College of Arts & Sciences
- Dean's Office
- Kapelski, Room 209
- tel: 610-499-4336
- fax: 610-499-4605
Why Liberal Arts?
Why Liberal Arts?
Learn more about the value of a liberal arts education .
A liberal arts education means studying a wide variety of subjects and learning skills that are applicable in more than just one profession.
By studying the liberal arts, you will develop strong critical thinking, problem solving, creative thinking, and communication skills, and you will learn how to think across multiple disciplines. These are the exact skills that employers say they value most–even more than a specific major.
A liberal arts degree is not a narrow path; it is one that encourages you to find your own individual path and discover your strengths, interests, and leadership abilities in the process.
Acquire a Broad Skill Set
A liberal arts education teaches you how to learn–how to read in a variety of subjects, research data, analyze information, solve problems, think critically, and communicate clearly and persuasively. It teaches you how to look at issues from various perspectives and be informed before making decisions. In addition, it prepares you for working in an increasingly diverse world where there are multiple cultures, economic systems, political perspectives, religions, and methods and styles of communication.
It’s not surprising that a third of Fortune 500 CEOs have liberal arts degrees.
Become Attractive to Potential Employers
A recent national survey of employers by the Association of American Colleges and Universities describes what college graduates need to succeed in a global economy. The findings strongly support the importance of the liberal arts. Nearly all those surveyed (93 percent) say that "a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than [a candidate's] undergraduate major."
Additionally, more than three-fourths of employers want more emphasis on critical thinking, complex problem-solving, written and oral communication, and applied knowledge in real-world settings.
A 2014 study by the Association of American Colleges and Universities and the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems also found that liberal arts majors earn on average $2,000 more annually in their peak earning years than do graduates who majored in professional or pre-professional fields.
Prepare for Multiple Professions
No one knows exactly how the global economy will change in the future or what the jobs of the future will be, but a liberal arts degree will provide you a solid foundation for adapting to, and anticipating, new opportunities and careers. It will enable you to draw from a variety of skill sets, more readily adapt to challenges, and capitalize on opportunities.
And a liberal arts education will prepare you not only for your first job but for your fourth and fifth job, a very important benefit since it is very likely that you will be called upon to play many different roles over the course of your career as the global economy continues to change and your interests continue to expand.
For more information about the value of a liberal arts education, please refer to the following resources:
- AAC&U, January 2014. “New Report Documents That Liberal Arts Disciplines Prepare Graduates for Long-Term Professional Success."
- Council of Independent Colleges. 2014. “Securing America’s Future: The Power of Liberal Arts Education.”
- The National Leadership Council for Liberal Education and America’s Promise. 2007. College Learning for the New Global Century. AAC&U.
- Ray, Edward J. 2012. "The Value of a Liberal Arts Education in Today's Global Marketplace," Huffington Post.
- TIME Magazine, June 19, 2013. “Critics of the Liberal Arts Are Wrong: Yes, science and tech are important, but a new report shows that employers prize a more broadly-based education.”
- Forbes magazine, September 5, 2014. “Employees Who Stand Out."
- Fast Company magazine, August 28, 2014. “Why Top Tech CEOs Want Employees With Liberal Arts Degrees."