Why employers value a liberal arts degree

Toeing the line between what graduates want and what employers expect, a liberal arts degree directs many of its applicants towards a versatile career and progressive professional development opportunities.Teaching students about different aspects of the world, liberal arts encourage learners to delve into academic subjects such as literature, philosophy, political science, creative arts and social sciences, while preparing them for the modern workplace.

Looking at the economic benefits and costs of a liberal arts education, a recent report released by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation found great value in the study area.

“The types of skills that the labour market is currently rewarding through increased earnings for those with more education are believed to include abstract problem solving, critical thinking, and effective communication. “In terms of improving the skills that economists argue are being rewarded by the labour market, Arum and Roksa (2011) find that liberal arts colleges do better than other colleges and universities at instilling these skills.

“If liberal arts colleges, or liberal education more generally, are doing a better job of improving their graduates’ skills in these areas, and these are the skills that are being rewarded in the labour market, we should be able to see this in the earnings data,” the report says. Therefore, if colleges are wholeheartedly dedicated to enhancing students’ liberal arts education and focused on equipping learners with the skills that employers demand, their graduates may attain a higher rate of employability success.

Source: Bard College

Expanding on this point, the report also adds that, “Critics argue that higher education focused on job skills will lead to better earnings outcomes for students and their families and stronger economic growth for the economy.” By opting for a liberal arts education at a career-focused college that pairs your student experience with industry engagement, you’ll be ready to immerse yourself in essential sectors of today, such as politics, the environment, social justice, ethics and more.

Through innovative instructional methods, interdisciplinary teaching and collaborative research techniques, a liberal arts education sparks a plethora of limitless occupational opportunities. Here are four liberal arts colleges in the US that encourage interdisciplinary student growth…


Featured as one of the Best Liberal Arts Colleges 2019 by the US News & World Report and recognised as a national liberal arts college whose graduates earn high salaries by the Forbes America’s Best Value Colleges 2019 ranking, Westmont College in California is internationally known for its academic quality, leadership training and unique emphasis on intellectual, spiritual and personal growth.

Encouraging learners to think deeper and to aim higher, this residential, Christian, liberal arts community cultivates thoughtful scholars, grateful servants and faithful leaders for global engagement with the academy, church and world.

By maintaining a dynamic undergraduate degree structure, Westmont offers Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science degrees in 26 liberal arts majors, 11 pre-professional programmes, an elementary and secondary credential programme, and up to 12 units for internships and practical experience.

Source: Westmont College

Preparing you for the future world of work, their interdisciplinary majors include art, biology, chemistry, communication studies, computer science, economics and business, social sciences, engineering and more.

Welcoming you to Westmont, the college President Gayle D. Beebe affirms, “We trust you will enjoy the people, resources and facilities of this extraordinary campus. You will find here much to explore, from the arts to astronomy, from athletics to beautiful gardens, from the resources of the library and science labs to those of music and chapel programmes. But mostly, Westmont is about people, and that’s our greatest resource: faculty, students and staff- they are the best!”


Joining the global Gettysburg Network alongside more than 30,000 alumni around the world could set you up for ideal internships, externships, job shadowing, mentoring and recruitment ventures in the liberal arts sphere.

Positioned in Pennsylvania, Gettysburg College upholds a rigorous commitment to the liberal arts in all their breadth and depth. “When you study at Gettysburg, you’re participating in traditions predating even the iconic battle that gave the town its notoriety and historical significance. Before the Civil War and thereafter, we stood as a beacon of intellectualism and socially responsible citizenship,” the college states.

Boasting a 9 to 1 student-faculty ratio and an average class size of 17, Gettysburg is home to over 65 academic programmes, 120+ clubs and organisations and 1,000+ leadership opportunities. By developing an agile mind that’s capable of problem-solving, Gettysburg students continue to enjoy a rigorous liberal arts curriculum that is focused on critical thinking, creativity and informed action.

After all, “College should be about more than training for one job; it should be about preparing for a lifetime of work. That’s what we provide for our students at Gettysburg College- an exceptional education in the liberal arts and sciences,” President Janet Morgan Riggs explains.


A private college for public good, Bard College in New York prioritises student diversity and a culture of innovation. For aspiring Bard undergraduates, the college supplies plenty of contemporary degree programmes to study. From the arts, languages and literature, science, mathematics, and computing, social studies and interdivisional programmes and concentrations, there’s a subject for everyone.

Source: Bard College

To ensure that international students and scholars achieve their academic and personal goals, the Bard International Student and Scholar Services (OISSS) is on hand to provide a wide range of activities and opportunities for students to engage with peers, the community, and the world at large.

At Bard, your liberal education is multifaceted and you can study from four divisions – Arts; Languages and Literature; Science, Mathematics, and Computing; and Social Studies.

Inspired by the love of learning, Bard College President Leon Botstein reveals that, “Learning for its own sake is wonderful, desirable, and enjoyable, but only after an individual has found a way to connect learning and life in a manner that influences everyday life, including earning a living.”

Based on these principles, Bard pledges that learners dedicate their liberal arts academics towards a successful venture into the working world.


Cultivating a community of learning, Columbia Basin College (CBC) offers both two and four-year degrees and one-year certificates.

Additionally, Bachelor of Applied Science degrees are offered in applied management, applied management in agriculture or healthcare administration, cyber security, dental hygiene, information technology and project management.

Liberal arts students at CBC often value the theory-driven and data-informed culture of collaboration that they learn from. Developing intellectually, emotionally, ethically, and physically both inside and outside of the classroom, they’re fully prepared for any upcoming obstacles within the workplace or throughout life after graduation.

Source: Columbia Basin College

Referring to their student learning outcomes, joining this college would mean that you’ll be able to think critically, to reason quantitively, to communicate effectively and to apply the right resources to any tasks that need completing.

As CBC President Rebekah Woods highlights, “Whether expanding workforce programmes, academic transfer opportunities, or transitional studies skills, Columbia Basin College leads the way in postsecondary education opportunities in the Tri-Cities. But most importantly, we define our success by the success of our students. They are our priority and the reason we exist.”

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