The Invaluable Benefits of Liberal Arts Education - Best Value Schools

The Invaluable Benefits of Liberal Arts Education

February 16, 2021 | Staff Writers

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Liberal arts have come a long way, offering a comprehensive and intellectual grounding in different areas. By exploring ideas, issues, and methods across humanities, social sciences, and arts, students can learn to write coherently, read critically, and think broadly. These skills advance their conversations within the classroom setting and strengthen their cultural and social analysis. And all of this is possible because liberal arts education cultivates the most complex issues of the universe. 

Liberal arts education challenges students to solve problems and trains them to ask which questions should be solved and why. This education positions them for leadership and service to the state and humanity. Through intentional exposure and experience, liberal arts education also provides students with unparalleled critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Instead of memorizing facts, which they forget at the end of the semester, it teaches students to scrutinize, think, and connect ideas. The invaluable skills are necessary to innovating and creating meaningful changes in the world.

Perhaps the best thing about liberal arts education is that it prepares students for potential jobs, even positions that have not yet been created. According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, many current students will be employed in jobs that are yet to be created. In contrast, around 40% of the current jobs will be a thing of the past. The only thing that will enable the students to succeed in the evolving world is the liberal arts education classic skills. These include the ability to think, create, collaborate, and to adapt.

Liberal arts education emphasizes social responsibility and community engagement, which means that students get to spend more of their time volunteering than those taking other majors. Students can open their eyes to the world around them and how some actions affect other people. They engage in service trips abroad or work with local non-profit organizations in devotion to make the universe a better place.

What Is a Liberal Arts Education?

Are you considering taking a liberal arts degree at the local college? Liberal arts are vital subjects that allow its learners to practice critical thinking on the tasks given. Liberal arts enable you to be more competitive in the modern job market since it gives you an edge over the competition.

Liberal arts is the study of diverse subjects, including social science, humanities, arts, and natural science. And students who take these courses become critical thinkers. But what is the definition of liberal arts education? 

When a college chooses to provide a liberal arts education, it allows you to undertake everything surrounding liberal arts from Mathematics, history, and psychology to communication. These subjects are supposed to give you skills to sharpen your research and be a critical thinker.

Numerous benefits accompany getting a degree in the liberal arts. And more possibilities for a greener pasture come with this career, including positions in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, popularly known as STEM.

What Does Liberal Arts Mean?

When you study liberal arts, you are equipping yourself with the essential skills and mindset that will enable you to change your perspective and perception of everything around you. Also, investigating other subjects gives you an edge in job opportunities. 

Here are the reasons why you should study Liberal Arts:

  • Exposure to Diverse Things: When studying Liberal Arts Education, you should be ready for a new experience. Plus, it will expose you to new things every day. And if you are a person who loves exposure, then this is just for you. Students in a liberal arts education college try out new ideas and get plenty of encouragement to take risks.
  • Social Responsibilities: Liberal arts students enjoy spending more time doing social responsibilities, such as volunteering and interacting with the local community. Those studying from the best colleges take more trips abroad during the spring season. And the course instills in you an excellent engagement skill upon completion from the liberal arts college.
  • Acquire Important Skills: Being a liberal arts student equips you with the right skills necessary for survival and success. You acquire the skills that employers want, such as critical thinkers, creativity, innovation, flexibility, and essential life skills, such as tolerance, ethics, forgiveness, and decision making.
  • Interact with Other Classes: As a liberal arts education student, you interact with different students from massive lecture halls to the small lecture hall student. You engage and get to learn the same thing for the given period.
  • Job Opportunities: When you graduate from a liberal arts college, you have the best chance of penetrating the job market since most liberal students have the skills that employers are looking for in employees. They are critical thinkers who view things from different perspectives, good communication, and technical skills.

Is Liberal Arts Education Worth Your Time?

To answer this, let’s dive in deeper and look at statistics. 92% of students who studied liberal arts education acquire the most demanding skills in recent and coming times. That means the major prepares you to deal with the present and still makes you ready for the future.

Recent reports by the National Center for Education Statistics indicate that more than 80% of employers want an employee who has embodied liberal arts since they display good communication skills, are critical thinkers, and solve complex problems readily.

