A liberal arts degree will teach you skills that employers are looking for when they hire. When you’re researching college majors, colleges vs. universities, and types of degrees, you will see this statement often. But is it true? I was trying to find some data some data to back up that claim when I came across the PBK website Toolkit. In this series of posts, I’m looking up the references used to prove that a liberal arts and sciences degree will improve your chances of getting a job.
Let’s get back to analyzing the sources given in the PBK toolkit used to justify a liberal arts and sciences degree. Here is another one of their sources:
This is an interesting study that shows that scientists who are also artistic, who actually practice some type of art or music, seem to be more creative and more likely to win a Nobel Prize. And I would agree that the “arts” are an often neglected part of our educations.
However, I would guess that most liberal arts and sciences degrees, like my Chemistry liberal arts degree, have so many required courses and “required electives” that there is little or no room left for taking art classes. (I had to really be determined to fit in a few semesters of choir. I tried to audit a semester of drawing but dropped out because my other classes were too demanding.)
Yes, you can pursue the arts as a hobby. But today’s high school schedules and often college schedules (especially math and science degrees) leave little to no time for hobbies. And a big part of that is required classes, such as liberal arts degrees that require you to take courses in such a broad range of subjects that you have little choice in your classes. Adding electives on top of that becomes a matter of time, either in loss of sleep or taking more semesters to graduate.
Further in the article, they suggest that double majors are the best. (Yeah, that will get you out of college quickly!)
I still think that ignores the problem of students being encouraged to construct schedules that are unreasonable in the amount of hours it takes to complete. The answer to every question seems to be “get more education,” which really translates into “spend more time studying before you begin earning” and “pay us more money.” Steve Jobs’ class in calligraphy is given as an example of why this is a good idea.
They conveniently forgot to mention that Jobs dropped out of college so that he’d have time to audit the course. He wouldn’t have had time for it if he’d stayed enrolled and followed a degree plan.
The last two references refer to higher education degrees in general, instead of making the case for a liberal arts degree specifically.
Yes, we all know that most college graduates earn more than high school graduates. I’m more interested in the comparison of the different types of degrees, not no degree vs. degree.
I’ll keep looking for real facts in my next post as I wrap up this series.