A Liberal Arts Education is Worth the Investment

Provided By Columbia College

Good news, lovers of literature, admirers of Aristotle and supporters of the social sciences. Liberal arts degrees are relevant and in demand in today’s workforce, and there’s research to back that up.

Recent studies confirm what small liberal arts colleges have always known. Employers value a well-rounded education that equips people with skills separating the humans from the bots. In fact, that’s the gist of a report released in November by the labor market analytics firm, Emsi and the Strada Institute for the Future of Work. In the study, “Robot Ready,” researchers examined millions of resumes against job postings in STEM-related fields—industries grounded in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. They found STEM employers are hiring more candidates who have liberal arts degrees.
And a separate study conducted in 2017 by Hart Research Associates found that business executives and hiring managers list communication, critical thinking and decision making as the top skills they value. They also said they’re looking to hire team players who are also self-starters.

These are all proficiencies you develop with a liberal arts education. So what does this all mean for adults toying with the idea of pursuing, say, a psychology degree?

It means the jobs are there. Employers want candidates who have foundational knowledge in a variety of subject areas and the “soft” skills gained in a liberal arts programs. They’re seeking well-rounded, innovative individuals who have the ability to learn and be flexible in an ever-evolving workplace.

Need more convincing? There’s a good chance your future boss has a liberal arts background. In fact, more than one-third of Fortune 500 CEOs have liberal arts degrees, including the CEOs of YouTube, Starbucks, Whole Foods and Chipotle.
And while having a baccalaureate degree doesn’t guarantee admission into law school, liberal arts degrees are recommended. The American Bar Association cites history, English and philosophy as some of the best majors to prepare yourself for legal education.

But you’re more than a career, right? Even more reason to consider a liberal arts path. During your educational journey, you’ll be exposed to ideas and subjects that might spark new interests. You may be bitten by the acting bug in an introductory theatre class, and decide to participate in community theatre later in life. Or maybe you’ll discover a passion for the galaxy in an astronomy class that leads to a lifelong hobby. A basic computer programming course could come in handy when you want to add interactive widgets to a personal website.

So, rejoice, history buffs. Raise a glass, philosophers. Applaud, patrons of the arts. A liberal arts degree remains an investment worth making.

Columbia College offers more than 40 programs grounded in liberal arts to produce globally engaged citizens who are creative, curious and ethical. Learn more at CCIS.edu.