The liberal arts major is often touted as less valuable than more technical degrees by people who don’t have the facts about career opportunities, earnings and success rates of the liberal arts colleges.
The real benefit of a liberal arts degree it that puts students on the path to lifetime learning, which is critical when today’s graduates may very well make a dozen career changes during their working years. No matter your job title, the critical skills you should bring include: verbal and written communication, critical analysis and reasoning.
You need to demonstrate the ability to think differently and challenge the status quo when others can’t see a difference. Add to that a broader global understanding of cultures and societies, and a liberal arts degree will put you on the path to a fulfilling and financially rewarding career.
Let’s take a look at the most common questions (and answers) about liberal arts degrees and then explore some of the degrees in detail (below).
What falls under a liberal arts degree?
Traditionally in medieval times, the seven liberal arts were defined as logic and geometry, arithmetic, astronomy, grammar, rhetoric and music. Today, traditional liberal arts colleges define the liberal arts studies as philosophy, history, literature, languages, mathematics and science.
Often included in a liberal arts degree (regardless of the major) is a broad understanding of the humanities including: literature, history, fine arts, language, philosophy, as well as the the social sciences.
Is a liberal arts degree a BA or BS?
Traditional liberal arts colleges award Bachelor of Arts degrees in the arts and sciences. Some of these institutions now combined specialized learning to provide a Bachelor’s of Science. For students looking to continue their education (a masters degree, medical school, law school, etc.), although there is no prescribed path that says you should go for a BA vs. a BS degree, the BS degree option might be better suited for those planning med school because of its emphasis on mathematics, statistics and research.
What are the liberal arts skills?
Although many people talk about how college should be a training ground for your first job, the research show that you would be better off to think about college as a place for skill development and lifetime learning.
Employers are very clear about what they are looking for and what most college graduates lack today.
You need to show employers that have you excellent written and verbal communication skills, the ability to objectively analyze data, can work well with teams (both large and small), and a strong ethic. Finally, you will need the ability to pick up technical skills quickly because technology changes so frequently.
What kind of jobs can you get with a liberal arts degree?
Truly the career opportunities are endless. If you graduate from a reputable school and have developed the skills employers are looking, you will will that no job is out of reach for you.
What is a liberal arts major in college?
Let’s take a look at some of the more popular liberal arts majors: