Sample Paper on Importance of Liberal Arts Degree in College

The Importance of Liberal Arts Degree in College

Benson, Michael. The Irreplaceable Value of the Liberal Arts. 18 June 2012. 15 March 2015. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-benson/liberal-arts-education-_b_1603436.html>.

Michael Benson reckons that there is a perceived notion in the society where liberal arts subjects are deemed useless. Those pursuing such courses are considered unlucky since they have no employment opportunities in the uber-competitive job market. However, successful entrepreneurs, businessmen, and leaders took up these programs when they were in campus. Notable examples are Ronald Regan, Carly Florina, and John Watson. These are individuals who have been able to offer the society a lot in terms of skills and leadership due to their knowledge in liberal arts. He affirms that it is vague to downplay the significance of liberal arts and establishes applicable job skills that liberal arts equip students with.

He uses the example of Southern Utah University, an institution that specializes in public liberal arts and sciences. Utah is a Liberal Education and America’s Promise (LEAP) state that is committed to producing graduates who possess portable skills.  Such skills include cognizance of cultures, intellectual abilities, social responsibility, and applied knowledge (Benson 1). Such analogy ensures students can adopt a persistent urge to educate themselves throughout their lives and be resourceful to society.

Benson proposes an undertaking that some universities have already implemented that ensures students pursuing liberal arts remain relevant in the job market. He uses an example of Wake Forest University, which offers a minor in innovation and entrepreneurship for liberal arts majors. Such an initiative ensures these students are marketable in the job market. However in taking up this courses, liberal arts plays a huge role in boosting learning and understanding. The liberal arts degree opens up one’s mind to numerous opportunities of study and employment.

 

Christ, Carol T. Myth: A Liberal Arts Education Is Becoming Irrelevant. 2012. 15 March 2015. <http://www.acenet.edu/the-presidency/columns-and-features/Pages/Myth-A-Liberal-Arts-Education-Is-Becoming-Irrelevant.aspx>.

Christ notes that there is a need to scrutinize the higher education system especially due to the current economic stress. A field in the tertiary school system that she centers on is liberal arts education where questions are raised about its validity. Liberal arts education is continuously becoming irrelevant since the society has a negative perception towards it. However, Christ argues that indeed liberal arts is more relevant in the current society and offers authoritative arguments to back up her analogy.

Liberal arts provides students with essential skills that are demanded by employers in the work environment. Such skills are creativeness, critical thinking ability, effective communication expertise, and flexibility. The skills are necessary for advancement in education and very key for individual and company performance. A study done by Association of America Colleges and Universities affirms that employers recommend this type of education to young individuals.

The new reality is that human beings cohabit in a “flat world” where different cultures interact in a setting. A student who has pursued liberal arts has the necessary skills to interact resourcefully within such a culture set. It is no wonder that the demand for such skills has increased immensely in China and Japan where individuals are perceived to lack creativity in problem-solving (Christ 1).   Liberal arts ensures that scientists become better at their trade since they approach issues from an open perspective. When an individual is exposed to an environment full of challenges and viewpoint, they develop their evaluation plan and criticality. Christ establishes the relevance and urges every institution to adopt it.

 

Holland, Kelley. The case for a liberal arts education. 7 November 2014. 15 March 2015. <http://www.cnbc.com/id/102111369#.>.

Holland takes a second look at the stereotyping of individuals with liberal arts majors that states that they are unemployable and can never earn decent salaries. A study by National Association of Colleges and Employers found that the job offer rate for graduates was higher by 2% in 2014 due to more offers to liberal art majors. Employers are taking a keener interest in liberal arts specifically because of the robustness of their business environments.

Liberal arts graduates are earning fewer amounts as compared to other professions at the entry level. The figure is quoted to be $5, 000 less, but during their prime years they earn more than those with professional degrees. Employers now have a more positive perspective on liberal arts. Almost all employers who took part in the survey emphasized that taking liberal arts is the best way to prepare anyone for future success. Such findings have quashed the backward reasoning of Gov. McCrory and Gov. Rick Scott, who wanted to channel more funds towards STEM graduates. Patrick Kelly, an associate with National Center for Higher Learning did not agree with this approach stating that liberal arts graduates bring critical skills to the market (Holland 1).

Liberal Arts graduates take jobs that are not as lucrative as those of engineering and sciences but are essential to society. Such include teachers and social workers who contribute positively to the society. However, there is a need for liberal degree holders to proceed to graduate schools and earn proficiencies in particular technical areas. Acquiring such skills makes a significant difference by boosting prospects for employment.

 

 

McNutt, Mark I. There Is Value in Liberal Arts Education, Employers Say. 22 September 2014. 15 March 2015. <http://www.usnews.com/news/college-of-tomorrow/articles/2014/09/22/there-is-value-in-liberal-arts-education-employers-say>.

McNutt utilizes a case study of a particular liberal arts student who struggled to find a job with a degree in Psychology and went into graduate school to increase her prospects. Her name is Samantha Schuster, and she graduated from DeSales University in 2012. She explains how dismayed she was when she realized she could not find a job even wishing she took nursing. Most employers insisted on experience yet they are not willing to offer it. These are the challenges most graduates with majors in liberal arts suffer from.

