A Rare Finding: A Positive Outlook on a Liberal Arts Degree

by Samantha Decapua

In recent years, college students have been shying away from majoring in liberal arts. Once a popular and sought after major, liberal arts is now nothing more than a “black sheep” among other degrees. Although it is hard to imagine there was a time, long long ago, where people went to college with the sole purpose of becoming a well-rounded individual, this was astonishingly very common. Now people pursue higher education not to gain worldly knowledge, but to get a good job with a decent starting pay. Ever since the financial crisis in 2008, there has been a decline in liberal arts and an increase in disciplines pertaining to specialized skills.

The potency of a liberal arts degree has been greatly undervalued recently. Many aspiring students believe that they cannot do anything with this degree and that it will be nothing more than a useless piece of paper. But contrary to popular belief, employers look for the adaptability that comes with a liberal arts degree. According to Edgar Bronfman former CEO of the Seagram Corporation, “a liberal arts degree is the most important factor in forming individuals into interesting and interested people who can determine their own paths through the future.” He goes on to explain how young business leaders’ minds need the elasticity and expandability that this degree sparks. Being able to think critically and clearly gives people the power to look beyond what is presented before them. Although Bronfman advises that students simply get a liberal arts degree, this move should be well-considered. However, maybe it is time that higher education is no longer viewed as a return on investment monetarily, but culturally instead.

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