Originally Posted By: 22B

Also I never understood the philosophy of wanting students to be jack of all trades master of none.

I don't think that such institutions ARE looking for jacks of any trades. Mostly they are seeking those who are masters of multiple domains, and it certainly makes sense to me why that should be so.

We've all (in this community anyway) seen this-- the really interesting thing about HG kids is that so many of them are SO good at multiple domains. If you are given the choice, having only ONE seat available, and you can choose:

a) student with top grades and test scores, with a set of three or four possible majors, interest in a wide variety of activities and skill at most of them, and who has leadership potential and clearly pro-social behavior beyond his/her years, versus...

b) student with top grades and test scores, a clear obsession for the stated major, and who has a competitive win-streak and is a bit of a social misfit and loner.

Which of those two applicants is the better choice, really?

The former. They are statistically more likely to graduate, and graduating, more likely to find stable gainful employment. Now, the latter is a person that COULD turn out to be a Steve Jobs, but most of them don't.

It is easy to assume that mathematicians, scientists, or engineers "don't really need" skills in the humanities or in communications. But that's profoundly untrue in the real world, where those skills open into a vast chasm between those who lack them and those who possess them.
Schrödinger's cat walks into a bar. And doesn't.