@6v6gt Thanks for sharing! This thread has apparently evolved over the course of a couple of days into something the people who write the first half of the posts didn't expect and hopefully will continue to do so!
I've been in academia forever, "one and half of a life time" worth. I've seen some of the good, the bad, and the ugly in this very essential business of churning out productive individuals for the society at a large scale. I wish I could find you a "programming board" photo but maybe next time I visit the stock room. It's a board with holes forming a matrix and numerous wires jumping from one hole to another. The whole thing was more wire than board and it comes with a metal frame and handle. It was literally a program code for a computer, interconnecting tubes or semiconductor transistors I suppose. It perches over the top shelf in our stock room. That's what I see in some parts of the academia, really old but in high places and not going anywhere. This goes with BOTH PEOPLE AND CONTENT!
When I teach survey of electronics (3xx level) to non-ECE students, I drop much of the amplifier aspect of MOSFETs and keep the "electronics switch" aspect. I drop 74XX logic gate ICs in labs. I also drop much of sequential logic that I have no time to cover in a single semester survey. But I never drop opamps or common-emitter amplifier circuits. They are fun to play with in the lab and provide enough challenge in theory. I show them some more recent stuff such as arduino and sensors. The rest is up to them.
About the non-tech stuff in a degree, that's the superficial difference between a liberal education and one that I received, only degree-specific requirements, a little bit of electives we can pick, and a lot of propaganda. In the belly of the beast that's called liberal education though, you see the ugly truth that certain requirements of diversity and gen. ed. courses were spoils of wars hard fought and won by those respective departments and faculty so there will always be filled courses to partly justify their existence. It's a balancing act to maintain a degree program, to keep what's necessary for the technical education on the book and what must be there for lib. ed. requirement. If we add one course that we thought would be good for our grads, what we must drop and what double counting can we do on lib ed to get students through it faster.
I want to end my response by saying that a good liberal education DOES benefit the student's life. I wonder if I had music education, you know, more than just singing classes in grade schools, I might play an instrument well and enjoy music for my life time. And without a wide range of exposure to different things, one would not know if they actually want to know more about something they yet do not know. I remember taking an elective on intellectual properties. The professor mentioned that the USA has plant patents, obviously without knowing the why himself. It only take me living in the US of A so long to finally figure it out.