Liberal arts degrees have become sort of a joke amongst most academics these days. However, there is something to be said about pursuing your passion when choosing a major, and too many people make the mistake of concentrating on the bottom line and what a degree can offer in terms of job prospects before thinking about their interests first. However, there are many legitimate reasons someone should pursue a liberal arts degree. Here are just a few of them:
They are Versatile
Many critics of liberal arts degrees say that they have no real world applications. However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Liberal arts include everything from literature, political science and philosophy, all the way up to things like fine arts and linguistics. While STEM related programs make it easier for students to know what kind of positions they will fill after college, liberal arts degrees offer them the flexibility to work in a wide variety of fields.
They Improve Communication Skills and Critical Thinking
Efficient communication skills is something that is required in almost every field these days. The good thing for liberal arts students is that they spend most of their time discussing and writing about what they are studying. And since liberal arts students spend a huge part of their time reading, it also improves their reading comprehension skills, which is a valuable tool in many professions.
Furthermore, critical thinking plays a huge role in liberal arts degrees and students will be often asked to participate in debates. According to a study by the AACU, over 90% of employers cited the ability to think critically and advanced problem solving capacities as one of the top criteria when judging candidates. As a matter of fact, many employers believed that it was an even more important skill than their undergraduate degree.
It Stimulates Innovation and Creativity
Some of the biggest innovators in this day and age were avid proponents of liberal education. Think about Steve Jobs for instance. While Steve Wozniak was the engineer behind the Apple machine, it was Steve Jobs background in the liberal arts that gave him the kind of perspective it took to take Apple to the next level. Without Jobs eye and ability to think outside the box, Apple would probably be just another IBM or Hewlett Packard. Steve Jobs’ sense of esthetics was crucial in Apple’s success, something that was out of the scope of comprehension for someone like Wozniak.
These are only 3 of the main reasons most people should definitely consider pursuing a degree in the liberal arts. Whether it’s an online masters in philosophy or a master of arts in Liberal studies, colleges like Rutgers University offer online liberal arts degrees that have tons of real life applications and can open the door to a wide variety of positions.