Once thought of as an unfavorable degree and a way to end up unemployed, a liberal arts education has proven to be in high demand today. Now more than ever, companies are seeking candidates with liberal arts degrees. As the tech landscape evolves at an exponential rate, employers are hiring individuals that have cognitive flexibility, are lifelong learners, and are easily adaptable to acquire new skills.
According to a study by the British Council, 55% of business leaders from 30 countries were liberal arts students. The results don’t sound as surprising when you take examples from our daily lives. HBO, Flickr, and even YouTube, all big-name companies, also have leaders with liberal arts degrees.
The value of a liberal arts education continues to grow as the years go by, and according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 736,780 liberal arts majors were part of the workforce in 2019. The potential of liberal arts students is getting more credit as this degree prepares students for a variety of career paths rather than a specific one. It instills core skills such as communication, critical thinking, creativity, and collaboration that are essential for any type of organization. Liberal arts graduates can thus employ their critical thinking and analytical skills to solve complex problems and prove to be an asset to their employers.
The most recent liberal arts education statistics also show a positive career outlook with a growth rate of 2.15% for the average wage of liberal art degree holders. A liberal arts education opens doors to multiple industries, equips you with core skills, and provides many benefits, some of which are explored ahead.
Goals And Curriculum Of A Liberal Arts Education
Many liberal art degrees develop their students into free thinkers and problem solvers that focus on creating a better society through their education. The program offers in-depth knowledge of diversity and generates an understanding of different kinds of social groups. Students can sometimes customize their degree programs to explore their interests and equip them with the necessary knowledge they’ll need in the workforce.
A degree in liberal arts commonly teaches students in three domains:
In the domain of Humanities, students develop their research skills through learning history, culture, music, and arts. Lastly, they understand human values through philosophy and religious studies.
Students learn to objectively view the world by understanding the universe with advanced methods. Core science subjects like biology, chemistry, and mathematics are taught to develop reasoning, analysis, and observation skills.
Students learn about human behavior in their natural social environment and how they interact with each other. They study factors that influence humans and their society through subjects like psychology, economics, politics, and sociology.
Skills Developed By Liberal Arts Education
The soft skills that are taught in a liberal arts education positively contribute to a prosperous career. Students in a liberal arts program gain leverage in job interviews, and according to a study by Stanford Center and Harvard University, 85% of job success comes from soft skills.
Liberal arts students may start slow in the field compared to their STEM major peers, but by mid-career, the gap between their earnings fades away. The reason why liberal art majors are in for the long haul is that their degree fosters core soft skills that help them adapt and thrive in various fields.
The Center on Education and the Workforce conducted a study recently that ranked 4,500 universities and colleges in their ROI. The results showed that the value of a liberal arts degree adds over time with an average ROI that is $200,000 higher than the median of other colleges. After 40 years, the ROI will reach $918,000.
A Forbes article in 2020 also addresses this fact and attributes the high return on investment to the adaptability skills of liberal arts students compared to STEM majors. The promotion of creativity, free-thinking, and intellectual versatility in liberal art degrees hold significant value in the professional field.
Potential Industries For Liberal Art Majors
The diverse liberal arts education equips its students to join many fields. The following are some of the most suitable career paths for liberal art degree holders:
The business sector is a great place for liberal art majors to thrive because of their developed soft skills. A liberal arts background can help you stand out from competitors, correctly identify trends, and effectively communicate with stakeholders. You can pursue jobs as a project manager, business analyst, human resource coordinator, and marketing coordinator.
As liberal art students learn compassion and understanding through learning about people from diverse backgrounds, they are suitable for the healthcare sector. A bachelor’s in liberal arts can open doors for you in the field of healthcare with jobs as a community healthcare worker and the like.
Liberal arts degree holders most commonly pursue jobs in the education field. You can pursue a teaching career after a state-approved prep program for teachers. After that, you can work as a postsecondary teacher or even become an education administrator.
Advancing Liberal Arts Education
A master’s in liberal arts focuses on politics and society, mathematics, history, philosophy, and theology. Admission requirements for a master’s in liberal arts typically require a bachelor’s degree but no specific major.
Getting further education in your degree can be beneficial and help you stand out from the crowd. Many liberal arts degree holders join the workforce after a bachelor’s, but getting a master’s in liberal arts can get you higher-paying jobs.
What you decide to major in isn’t the only factor that will decide your success. Doing research is important, and the scope of a degree may help you decide whether or not it’s worth pursuing. However, eventually, it comes down to what you’re looking for in life.
Liberal arts are no longer as disadvantageous as the world may have believed. In the quickly developing age of the 21st century, degrees like liberal arts have continued to bring forth open-minded individuals. No matter what job you get right after graduating with a liberal arts degree, the skills and knowledge you learn from this degree will surely help you succeed.