A liberal arts education should no longer be considered the “easy way out” when compared to a career-oriented education. A liberal arts education provides students with many benefits, as well as a well-rounded education. Although this has been proven true time and time again, many people still have their doubts.
Reasons to Say “Yes”
A liberal arts education provides you with many benefits. For one, you will receive training in a variety of subjects. You will have the opportunity to take many different types of classes. Within the business world, a liberal arts student should have just as much of a chance, if not more, as a career-oriented student does. A liberal arts education has been described as being a broader-based education in which students study many different subjects in order to gain a better working knowledge of the world, rather than focusing on one specific area. By having the chance to take varied classes, you are bound to find a career choice that you would like to further explore. By gaining experience in many different areas from a liberal arts education, you will never have to be bound to one specific career that you are unhappy with just because that was the career that you went to college for. For example, say you go to college to become an accountant. For four years, you study long and hard to receive your degree. However, once you graduate and start your career as an accountant, you find out that you despise it. Although you hate your career, you know that it would benefit you the most if you could just force yourself to grin and bear it. On the other hand, with a liberal arts education, if you had entered into a career field and found out that it wasn’t exactly what you had in mind, you would have had more options besides to “grin and bear it.”
Another valuable benefit that a liberal arts education provides you with is the fact that it does not prevent you from earning money, although common belief says otherwise. The only way that a liberal arts education can prevent you from earning money is if you fail to market your degree. Liberal arts graduates can achieve almost any career they want. In fact, career choices for liberal arts graduates can be overwhelming, since there are so many. A liberal arts education will teach students specific skills that are very valuable, such as reasoning, problem-solving, communication, and social skills, which are the skills that employers have been demanding more and more. Due to common belief, liberal arts students tend to think that they are in danger of having only low-paying jobs throughout their life. That might be true in some cases, but it doesn’t have to be. For instance, say you graduate with a liberal arts education. Working in the career field of your dreams, you will make more money in one year than it cost you to go to college for four years. To accomplish this, you will have to be able to market the skills that you have learned and be able to show future employers how valuable you will be in that career.
Most importantly, a liberal arts education teaches you how to think and how to learn. By the time you graduate, you will have gained the knowledge that is necessary to be successful in almost any field. Throughout your daily life, having such skills as mentioned above (reasoning, problem-solving, communication, and social skills) will enable you to socialize better, and learn how to handle and solve problems much more efficiently. All in all, a liberal arts education will prepare you for the rest of your life – not just a job.
The Easy Way Out?
It’s understandable why some people might view a liberal arts education as the “easy way out.” One reason is simply because of the reputation that liberal arts educations have gotten over the years. One element that adds to the bad reputation of liberal arts educations is that a large percentage of students who select such an education usually have the goal of working at a fast food restaurant for the rest of their lives. In fact, a majority of students only select a liberal arts education because it appears to be easier than a career-oriented education. On the other hand, a mistake that some students make is that they select a career-oriented education before they even find out what the requirements are for their selected career. Resulting from their lack of research, career-oriented students tend to change their major approximately three times before graduating, which does not greatly benefit the students.
The Permanent Things
It has been said that in the past few decades, during the age of new technology and such, we have lost sight of the “permanent things” of education. The “permanent things” mainly include the ability to read and write clearly and to calculate and engage in critical thinking. With each passing year, the dynamic and often chaotic nature of the workplace provides more evidence of the proper role of the broad, general liberal arts education. The liberal arts concept is that to which others return in troubled times, since it represents the permanency of skills and values. When values erode, the public returns to permanent things of human decency. Schools often return to teaching critical thinking with verbal and analytical fundamentals when newer types of skills and training become outdated. Thus, the heart of education truly is liberal arts.
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