Liberal arts studies have been around for millennia. Originally comprised of seven subjects—grammar, logic, rhetoric, arithmetic, astronomy, music and geometry—today, liberal arts refer to studies that are more focused on developing general knowledge and soft skills, as opposed to vocational studies that focus on providing students with specific skills for a particular job or career.
Here are some of the benefits of a liberal arts degree:
Prepares students for successful careers and leadership roles
Liberal arts programs are less focused on specialized skills, like those taught in engineering and medicine, and instead focus on developing so-called “soft skills,” such as critical thinking, collaboration, logic, creativity and communications. These skills prepare students for their future careers, as they are key to successfully managing people and resources, problem-solving and communicating effectively. These qualities are especially needed among leaders to ensure the smooth running of an organization.
Opens doors for a career in almost any industry
Students in liberal arts programs can enroll in a wide variety of courses across disciplines, including history, English, psychology and even math and science. Students can choose to pursue a degree in one of these disciplines or can opt for a more general degree with courses in multiple fields in which they will gain a multidisciplinary perspective. In both cases, students gain skills and knowledge that are easily transferable from one industry to another, allowing graduates to pursue careers in almost any industry. Compared to degrees like medicine and law, liberal arts allow for more freedom in choosing a career.
Graduates have a strong income potential
Contrary to common myths, studying liberal arts can be quite lucrative in the long run. While recent graduates in STEM and business fields initially tend to make more money right after completing university, liberal arts graduates often end up earning just as much, if not more, a few years later once they reach management positions. Liberal arts studies are proven to be a sound investment from a financial standpoint.
Liberal arts degrees are becoming more sought-out among employers
According to a 2019 survey from the U.S., over 75% of employers look for employees with good communication skills, problem-solving capabilities and who are good at working as part of a team. All these skills correspond to the ones developed in liberal arts studies, making graduates in this area very attractive to employers. While practical skills required for a job can often be learned through training or on the job, soft skills are harder to develop in a short timeframe and make candidates displaying those competencies more appealing in the job market.
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