The same study indicated that students taking degrees in liberal arts are going down by a whopping 21% over the last six years, thus leaving a gap in the current market. It is a clear indication if you take liberal arts, you have a more competitive chance in the job market.

Many liberal arts students have tremendous and outstanding careers, and this is according to Strada Institute for future work. These students get jobs that earn them an average of $55,000 and more for those who pursue and earn a graduate degree to increase their income to $76,000 annually.

So, yes! Taking liberal arts is worth your time, and if you put your heart and mind towards your studies and your career, it can work for you.

Liberal Arts Education has endless opportunities. But the best of them is its marketability. It gives you the skills that most employers are looking for, including the gift to persuade and inspire others, teamwork, critical thinking, ready to work, and tackle problems. All these are what you can find from a Liberate Arts Graduate. 

Your Guide to Liberal Arts Education

A liberal arts degree is a program designed to make students develop wise decision-making, critical thinking, and effective communication skills through comprehensive education. In other words, a liberal art college will equip you with vital soft skills and an effective way to express to employers that you possess the skills needed to make you an asset in a vast range of fields.

Liberal arts studies started thousands of years ago with the ancient Greeks. The seven “Liberal artes” subjects were honored in Ancient Greek and were considered essential for all learned citizens. 

In medieval times, these subjects came in two categories, the trivium and quadrivium. Students were required to start with the trivium (three-way path) that included three simple subjects, namely logic, grammar, and rhetoric. Upon completion, the students would then proceed to the quadrivium (four-way path) with four of a bit complex subjects. These studies included arithmetic, astronomy, music, and geometry.

Traditionally, these subjects were rendered essential to develop critical thinking and underpin logic into the students. 

Even in the modern world, the motive behind liberal arts studies has not changed, but the subjects have been expanded to include a broad range of disciplines. The central aim is still growing students’ thinking, communication, and analytical skills and deliver an all-inclusive educational background. 

These disciplines can be classified into three significant strings, which include arts, sciences, and humanities. These majors further break down to cover the following courses.

  • Arts: The major includes study in the creative and fine arts. These courses include music history, art history, literature, and theatre.
  • Sciences: Covers social and natural sciences and offers students a solid understanding of how the natural and social worlds operate. Social science courses include psychology, sociology, economics, anthropology, and political science. On the other hand, natural science has classes such as astronomy, biology or life science, chemistry, mathematics, and physics.
  • Humanities: Humanities majors emphasize human culture and may combine some disciplines in science and arts majors. These courses may include philosophy, history, languages, religion, ethics, archeology, political science, and linguistics.

Significant Differences Between the Disciplines Included in Liberal Arts Degree

Even after you’ve decided to take a liberal arts degree, choosing the program to pursue can sometimes be a daunting task. The US has more than 5,000 universities you can choose from, and some colleges offer a similar program with various degrees. For instance, you can take a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science or a Bachelor of Science (BS) in Political Sciences. 

Making the right choice requires that you understand the significant differences between the disciplines and their degrees. Here are some factors to help you out.

BA versus BS:

Bachelor of Arts (BA) is a typical three to five-year degree awarded to graduates upon completing social sciences courses, history, communication, humanities, and physical sciences. 

A Bachelor of Science (BS), on the other hand, focuses majorly on scientific and technical topics, including engineering, computer science, technology, biochemistry, nursing, etc.

Another distinguishing factor is the number of credits each degree requires. A BS degree, for example, focuses on a specific major. As a result, the students must study the particular discipline more in-depth. The course requires more credits in the major, consequently leaving them with fewer chances to study topics out of their field.

Alternatively, a BA degree allows students to choose from various courses in each liberal arts subject. As a result, students can mold their studies to fit their interests. Therefore, a BA degree offers diverse education in a specific major, requiring fewer credits than a BS degree.

Essential Disciplines in A Liberal Arts Degree 

A liberal arts degree’s primary goal is to offer you a well-rounded education, prepare you for a variety of opportunities, and higher education in different careers. These objectives are best achieved through the disciplines that make up the program. Some of the importance of these majors include:

  • Social sciences, the study of society and the people, help you understand and appreciate the various ways of life on our planet.
  • Historical major is the study of past events. This major allows you to appreciate the advantages we have in society. These may include education, medical, and much more.
  • Humanity major focuses on learning and comparing various cultures around the world. This experience helps you to be culturally diverse and show society how to accept and understand each other.
  • Arts involves the study of creative and fine arts, in which you build the creativity that employers around the world look for in employees.

