Thursday 29th June 18:03

5 Reasons Employers Love Liberal Arts Degrees

liberalarts01_200The first question most liberal arts majors get after explaining their area of study is “And what are you going to do with that?” Today, prevailing wisdom claims that most employers are looking for workers fresh from college with career-ready degrees in the STEM fields — science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. However, the reality is the exact opposite. Most employers do not always need such highly trained, technical employees; instead, they more often aim to hire applicants who demonstrate creativity and communication skills. Basically, employers want liberal arts grads.

Last year, more than 48 percent of liberal arts seniors obtained a full-time job before graduation, and experts predict that number to increase by a few percentage points in the coming years. Employers across the board are definitely beginning to value the skills and knowledge gained in pursuit of the liberal arts. Specifically, employers love the liberal arts field for these particular reasons:

Research
The widespread lack of confidence in the liberal arts degree comes almost directly from misunderstanding of what students actually do. Though the liberal arts field is vast and vague, across the board, students working toward a liberal arts degree spend most of their time in the library or laboratory.

Research is an integral part of the liberal arts field, and students eventually develop an unparalleled aptitude for uncovering and understanding complex information. In an era when Big Data reigns supreme, employers need excellent researchers more than ever, and they are turning to liberal arts grads for help.

Problem-solving
Unlike mathematics or medicine, where there is always a correct answer or proper treatment, liberal arts is a field devoted to the journey rather than the destination. The research and writing projects that liberal arts students complete help them develop novel ideas and overcome challenges, like crafting arguments on limited information.

Every company benefits from adept problem-solvers who don’t require assistance to remove any obstacles. In fact, plenty of employers are noting the increasing uselessness of a more targeted degree, especially as the business world changes so rapidly, and are thus favoring liberal arts grads who demonstrate a firm grasp of basic skills.

Curiosity
The field of liberal arts is all about understanding the world around us, from the geological forces to the human condition. Liberal arts students are insatiably curious, always striving to uncover new information and further their knowledge of how the world works. Many universities allow students to customize their own liberal arts programs to satisfy any and all thirsts for information.

liberalarts02_200Writing
After compiling all that research, liberal arts students must present it to their professors, and most often those presentations take the form of writing. From simple essays to lengthy theses and dissertations, liberal arts students submit countless written works during their academic careers, and as a result, their writing ability goes unrivaled by students in other fields.

We rely on text-based communication more than ever before. The business world in particular requires workers to have an excellent command of the keyboard, as the majority of interactions take place through messaging, email, social media, and other written means. Poor writing can quickly cause problems throughout a company, so employers appreciate the strong writing skills liberal arts grads offer.

Leadership
To be a good leader, Forbes explains that an individual must be honest, confident, creative, positive, and inspirational, among other valuable traits. Plenty of individuals who excel in business learn these traits during their careers, but liberal arts grads can enter employment with fully developed leadership characteristics gained during their academic years. A liberal arts education forces students to engage with one another to help each other grow and learn, which means every liberal arts grad enters the working world with ample leadership experience.

Harvard Business Review explains that some people are better able to thrive in today’s complex business world due to their developed IQs, EQs, and CQs — intelligence, emotional, and curiosity quotients. The latter, which explains an individual’s propensity for inquisitiveness and desire for new experiences, is generally regarded to be as important as raw intellect or pathetic control. Therefore, liberal arts grads’ hungry minds are a significant boon to businesses with complicated responsibilities.

Bonus: Passion
For most of their lives prior to university, liberal arts graduates are dissuaded from studying in their chosen field. However, despite the pressure, these students followed their passions and earned degrees in the fields of their dreams. Employers who hire liberal arts grads can look forward to fiercely loyal workers who aren’t afraid to adore their industry.