This is a question that receives a great deal of attention today, when the nature of work is changing and when students are uncertain about how to begin their careers. But, faced with a very similar set of circumstances, it was also a question that occupied British universities at the start of the twentieth century.
Traditionally the ancient English universities had been the home of the country’s wealthy male elite, offering a liberal humanist education that was designed to shape gentlemanly character. By the nineteenth century this was also seen as the appropriate training for those who were to be members of the clergy, lawyers and doctors, or schoolmasters and civil servants.
But with the dramatic technological changes of the period, trade and industry had become much more powerful sectors of the economy and an increasing number of university graduates began to aspire to careers in business … read the rest of this post at guardian.co.uk