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What is Liberal Arts Education?


12/11/2015


A typical liberal arts degree program is interdisciplinary, covering topics within the humanities, as well as social, natural and formal sciences.

The liberal arts spectrum is generally accepted as covering the following fields:

Arrow Humanities – includes art, literature, linguistics, philosophy, religion, ethics, modern foreign languages, music, theatre, speech, classical languages (Latin/Greek) etc.
Arrow Social sciences – includes history, psychology, law, sociology, politics, gender studies, anthropology, economics, geography, business informatics, etc.
Arrow Natural sciences – includes astronomy, biology, chemistry, physics, botany, archaeology, zoology, geology, Earth sciences, etc.
Arrow Formal sciences – includes mathematics, logic, statistics, etc.
In general, however, the term refers to degree programs that aim to provide a broader spectrum of knowledge and skills.

Benefits of a liberal arts degree
Arrow Preparation for work in a variety of sectors: you will gain a strong foundation knowledge in a wider range of subjects than if you were to take a degree specializing in a single subject or vocation.
Arrow Introduction to career choices: the range of subjects taught in a liberal arts degree program means students can be introduced to subjects they may not have otherwise encountered, enabling them to make a more informed decision when choosing their preferred career path.
Arrow Stepping stone to other careers: the knowledge achieved during a liberal arts education can help you to better manoeuvre yourself out of your current career into another.
Arrow Liberal arts degrees are appealing to employers: in a recent survey of CEOs in the US, 74% said they would recommend a liberal arts education to students. Employers recognize that liberal arts graduates have the necessary transferable skills to adapt to a changing workplace.
Arrow Provides a foundation for graduate study: a potential graduate student with a liberal arts background will have the ability to learn across a diverse field of studies, with the foundation knowledge to go straight into graduate study in any subject they choose.
Arrow Provides skills to become a valuable community member: a liberal arts education extends beyond academia and the workplace to give graduates the necessary qualities that can enable them to adapt and thrive in the world, communicate with and understand other members of the community and have a broadened perspective.
Careers with a liberal arts degree
Instead of choosing a career at the beginning of their degree, liberal arts students are more likely to be focusing on learning as much as they can about the world around them, which opens up opportunities across many industry sectors. Some typical careers with a liberal arts degree include:

Arrow Academia: the interdisciplinary knowledge and skills gained from a liberal arts education will lend an extra dimension as you explore, research, and/or teach a chosen subject.
Arrow Art: photography, commercial art, painting, interior, graphic and visual design
Arrow Education: pursue additional qualifications to become a teacher, where you can use your breadth of knowledge to help a wider range of students, or to teach a wider range of subjects.
Arrow Interpreter: many liberal arts students learn at least one foreign language, which can help you become a qualified translator, transcriber or interpreter, become a foreign language teacher or journalist, or work in the tourism and travel industry.
Arrow Marketing: whether you choose advertising, promotions, public relations, journalism, news editing or copywriting, the humanities subjects you covered will help you understand people better, while your communication skills will help you be better understood.
Arrow Political science: careers in this field include law, public policy, politics, business, and working for NGOs and charities.
Arrow Other career paths: biology (healthcare, laboratory assistant, research assistant), business (entrepreneur, store manager, salesperson), event planning, environment (conservation, public policy), finance (banker, accountant, financial analyst), law enforcement, research analysis (combining statistics and psychology), and social services (such as counselling or therapy).
Skills gained from a liberal arts degree
Some of the key skills gained from a liberal arts degree for a typical student:

Arrow Analytical, evaluative, critical and creative thinking skills
Arrow Effective oral and written communication skills
Arrow Ability to learn and synthesize new ideas
Arrow Experience in quantitative and qualitative data analysis
Arrow Numerical skills
Arrow Organization and time-management skills
Arrow Ability to adapt easily to situations
Arrow Ethical decision-making skills
Arrow Ability to work in a team
Arrow Self-confidence and self-understanding



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