What are the Advantages to a Degree from a Liberal Arts College?

The advantages to a degree from a liberal arts college are many. People with degrees from liberal arts colleges get jobs. They also are more adept at critical thinking, more skilled in the art of communication than their peers from non-liberal arts colleges and they may be more well-rounded and interesting people.

People With Degrees From Liberal Arts Colleges Are Highly Employable

The goal of every student is to use his or her education to earn a living; students want to become employed. According to an article from Forbes Magazine, students are being encouraged to select a major and a specialization early in their education. That narrowed perspective excludes them from the many jobs offered by non-technical companies that just want innovative talent. The article goes on to say that we are so focused on this competitiveness and career success that we forget what makes people well-rounded and good hires. Employers are finding that new hires do not possess critical thinking skills, they cannot successfully navigate emotional territory and they cannot communicate in writing. One of the advantages to a degree from a liberal arts college is that the schools stress just those attributes.

Liberal Arts Colleges Teach a Multidisciplinary Approach to Problem Solution

Of course, students can take liberal arts courses at most universities. In fact, there is usually a required number of courses in English and writing, natural sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts. These are offered, however, as an adjunct to the major. In liberal arts colleges, according to mycollegeguide.org, all disciplines are viewed through the liberal arts lens. In other words, students learn to look at issues through a multitude of interrelated disciplines. This is one of the advantages to a degree from a liberal arts college that is especially important in an increasingly global culture. Business people need to understand the culture of other countries where they do business, and even learn to speak the language. Psychology and sociology skills play a big part in our ability to solve local problems like limited access to healthcare and international issues like a nation’s resistance to acquisition of resources. Students from liberal arts colleges learn to look at such issues from overlapping interdisciplinary viewpoints.

Liberal Arts Courses Hone Other Skills

According to the Forbes article, classes like philosophy and sociology, even statistics, strengthen critical thinking and writing skills. Students need these classes, in addition their majors, to be well-rounded and culturally aware. In fact, a list has been developed of something dubbed “Practical Liberal Arts.” The list includes writing, speaking, evaluation (reading between the lines), analytics, planning and organization, managing quantitative information and cultural leadership. These are skills that can be implemented in any specialization of any discipline. The mindset that these liberal arts skills, and the specializations, are cross related is what liberal arts colleges strive to impart to students.

Liberal Arts schools graduate students who see the big picture and, within their majors, are able to look to many disciplines for solutions and this is a huge advantage to a degree from a liberal arts college.

For additional information, please also see: What is a Liberal Arts College?