There seems to be emerging two schools of "Graphic Design" which I use very loosely in the world today.
The traditional school of Graphic Design is about "Art". Creating, exhibiting, and the history of graphic design, symbology, typography and all of that stuff.
The second school of Graphic Design is about "Application". As in designing solutions to real-world problems, business problems, social problems and the like.
To just ask which of the two has more value could be too vague. So instead I'll ask which of the two has more value specifically towards advancing the field of Graphic Design?
My go to example is the University of Minnesota which has an MFA in Interactive Media in their school of art, but also an MFA in Graphic Design in their school of design. Both could potentially use the same tools and accept the same students but the outcome is very different in how each approaches design. So the question is - which one does more to advance the field?