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Liberal Arts Degree
A liberal arts degree is often considered an end, as opposed to just a means to an end. This means that some of the requirements for getting a liberal arts degree may not be related at all to the major in which the degree will be earned. For instance, an economics or business major will certainly be asked to take a course in the arts, or in creative writing. This student may also be expected to learn to speak a foreign language, to show the ability to work on mathematical equations, and to understand how to read a lab report. As you can see, many of these skills may not seem to be relevant to a career such as marketing or management. The premise of a liberal arts education, however, is that by taking these classes, students will become well-rounded thinkers. The question that this philosophy raises is pretty obvious: is a liberal arts degree valuable in and of itself, or would a degree specifically customized for the demands of a profession be more relevant, helpful, and worth the high price of tuition?
How Can a Liberal Arts Degree Help Me in My Career?
Liberal arts colleges offer many of the same majors as larger universities and vocational colleges: psychology, mathematics, philosophy, business, education, and biology are all common majors. These majors are often used to pursue specific careers, including that of a psychologist, a mathematician, a teacher, a lab researcher, or a business person. So what makes a liberal arts degree more valuable than a regular degree?
Besides giving students an integrated experience during their college years, a liberal arts degree can also provide concrete and sometimes unexpected benefits in a career path. Sometimes these benefits are unquantifiable, such as affecting how a person is viewed in their work environment. A liberal arts degree will introduce a student to a broad variety of subjects, and this breadth can allow a worker to relate to many different people within a business. Someone in management may manage people from a number of different areas, and so understanding mathematics as well as communications can help to make him a better manager.
Requirements and Other Benefits of a Liberal Arts Degree
A liberal arts degree also requires mastery of a foreign language, which is a valuable skill in almost any marketplace. Coursework in the social sciences, such as sociology, psychology or anthropology, is often required in a liberal arts college, and studying these areas could give a worker valuable insights into the minds and perspectives of co-workers. Liberal arts colleges also stress writing skills, which is a skill set that is necessary in almost any conceivable career path. Finally, liberal arts colleges are often prestigious and have a large alumni base. Quite often, these networks can be accessed by new graduates, and may be the crucial link that assists in starting a career.
Considering the high price of tuition, the tendency of students to sacrifice breadth for specific marketable skills is understandable. However, liberal arts colleges are not simply colleges of the mind. By aiming to produce a broad-minded thinker, a liberal arts degree can actually provide a worker with a number of subtle tools for succeeding in the workplace.