How a liberal arts degree can help your student get a job

KatelynMorrisWhen you’re son or daughter tells you that he or she has decided to earn a liberal arts degree you will probably react one of two ways:

1. You may tell them you support whatever decision they make.


2. You might tell them that you think it is a bad choice.

Whatever your thoughts on the choice he or she had made, you should know that the decision may not affect their future success. “In recent years, research into the importance of choice of major has led to a surprising conclusion: it’s not really all that important,” according to a blog post in The New York Times. Before you try to discourage your student to choose a more “practical” major, you should know why liberal arts majors are good choices:

  • Most people will graduate with higher GPAs if they study something they are passionate about: So, if your child is excited about her choice, encourage her to work hard. High grades in college courses can lead to better scores on the graduate school entry tests and admissions. Also, career placement and income are positively affected by high GPAs.
  • Students’ perceptions of what employers want are not the same as what employers actually want: The most common skill employers are seeking a person’s ability to communicate effectively, according to an article by Quintessential Careers. “By far, the one skill mentioned most often by employers is the ability to listen, write and speak effectively. Successful communication is critical in business.” Liberal arts degrees provide students will the tools to perfect their communication skills.
  • Transferability of skills: Where degrees such as finance provide students with specific job skills that pertain only to finance, liberal arts degrees prepare students for an array of skills required by more than one kind of job. “Employers desire transferable skills (skills employees take with them to any job) typical of a liberal arts education.”
  • Most importantly, majoring in something that interests your son or daughter is just the obvious thing to do: Most people have a hard time reading a book they’re not interested in, and the same goes for studying for a class. Not only will students work harder at something they actually want, but they won’t have to force themselves to do it. Work doesn’t seem pointless if you love what you are working on.

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