Sure, everyone may say that STEM and business majors are the ones set after college. But even CEOs are telling college students that they are hiring Liberal Arts majors and that Liberal Arts still has an important part to play in the future job market. Mark Cuban, businessman and owner of the Dallas Mavericks, believes that many “in-demand skills, such as writing software, will be taken over by automation” (Read the full article here). Companies need Lib Arts majors. Why? Because of what a Liberal Arts education demands from its students.
Creativity – Thinking outside the box, as it were. Employers need employees who can view issues from various angles and sides to come up with the best solution. There’s not always a concrete answer, especially when dealing with a consumer base. Being practiced in fluid thinking is a plus.
Empathy – If you want to understand your consumer base, you need to have people practiced in empathy. A computer can’t determine how someone would feel using a new product. A computer can’t tell if an interface works smoothly for someone. You need people to sit down and say, “Is this a usable product for our customers? Does it make sense? Can I navigate it easily?” And so on.
Gathering Information – Liberal Arts students are taught to gather information to support their views. In a world that doesn’t always have concrete answers, it’s important that employees can do the same. Conducting research, understanding biases, listening to information being given to them—whether by consumers, coworkers, or superiors—is integral. Once that information, it can be turned into a report, or an email, or a memo, to pass that information along.
Communication – Clear communication keeps companies from falling apart. It’s a way to stay organized so that everything happens in a timely manner. A large part of a Liberal Arts program is dedicated to improving a student’s communication skills. Through papers, presentations, and critiques, these students practice their skills, making them clear and communicative employees.
Well-Roundedness – When you study Liberal Arts, you study many things. Sure, your major is your primary focus, but general education requirements take you to a lot of different places on campus. There are also plenty of electives to fill out. This means that business and coding classes aren’t out of the running.
Critical Thinking — Liberal Arts is a broad term for what is a truly diverse category. However, all Lib Arts students are versed in critical thinking. As mentioned with Gathering Information, Lib Arts majors must sift through information and be able to look at it from various angles, viewpoints, and conditions. Critical thinking is a highly sought after skill, as these students are able to connect the dots, draw connections, piece together puzzles, and assume various stances—much needed in the world of business.
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