How Liberal Arts Degree Disciplines Are Decided Upon

There’s not much difference between a Bachelor of Arts Degree and a Bachelor of Sciences Degree. The distinguishing factor is whether you would love to get a specialized education on your choice of discipline, or you prefer a broader education on the major. Therefore, it’s essential to take time and study each program you’re passionate about and make an informed decision.

There’s always a significant confusion between liberal studies and liberal arts degrees. While most people think they’re the same, liberal studies is an interdisciplinary major. It requires coursework in various liberal arts and often requires a specific course in which students study the relationships between ranges of liberal disciplines.

The Amazing Benefits of a Liberal Arts Degree 

Due to soaring college tuition fees and the tepid growth of the economy, parents and undergraduates are majorly concerned about the value of college education rather than personal interests. No one wants to waste resources on a course that may have limited returns and an uncertain job guarantee. 

As a student, you must have heard the critics of pursuing a liberal arts degree. Your main concerns now are whether the speculations are right and any post-graduate opportunities you stand to benefit by seeking your associate of arts passion. 

We compiled data-based research to show you the immense opportunities of this mythically useless major. Let’s dive right in.

According to a traditional definition, liberal arts degree comprises history, philosophy, language, math, and intellectual science. Liberal arts education majors learn the soft skills and talents that aren’t easy to quantify but come in handy in almost all careers. 

During a liberal arts program, you get the chance to practice and improve your critical thinking skills. Critical thinking involves assessing situations through expert analysis on each problem and making wise decisions while considering different factors.

The program achieves this objective by encouraging you to think on a vast range of topics and giving solutions to various problems. Working diligently every day to assess issues and think critically to offer solutions helps a liberal art graduate succeed in most careers and everyday life and relationships.

The program also offers its majors an opportunity to learn the complexity of human behavior. This aspect gives you an understanding of why people behave in specific ways, making it easy to relate well with people of all kinds and characters. 

Additionally, liberal arts degree is a multidisciplinary field and encompasses all academic disciplines. While many programs focus on equipping graduates with the knowledge to succeed in one specific job, liberal arts degree helps you cover various topics that can help you succeed in several careers. It covers social sciences, mathematics, natural sciences, and humanities and offers graduates the benefits of a well-rounded education. 

Your career in liberal arts disciplines opens doors for you to explore numerous different avenues. For instance, if you pursue a bachelor’s degree in English, the program prepares you for a career in publishing, editing, journalism, social media writing, technical writing, and so on. 

Since you have a wide range of writing skills, you can corporate your passion into your career. 

What Impact Does A Liberal Arts Degree Have?

Unlike most courses that focus on equipping graduates with hard and direct skills on a specific job or career (like nursing or teaching), liberal arts education focuses on soft skills that aren’t easy to quantify.  

The practical communication skills, critical thinking, creativity, strong writing, and emotional intelligence skills that form the primary basis of liberal arts degree are important assets across different careers. 

The liberal arts graduates are mostly super-adaptive. Their adaptive character plus soft skills are massive assets, especially if they know the right industries to join. Research from the Hamilton Project found that liberal arts graduates transition into an astounding variety of professions, landing a more diverse array of occupations than most students from other disciplines.

While many people render liberal arts education useless in career opportunities, the program offers endless possibilities. The author of “You Can Do Anything: The Surprising Power of a Liberal Arts Degree,” George Anders, argues that liberal arts colleges empower you to handle almost everything. 

The interpersonal skills that the program focuses on creating are an asset when it comes to employment. A LinkedIn study showed that even tech companies hire liberal arts graduates faster than the engineering and computer science degree holders.  Other career opportunities that a liberal arts major may venture into include:

  • Journalism
  • Editing
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Public relations specialist
  • Human resource specialist

How Liberal Arts Degree Can Help You Change Careers in Future

Choosing a college that offers a bright career future is the biggest challenge most undergraduates and parents ever face. While the field you decide to study holds much weight, a liberal arts education will equip you with brighter and endless opportunities than most programs. 

