What is Liberal Arts?
The term “liberal arts” often has a different definition depending on the academic institution. Some individuals define it as the study of humanities and social sciences, while others believe that mathematics, basic sciences and economics should be included in this category. However, for the most part, a Liberal Arts Degree includes the study of subjects like history, women’s studies, anthropology and English literature, the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Winter 2007-2008 Occupational Outlook Quarterly (BLS) reports.
According to the most recent data from the National Center for Education Statistics’ Digest of Education Statistics: 2010, more than 47,000 students earned Bachelor’s Degrees in liberal arts in the 2008-2009 school year, with many majoring in social sciences, psychology, English language, general studies and foreign languages.
Where can students earn Liberal Arts Degrees?
Most colleges, universities and online schools across the country offer Liberal Arts Degree programs. However, there are also specific liberal arts colleges. Most colleges and universities allow students to study broad liberal arts topics initially and then transition into classes that pertain to a specialized major. Liberal arts colleges, on the other hand, are completely based around the humanities.
What are Liberal Arts courses like?
Depending on the institution and the exact degree a liberal arts student is pursuing, students tend to learn about topics that focus on the humanities. For example, these individuals may take classes such as American studies, contemporary literature, classical mythology, art history, ethics and values, logic, music history and modern political thought.
These classes often strive to give students skills such as the ability to use the scientific method, reading comprehension, the ability to work independently and oral presentation knowledge.
What are the benefits of studying Liberal Arts?
Students who study liberal arts tend to get a broad, well-rounded education. This can be helpful for individuals who are not sure what they want to do after graduation, as well as those who are interested in a humanities-based career. Exposure to a broad range of skills can help people get a better idea of what their strengths and weaknesses are, as well as what subjects they enjoy studying.
This degree may also be beneficial when looking for a job. A May 2011 study by EMC Research shows that the art-based skills students typically learn while completing Liberal Arts Degrees are in high demand among employers. For example, about 79 percent of business officials said they want job applicants who have analytical skills, while 75 percent said they value writing ability. Similarly, 67 percent of employers said they want applicants to be creative.
While some students hesitate to major in liberal arts because they feel that there are no jobs in these areas, many experts say that it is very important for individuals to study subjects they like, according to the BLS. Liberal arts majors who are interested in what they learn in the classroom might have an advantage while looking for a job, as their passion can translate into enthusiasm in an interview.
What kind of jobs can people get with a Liberal Arts Degree?
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Fall 2007 Salary Survey, some of the most common positions liberal arts majors hold after graduation are management trainee, sales associate, design/graphic arts professional, teacher and social worker.
Other liberal arts majors may become artists, advertising account executives, editorial assistants, counselors, journalists, translators, gallery assistants, photographers, museum coordinators, writers and financial analysts.
*Source Reference: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. http://www.bls.gov