Confused between a Professional Degree and one in the Liberal Arts?
Here are some Debunked Myths about the Liberal Arts:
The Liberal Arts is essentially a program that deals with the Arts and the Humanities:
False. The liberal arts encompass all fields of undergraduate study, including the Sciences. This is a mode of education that encourages free-thinking, freedom of choice and self consciousness. It’s greatest strength lies in the ability to inculcate a spirit of enquiry, creative problem solving, effective use of technology and high levels of communication skills.
What this means for a student of the liberal arts is that you will be able to take classes of your choice with little or no restrain and your most valuable skill will be your intellectual curiosity.
Your choice of major is secondary; your desire to learn comes first.
A Liberal Arts degree has little value in the “job market”:
False. The liberal arts are known for their ability to instill a high degree of creativity and interpersonal communication skills. Student of the liberal arts are versatile. Employers are aware of this. The American Association of Colleges and Universities surveyed CEOs to find that 74% of them believe that Liberal Arts is the route to take to create he more dynamic worker.
That’s 3 out of 4 CEOs preferring a Liberal Arts degree to a Professional one.
A Liberal Arts major can’t compare with a professional degree; Students of the Liberal Arts make lesser money over the span of their careers than do students of ‘professional undergraduate degrees’:
False. Very few professions (like Engineering and Nursing) require four years of specialized study at an undergraduate level. Most require alternative skills: creativity, the ability to communicate ideas effectively and the ability to question, analyze and deduce for one self.
A CNN survey found that while in the initial stages of one’s career, an average graduate of the Liberal Arts has an income 3% less (not very much, is it?) than that of one with a profession degree. Towards the middle of the career, however, the graph of the Liberal Arts student significantly overtakes that of the student with a professional degree. By 14%.
Surprised? Don’t be. The Liberal arts trains you to become more adaptable, more creative and more explorative. These skills last a life-time.
Only students of inferior academic ability take up a Liberal Arts degree:
False. False. False. False.
Harvard, at an undergraduate level, has only a Liberal Arts program. Brown University, Pomona, Swarthmore, Amherst are all Liberal Arts schools that attract the brightest, most talented minds across the world and are known to compete with and even outdo the Ivy Leagues in the context of accomplished alumni.
Here’s the low down. Studied for a programming degree? It is more than likely that in the next twenty or thirty years the platforms and languages will evolve so quickly that all your learning will be rendered obsolete. Studied to be an accountant? It is entirely within the realms of possibility that a software will be developed to do it all for you. There goes your job and with it, your pay check, your retirement holidays, and all those big dreams you had at age eighteen.
The skills that will never be rendered obsolete? The ability to think out of the box. Versatility. The possession of a mind that has been exposed to a wide array of subjects and honed in rigorous critical thinking.
These, and this is no myth, are the exact attributes the Liberal Arts was designed to hone.
Note for Parents, Students, Counsellors: The information above was to the best of our knowledge at the time that this article was published. With every application cycle, or sometimes even during it, Colleges and Universities may change dates, policies, available majors and other relevant information. These updates will be reflected on the College and University websites themselves.
Please refer to the official college websites in addition to reading these articles. These articles are written only to provide general guidelines to students, not as a substitute for individual college websites.