As increasing numbers of colleges and universities continue to produce more and more business majors, what makes a candidate stand out to employers amongst the competition?
The answer: a liberal arts education.
According to a 2013 survey published in Investopedia, comprised of presidents, vice presidents and various C-level executives:
- 93% of executives say, “demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems” is more important than a particular degree
- 80% of executives say that regardless of a student’s major, they should have “a broad knowledge” of the liberal arts and sciences
- 80% of executives say schools should place more emphasis on oral and written communication skills
- 71% of executives say schools should place more emphasis on the ability to innovate and be creative
- 74% of executives would “recommend a liberal [arts] education to their own child or a young child they know”
Written & Verbal Skills
Many company executives and employers today are underscoring the importance of a liberal arts education for the emphasis on oral and written communication skills that many graduates from other well known institutions lack. The New York Times even said that these graduates can be quite lacking when it comes to writing succinctly.
By contrast, liberal arts graduates fill in this gap because they are often required to read and write extensively. Liberal arts graduates typically know how to sell an idea simply, clearly and effectively.
More companies are seeking workers who can think critically. Liberal arts students have a competitive advantage because studying the humanities gives them a sense of how and where human interactions are best developed, and when these interactions can succeed and fail. This skillset makes liberal arts grads much more well-rounded, innovative, and effective at solving problems, analyzing data, and predicting outcomes – all of which are essential to a successful business.
As post-secondary institutions produce more graduates with technical and scientific degrees, more and more companies are looking to hire employees with a liberal arts background. Organizations are starting to acknowledge the lifelong learning skills developed through a liberal arts education, and how beneficial they can be to the business.
Beatrice Diaz is a senior at the University of Dallas. She’s currently studying business and plans to pursue opportunities in the marketing field. Beatrice is from Los Angeles, California and graduated from Grover Cleveland Charter High School. She chose to attend UD for the small class size and acclaimed business program. Beatrice is also involved in the UD Student Foundations Organization, and is the Business Manager for The University News. In the future, Beatrice would like to focus on gaining experience in brand communications, as well as general and digital marketing.