Liberal arts grads earn more at their career peaks

Liberal artsBy Siobhan Carnegie

Surprisingly enough, the sometimes off-putting entry-level salaries of careers in the arts have a way of leveling out with other realms along the way.
A report called “How Liberal Arts and Sciences Majors Fare in Employment,” shows that at their career peak, employees with liberal arts bachelor’s degrees make more than people with professional or pre-professional undergraduate degrees.
It also reveals that the unemployment rate among recent liberal arts grads, and mature people with liberal arts degrees, is much lower than the national average in the U.S.
One way to look at the ol’ wide-spanning Bachelor of Arts degree is to look at it from the perspective of a potential employer. Employers often see this degree as representative of well-rounded people with the ability to succeed in a myriad of roles.
Instructors believe they are preparing students for success throughout the course of their careers, not just at the start, even helping them as they advance into their second and third jobs.
“A liberal arts education develops leaders who can overcome challenges, adapt to the changing world, and weather economic shifts to achieve career success over decades. So the findings of this study come as no surprise to us,” says Matt Bailey, senior director of external relations at Centenary College of Louisiana.
The study also points to employers’ preferences for liberal arts and sciences majors, as they seek candidates with broad knowledge in these subjects. About four out of five employers are looking for this well-rounded expertise.
Ninety-three per cent of employers also look for critical thinking and problem-solving skills in candidates, which is one of the most touted results of a post-secondary education.
Employers also found these skills more deciphering than, say, a graduate’s major.
Essentially, the study was out to prove naysayers wrong about the merits of a general arts education.
The report “mirrors what those who teach in liberal arts institutions have argued for some time,” says Centenary professor of economics, David Hoaas.
“An education rooted in the liberal arts not only makes individuals productive global citizens, but it also leads to increased lifetime earnings. The world needs and has always needed individuals who have a firm foundation in critical- thinking skills.”
So whether you waltz into the perfect job right out of the gate, or take a little time getting into a rewarding career, expect your arts degree to pay off, especially a little ways down the road.
It’s never a waste of time to expand your critical thinking or grow your mind.

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