“You parents can provide no better gift for your children than an education in the Liberal Arts. House and home burn down, but an education is easy to carry along.” – Martin Luther
While some people are of the opinion that graduates of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics – or STEM, as they are often known – tend to enjoy significantly higher starting salaries than Liberal Arts graduates, it is now commonly accepted that these graduates are the ones who can meet the evolving needs of tomorrow’s global employers.
Experts note how majors that instil a broader range of skills can lead to incredible accomplishments in a graduate’s career.
According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, these skills – which are listed in order of importance – are most essential to graduate recruiters:
- The ability to be a team player
According to employers, who took part in the survey, the ability to work efficiently and effectively alongside members of a team is the most highly valued skill when hiring new candidates.
With its comprehensive Liberal Arts curriculum and dedicated faculty, Mount Royal University in Calgary, Canada is the prime example of an institution that prepares students for success in a collaborative global workforce. “[Mount Royal] definitely prepares students to enter the workforce,” says Erika Nieukerk, a former student from Spain who went on to greatly benefit from her Bachelor of Arts degree.
“Upon graduation, I [felt] comfortable presenting and communicating written or verbal ideas in English and Spanish, proficient in handling and presenting data, and comfortably working independently and co-operatively. Since graduation, I have done several interpretations and received exceptional comments.”
- The ability to make sound decisions and solve problems
In order to thrive in the professional world, graduates should be able to tackle problems directly, deciding the most effective route to a solution, and seeing it through with determination and confidence. Mount Royal’s Bachelor of Business Administration program, for example, includes a general education component which teaches students to think critically and develop effective business solutions which are crucial skills in a fast-paced global workforce.
- The ability to prioritize
At any stage of your career, you’ll need the ability to keep track of the tasks you’re required to complete and effectively prioritize to confirm a working order. Due to the multidisciplinary nature of the Liberal Arts, which requires students to juggle deadlines, coursework and exams for a variety of subjects, this type of graduate is particularly well equipped for the demands of the modern workforce.
- The ability to communicate clearly and eloquently
You need to express your thoughts and ideas verbally and in writing to expand your personal and professional opportunities. Ideas are the spark of innovation which ultimately allows business to progress. The very nature of the Liberal Arts – essays, reviews and presentations – means graduates are extremely competent communicators.
“…She encouraged students to ask questions and take part in discussions as actively as possible. I would like to emphasize the importance of business skills (such as negotiation, presentation, communication and correspondence) that I have obtained during the program.”
- The ability to find the answers
In the working world, if a member of your team asks you a question, you need to find the answer. Liberal Arts graduates enter their careers with an in-depth research portfolio, meaning they begin working life with the ability to source information and relay it back to their peers.
- The ability to handle data
Data dominates every area of our daily lives, so graduates have to face information and numbers without feeling afraid. Through a broad and wide-reaching curriculum, Liberal Arts graduates can take advantage of hard data to find solutions to real-world problems. Students, who leave with a Bachelor of Science degree from Mount Royal, are also required to deal with data in a variety of sectors. This gives them the opportunity to succeed in broad range of employment fields.
- Being computer competent
In this day and age, if you’re not computer competent, able to word process and utilize spreadsheet software, your chances for professional progression will remain stagnant. A Mount Royal Bachelor of Communication degree – which includes areas like Broadcast Media Studies, Information Design, Journalism and Public Relations – ensures students leave entirely computer and technology literate, so they can thrive in the rapidly evolving communications industry.
- The ability to understand software
Liberal Arts graduates use computers in virtually every aspect of their education and are familiar and up-to-date with business software packages. This is incredibly beneficial to employers on a global scale, since a Liberal Arts graduate can easily adapt every time an application is updated.
- The ability to write often and write well
As part of the job application process, it is routine for a number of employers to ask applicants to submit samples of their writing through a letter of application, a CV, or a more specialised text aimed at a particular role. Again, due to the rigorous and academic style of the Liberal Arts, graduates are more than prepared to write often and write well.
- The ability to form a structured and sound argument
To succeed in Liberal Arts, students must be able to form a strong argument to support their theories. This is the idea behind an essay-style examination – something that Liberal Arts graduates are very familiar with. Not only does this prepare them for success within any sales-based work position, it also gives them the chance to discuss ideas with peers and professors to develop broad and unique perspectives.
All these factors – and many more – come together to make Liberal Arts graduates successful global citizens.
This article is sponsored by Mount Royal University, a school that hosts more than 11,000 credit and 23,000 extension students pursuing a variety of programs and courses; including bachelor’s degrees, diplomas and certificates. Over the past century, the Mount Royal has provided an exceptional undergraduate educational experience to its students by offering smaller class sizes, specialized programs and a robust liberal education.