The importance of a liberal arts education is on the rise in America’s ever changing job market. Liberal arts majors are better able to adapt to any position they are put into. Liberal arts majors are better prepared for the job market due to the skills they acquire during their post-secondary education. These skills include communication, critical thinking, and creativity. With these skills, liberal arts majors are more valuable than STEM majors. Some may argue that STEM educated individuals are more prepared for the job market. This is not true due to the fact that STEM majors pipeline their students and study specific career fields not applicable to our changing job market. Colleges already attempt to allow students to take as many liberal arts classes as possible no matter their major. They allow students to explore and still do the things they love by providing interesting electives that appeal to liberal arts ideals. Learning and exercising these liberal arts ideas in a classroom type setting allows students to choose a major that they enjoy learning about and receive a positive learning experience.
One of the many reasons why a liberal arts education is more valuable in the American workplace is due to the fact that employers recommend this type of education to their future workers. In reference to liberal arts education Edward J. Ray stated, “Nearly three-fourths of employers would recommend this kind of education to a young person they know as the best way to prepare for success in today’s global economy.” As Mark McNutt explained the value of a liberal arts education is taken seriously by many companies looking to hire graduates of universities across the United States. Liberal arts majors are better prepared for the job market by closely following the educational path recommended to them by their future employers. “Employers identify the skills often associated with liberal arts majors such as critical thinking, creativity, and oral communication as being the most important.” Employers stress the importance and the relevance of the topics studied in liberal arts majors to the overall job market and environment.
Colleges already attempt to do everything in their power to expand student’s horizons and allow them to explore liberal arts area majors by requiring generals. General classes allow students to think outside of the box and start to exercise those essential skills as laid out earlier in the paper. These same skills are very valuable in the workplace and correlate to lifetime success. By choosing a liberal arts major students are deciding to work on these essential skills and learn as much as possible about them before they must exercise them daily in the workplace after graduation. Colleges across the United States are stressing the importance of generals on first and second year students, this goes on to prove the true value of a liberal arts education to a successful career in the global job market. By providing students with this opportunity to increase the value of their personal education colleges maximize graduation rates and student success after graduation. If students find the major that they love during the experiments of taking general courses they are better able to be engaged and have a positive learning experience. Positive learning experiences in post-secondary education is absolutely vital to graduation and job-placement rates of students.
America’s job market is changing at more rapid of a pace than ever before. Majors that have been accepted by society as the most important no longer hold that same value. “Most people will have six to ten jobs during their careers, and liberal arts majors are the most adaptable to new circumstances. No one knows what the jobs of the future will be, but a liberal arts degree provides a great foundation for adjusting to new careers and further education.” Skills taught in liberal arts majors curriculums allow students to adjust smoothly to ever-changing circumstances. As stated in the quote above by Edward J. Ray, we will never know the jobs of the future so the best we can do is provide a stable grounding and framework to build upon once our time of employment approaches. By providing yourself with this framework you are able to maximize your chances of being successful in our future global marketplace.
STEM educated individuals are pipelined and taught a very select set of skills that can only be applied at a handful of jobs. In the future there is no real guarantee that these jobs will still be relevant, STEM does not provide the same grounding and opportunities that Liberal Arts sets forth. STEM majors are trained into a very specific job field such as civil engineering or computer sciences. These individuals are not provided with essential skills to excel in any circumstance they are placed in. “Today, the skills of liberal arts graduates are in increasing demand around the world. Surveys in China and Japan, cultures long held as supporting regimented learning, have begun to show that employers there are complaining about the inflexibility of a workforce educated without a focus on creativity or problem solving.” STEM major advocates may argue that their graduates make more money over the course of a lifetime of work but this may not always be the case. “We do know that a third of all Fortune 500 CEOs have liberal arts degrees.” Provided with this statistical information we can disprove the notion that STEM majors are more likely to be successful in the job market.
In conclusion, liberal arts majors are provided the grounds to better adapt to our changing job market. They are taught skills and lessons to be better prepared for success in work environments. A recent article in The Chronicle of Higher Education quotes a researcher for the Japanese National Institute for Policy Research: “People know their own field, but once they’re outside it, they don’t know where to start.” Liberal arts education allows students to excel not only in their field of study but also outside of it. This increase of knowledge across the board creates a better educated and more adaptable workforce.