A liberal arts degree can combine with almost all studies and increase your job market. Some of the ways you can do this include:

  • Pairing an associate of arts degree with your trade or certification. This combination will equip you with different skills for different careers and open your job market and allow you to switch between careers.
  • Taking part in industry-relevant internships. Internships are a great way to learn via experience. The more you interact is, the more you hone your skills and learn new talents for alternative careers. 

Choosing A Liberal Arts Program

With the constantly changing employment space, choosing the right career might be difficult. First, find the right course to study based on the career path you wish to take. One of the courses you might take is liberal arts education. 

Liberal arts is an educational program that equips learners with a wide range of knowledge in different fields. Main areas covered under a liberal arts program include natural sciences, social sciences, arts, and humanities. With all these areas covered, as a liberal arts student, you have a better chance of being absorbed into the job market. Potential employment opportunities for graduates of liberal arts programs include education, health, and finance, among other fields.

What You Should Consider When Selecting A Liberal Arts Program

Like in any other field of study, choosing a liberal arts program is crucial. Consider several factors before selecting a program. The most important aspect to look at is your passion for the program. Liberal arts programs require dedication; therefore, it might be hard to complete one if you don’t like it.

The marketability of the program you choose is another crucial factor to look at. The liberal arts program you choose should place you in a competitive position within the job market. Therefore, you need to analyze the chances of being employed before taking up a liberal arts program. Taking programs with fewer people on the market increases your chance of being employed.

Availability of the program in your liberal arts college of choice is a key factor to be considered. If the college you select doesn’t have the program you want, you can consider choosing another program or finding a different college. For instance, some colleges only offer degree programs, while others offer diploma programs. However, some established colleges and universities offer both degree and diploma programs for liberal arts studies.

Before selecting a liberal arts program, you need to look at its cost. The program you choose should be cost friendly to avoid straining your financial status and deliver the utmost liberal arts value. In most cases, it is advisable to select study in public institutions since their courses are relatively low.

Top Liberal Arts Colleges You Can Check Out

Several colleges offer liberal arts programs. Whether you seek to pursue a liberal arts degree or diploma course, you can access either public or private institutions for the courses. Some of the most popular colleges offering liberal arts programs include:

  • Williams College:  Williams College is a private learning institution located in Williamstown, Massachusetts. This college offers three undergraduate degree programs in humanities, arts, social sciences, and sciences. The tuition fees at Williams College vary depending on the liberal arts program you choose.
  • Swarthmore College: Located approximately ten miles outside Philadelphia, Swarthmore college is ranked top among institutions offering liberal arts programs. This private college is preferred by many scholars wanting to pursue careers in liberal arts within Philadelphia.
  • Pomona CollegePomona College is a top private institution located in Claremont, California. If you wish to study liberal arts, you can take advantage of the location of this college. Graduating from this college makes it easier to get employed as it is located about thirty-five miles from downtown Los Angeles.
  • United States Naval Academy: The United States Naval Academy is one of the best public institutions offering liberal arts programs. The college is located in Annapolis, a waterfront town in Maryland. Students going to this institution are officers in training, usually referred to as midshipmen.
  • Barnard College: If studying in New York is part of your goals, then enrolling in Barnard College for a liberal arts program is best suited for you. The college offers several liberal arts programs in a unique urban environment. Graduating from this institution guarantees a higher chance of being employed since New York has many liberal arts graduates’ opportunities.

There are many other liberal arts colleges you can choose from to pursue the program you need. Base your college choice on the cost of studying and the distance you wish to be from home or work. Finding an institution near your town makes it easy to study and work at the same time.

Although pursuing a liberal arts degree seems like a direct entry into the employment market, it requires individual effort to attain the best. How fast you get employed depends on your networking skills and discipline during the period of study.

In Summary

Nobody wants to invest their time and resources into courses that don’t provide long-term benefits and opportunities for great positions in the chosen fields. The best thing is that regardless of the career you are pursuing, liberal arts education will help you build the critical skills necessary to thrive in the modern workplace. The various subjects in liberal arts will teach you a wide range of ideas. This way, you can discover your strengths, interests, and best career paths. You will also get a chance to explore different cultures, human experiences, and philosophies, which broadens your worldview. It also gives you a valued perspective sought out by the current world’s companies. You should expect to develop better-thinking methods that help in practical problem-solving and advancing your communication skills.

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