Notwithstanding the challenges posed by liberal arts majors, there are many strengths that employers recognize in liberal arts majors. Critical thinking, oral communication, and creativity are most important for employers, and they strive to hire individuals with such positive traits. A study by Conference Board and the Partnership for 21st Century Skills that surveyed 400 employees states that applied skills are more significant than basic skills and knowledge. The CEO of Deutsch NY, Val DiFebo says that applied skills set liberal arts graduates apart (McNutt 1). Liberal art students consider the situation at hand and attempt to solve problems without necessarily relying on skills attained in school.

Creative industries and litigation consultation firms are hiring liberal arts graduates almost exclusively. A business executive points out that good liberal arts programs do train their students for the job market. A good example is Sam Menzin from Swarthmore College, who pursued history but is working for a sports organization. It is advantageous to pursue liberal arts since regardless of the university, one is guaranteed a job. Very soon a liberal arts degree will be a minimum requirement for most jobs.

 

Ray, Edward J. The Value of a Liberal Arts Education in Today’s Global Marketplace. 24 July 2013. 15 March 2015. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/edward-j-ray/the-value-of-a-liberal-arts-education_b_3647765.html>.

Ray asserts that liberal arts education provides the proper grounding needed for a successful career. Teamwork, critical thinking, and sensitivity to cultural differences are just but a few skills that liberal arts students acquire in the course of their education. Most people often have six and above jobs during the course of their life and knowledge in liberal arts ensures they fit well into new environments.  A third of Fortune 500 CEOs possess liberal arts degrees that have propelled them to such heights due to the skills they acquired in college.

Employers have established that they want employees who can demonstrate intercultural skills and capacity for continued novice learning. Emphasis in education should be placed on critical thinking and applied knowledge in the real world setting. In fact,Ray affirms that the information received from many sources is tailored to presumed interests. Search engines in place and social networks are meant to track habits so as to influence human preferences. In such an environment, there is a demand for individuals who can quickly determine what is needed and put in place strategies that can be implemented in critical areas of life. Graduates of liberal arts can meet these objectives thus the increasing demand for them in the employment sector.

Graduates in liberal arts have the capacity to put tough issues into a larger context especially in a country that has polarized politics (Ray 1). They are also grounded in ethical thinking and thus in a better place to improve engineering fundamentals within the society. Ray has more confidence about the future since liberal arts alumni are living fulfilled lives and contributing positively to society.

 

Trustees of Wellesley College. Long-respected as the foundation of a fully rounded undergraduate education, the liberal arts remain essential to the 21st-century world. n.d. 15 March 2015. <http://www.wellesley.edu/about/missionandvalues/valueliberalarts>.

Wellesley recognizes that liberal arts have regularly come under attack for being impractical. The institution attempts to review the perception towards liberal arts by reforming the way it instructs students on the subject. Wellesley purposes to ensure students of liberal arts understand the value of disciplined thinking, collaborative thinking, and creative synthesis. These values are not only significant in leadership but are essential habits of the mind that will contribute primarily to eventual success.

The institution takes an approach of long term success by integrating liberal art studies and valued world skills. It emphasizes full engagement in college life by demanding that students purposefully get involved and commit to the system. By doing so, they get to acquire skills that are required in the job market regardless of the setting.

Wellesley ensures that students taking liberal arts have a broad range of intercultural trends that play a significant role in decision-making. The institution cultivates reasonable curiosity and willingness to interrogate closely aspects of an event. The students get an opportunity to argue cogently and judge fairly within ethical lines thus establishing proper decision-making.

Two sets of skills are brought into liberal arts that foster future success. These are effective communication and deft management. Good communication skills are developed so as to produce persuasive representation of one’s point of view.  Wellesley women establish a vision and serve ultimate goals by modeling collaborations, negotiating intra-group interests, and anticipating areas of difficulties and getting through them (Trustees of Wellesley College 1). Thus, Wellesley education establishes skills and powers of liberal arts disciplines.

 

 

Works Cited

Benson, Michael. The Irreplaceable Value of the Liberal Arts. 18 June 2012. 15 March 2015. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-benson/liberal-arts-education-_b_1603436.html>.

Christ, Carol T. Myth: A Liberal Arts Education Is Becoming Irrelevant. 2012. 15 March 2015. <http://www.acenet.edu/the-presidency/columns-and-features/Pages/Myth-A-Liberal-Arts-Education-Is-Becoming-Irrelevant.aspx>.

Holland, Kelley. The case for a liberal arts education. 7 November 2014. 15 March 2015. <http://www.cnbc.com/id/102111369#.>.

McNutt, Mark I. There Is Value in Liberal Arts Education, Employers Say. 22 September 2014. 15 March 2015. <http://www.usnews.com/news/college-of-tomorrow/articles/2014/09/22/there-is-value-in-liberal-arts-education-employers-say>.

Ray, Edward J. The Value of a Liberal Arts Education in Today’s Global Marketplace. 24 July 2013. 15 March 2015. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/edward-j-ray/the-value-of-a-liberal-arts-education_b_3647765.html>.

Trustees of Wellesley College. Long-respected as the foundation of a fully rounded undergraduate education, the liberal arts remain essential to the 21st-century world. n.d. 15 March 2015. <http://www.wellesley.edu/about/missionandvalues/valueliberalarts>.