How do today’s graduates stay relevant as the Fourth Industrial Revolution threatens to render many jobs obsolete? Many employers would give this answer: get a good liberal arts degree.
Employers are increasingly looking to hire candidates with strong skills in communication, creativity, critical thinking, agility, empathy, problem-solving, and adaptability. Liberal arts degrees — which span subjects like history, sociology, psychology, creative arts, writing, and literature -— naturally foster these very skills. They are designed to encourage students to think deeply about issues and how to communicate them effectively, whether through speech or in writing.
Versatile and relevant, liberal arts degrees are opening many doors for graduates. International students who study at private liberal arts colleges also thrive due to the smaller classroom sizes, experiential learning opportunities, and close-knit campus communities. Looking for this winning combination of factors? Here are four popular liberal arts colleges in the US that are equipping students with highly in-demand soft skills:
At this highly-ranked liberal art and science college in Claremont, California, students have the best of both worlds: the resources of a major university and the personalised experience of a small liberal arts college. With only approximately 1,000 students, the college is part of the Claremont Colleges, which is a unique consortium of five undergraduate colleges and two graduate institutions that share a number of programmes and facilities.
Pitzer College offers a number of interesting and niche areas of study, such as Africana Studies, Critical Global Studies, Media Studies, Management Engineering, and International Political Economy. Traditional liberal arts degrees that unlock opportunities for a wide range of careers here include Economics, Sociology, Psychology, Music, History, and more.
With a diverse cohort of students, international students can mingle and learn from individuals from all walks of life and from all corners of the globe — a pretty good setting that prepares them for global working environments. Students are also encouraged to take part in one of the 46 international exchanges available through Pitzer’s study abroad programmes.
This private Episcopal liberal arts college in Tennessee, also known as the University of the South, is home to approximately 1,710 undergraduate students from 45 US states and the District of Columbia. Over 80 international students from 30 countries are enrolled in this tight-knit college, where the student-faculty ratio is 11:1 and the average class size is 15.
Sewanee College is also known for providing a high-quality education at lower than average costs compared to other private colleges in the US. It has a history of producing scholars — its list of alumni includes 26 Rhodes scholars, 48 Watson fellows and dozens of Fulbright scholars.
Surrounded by 13,000 acres of forests, bluffs, meadows, lakes, and caves, students here get to experience college life surrounded by lush natural surroundings too, which also serve as significant research and recreational resources.
A testament to the intimate student community here is the fact that ninety-eight percent of Sewanee students live on campus, whether in residence halls, language houses, or themed living communities. This is a rare feat at most large campuses in the US where international students typically live off-campus.
A wide range of courses is offered here in the fields of business, health/medicine, education, engineering and law, such as African and American Studies, Anthropology, Creative Writing, Forestry, Humanities, and more.
Located 90 miles north of New York City, Bard College offers a quintessential American college experience with a strong reputation for scholarly experience and civic engagement. The established private Liberal Arts college not only provides picturesque vistas thanks to a location that overlooks the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains — but a platform to become community-driven leaders who can address central, enduring questions facing future generations.
Bard’s campus in Annandale-on-Hudson, NY is home to 1900 undergraduate students but the College works with 6000 students worldwide through our local, national and international programs, partnerships and campuses within the Bard Network. Many of these programs were designed to provide greater access to high caliber liberal arts and sciences education and offer study away opportunities for Bard students. Bard is also a cofounder with Central European University of OSUN, the Open Society University Network, and received a billion-dollar grant in 2020 to start to build out more of these international access-focused programs. Finally, Bard College runs the largest college degree granting prison education program in the United States, which was started by Bard students in 1999.
Undergraduate programmes here are divided into four divisions: Arts; Social Studies; Languages and Literature; as well as Science, Mathematics, and Computing. Students can expect to be taught by well-known figures in the industry, such as poet Ann Lauterbach, novelist and memoirist Norman Manea, painter and multimedia artist Judy Pfaff, photographer Stephen Shore, and journalist Mark Danner.
Seeking to foster curiosity, creativity, and lifelong learners, Bard College is producing graduates with the ability to think critically and contribute significantly to society. Interested in studying at Bard? Register here to join a virtual information session.
Oberlin College in Ohio is a top-ranking liberal arts college dedicated to academic excellence in the arts, encouraging an environment of energy and creativity. With a history of producing luminaries, freshmen can expect to join its list of intellectual luminaries who have graduated from this place of intense energy and creativity. “The liberal arts framework of Oberlin gives you the space to listen, and most importantly, to learn,” says graduate Jules Greene.
The College offers a number of interdivisional minors and integrative concentrations to widen their horizons and expand their academic knowledge, like the Arts and Creative Technologies Minor, Music and Cognition Minor, and Arts Administration and Leadership Integrative Concentration. Plenty of fascinating facilities are available on campus for students, including a first-rate art museum and a world-class music conservatory.
Under the College of Arts and Sciences, students can major in a number of interesting courses such as Art History, Comparative Literature, Asian Studies, and Musical Studies, as well as courses in Biology, Chemistry, Economics, Environmental Studies, Philosophy, and many more.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International