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Liberal Arts Advantage

Liberal Arts in the News

The Business Case for a Liberal Arts Education

  • Businesses are seeking college graduates with stronger analytic and communication skills, the capacity to work in teams, and the ability to write and think clearly. All of those skills are the quintessential hallmarks of a liberal arts education. (AACU, 2010)
  • 69 percent of business leaders rate liberal art's degrees as "very important." (AACU, 2010)
  • There is consistent evidence that the highest salaries apply to positions that call for intensive use of liberal education capabilities. (NACE, 2012)
  • The positives of holding a "non-specialized" degree was confirmed by an AT&T poll, which concluded that liberal art's majors advance more quickly to management positions than employees with other degrees.
  • People who study liberal arts are usually happy with their choice, according to a 2003 NCES survey. Ten years after graduation, almost 60 percent of 1993 arts and humanities majors and almost 50 percent of social and behavioral science majors felt that their liberal arts courses were very important to their lives. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2007)
  • Rising salaries for liberal arts graduates are part of a long-term trend. According to NCES, salaries for social science majors increased more than 62 percent from 1975 to 2001, and humanities majors saw an increase of almost 67 percent. These salaries compare well to those of engineering majors, which had an overall growth of 26 percent during the same period, and salaries of business or management majors, which grew by 29 percent. (Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2007)

Did you know?

  • 20 percent of US presidents have a liberal arts degree.
  • About one in 12 of the nation's wealthiest CEOs graduated with a liberal arts degree.

Notable people with LA degrees

Sally Ride, the first U.S. woman in space (English); fashion designer Kate Spade (journalism); NFL quarterback Peyton Manning (speech communication); actress Sigourney Weaver (English); Samuel Palmisano, CEO of IBM (history); Condolezza Rice, former secretary of state (political science); John Watson, CEO of Chevron (economics); and Carly Fiorina, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard (history and philosophy).

Liberal Arts in the News

Liz Coleman's call to reinvent liberal arts education

Bennington president Liz Coleman delivers a call-to-arms for radical reform in higher education. Bucking the trend to push students toward increasingly narrow areas of study, she proposes a truly cross-disciplinary education -- one that dynamically combines all areas of study to address the great problems of our day. View Video

Liberal arts education lends an edge in down economy

Recent college graduates who as seniors scored highest on a standardized test to measure how well they think, reason and write — skills most associated with a liberal arts education — were far more likely to be better off financially than those who scored lowest. View Article

The Liberal Arts Advantage - for Business

This is a blog to encourage liberal arts majors to re-consider their prospects—business needs you and you are exceptionally qualified for careers in business.  It's also for liberal arts faculty and advisors—help your students understand that good communication skills, the ability to analyze, and see things from others' perspectives are essential elements of business and business leadership. View the Blog

U.S. Will Make Broader Global Skills for College Students a New Priority

The U.S. Department of Education wants to ensure that more American students have the skills to compete in a global workplace, and not just build up "deep, deep expertise" among a smaller group of graduates.   It's critical that all graduates of American colleges have certain "21st-century skills" that will enable them to compete in a worldwide marketplace, such as understanding international perspectives and being able to work collaboratively with peers from different cultures and backgrounds. View Article

NACE Salary Survey (April, 2012)

Salary Survey details actual starting salaries for new college graduates as reported by employers. Data are by major, then industry and position. View PDF

True or false: A liberal arts degree is a good investment

Too many liberal arts graduates, many of whom spend big bucks on liberal arts  degrees from the best colleges in the country, think they'll only find  low-paying jobs. And in today's economy, it's true that some may be hard-pressed  to land the jobs they dreamed about when choosing their majors a few years ago.  But there are lots of jobs to be had once liberal arts graduates realize the  skill sets they offer employers. View Article

Earning liberal arts degree is more valuable than learning any trade

A successful leader within the business world discusses why liberal arts degrees are important as a result of our own economy and the larger global economy. View Article