prepares students for a professional life at school.
Narayanamurti, straddling this divide, is emphasizing that TECH is a liberal arts educational venture even though it focuses on high-tech business.
"Students must learn entrepreneurship under the wing of a broad-based education," he said, and he hopes that TECH will provide just that.
It would be foolish and counter-productive, he said, to ignore the reality that today's students will have to know about the high-tech world.
"Times have changed. We really do live now in a very different world than in the past," he said. "Information technologies have a tremendous influences on our lives, and we need to exploit that for education."
At Stanford, Seelig agrees that some sense of how a business works is essential for those interested in technology, regardless of whether that knowledge fits within the rubric of the liberal arts education.
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