Experts say an interdisciplinary education provides the most reliable preparation for a career in a changing world.

Prospective college and graduate students who are figuring out what to study should honestly assess their interests and talents first.(GETTY IMAGES)

Given the rapid pace of economic change and technological innovation, some wonder whether the lessons currently taught by college and graduate school professors will be relevant in 10, 20 or 30 years.

If you’re a prospective student worried about whether the degree you plan to pursue will have lasting value, understand that your concern is shared by many academics, who constantly update courses to account for emerging trends. Faculty in both traditional liberal arts disciplines and more vocationally oriented programs also focus on teaching timeless skills such as analyzing and solving problems and brainstorming new ideas.

[Excerpt] Nick Swayne, executive director of 4-VA, a collaboration among a handful of universities in Virginia, makes a similar point.

“Certainly there are degrees that are more vulnerable to disruption through innovation than others, but those are tough to predict,” he wrote in an email. “They differ by geographic location, and transformative disruptions are tough to anticipate with sufficient advanced warning to be useful in picking a career field.”

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