The problem with a liberal arts degree is that ‘rigor has weakened’

by Grace

In theory, a college liberal arts degree is a valuable commodity in the job market.  In reality, the way colleges have diluted the curriculum means a liberal arts degree offers little added value in qualifying workers for today’s job market.

Liberal arts skills are profitable for college graduates

It turns out that employers are looking for the skills that liberal-arts studies instill — critical thinking, logical reasoning, clear writing.  College graduates who tested best at liberal-arts skills were “far more likely to be better off financially than those who scored lowest.

The problem is employers have found liberal arts graduatesdidn’t learn much in school’.

… Many liberal-arts graduates, even from the best schools, aren’t getting jobs in large part because they didn’t learn much in school. They can’t write or speak well or intelligently analyze what they read.

The National Association of Educational Progress indicates that literary proficiency among adults with “some” college is declining. Richard Arum and Josipa Roksa, authors of the 2011 book “Academically Adrift: Limited Learning on College Campuses,” found that 36% of college students made no discernible progress in the ability to think and analyze critically after four years in school.

You can minor in “Social and Economic Justice” without ever studying economics.

For many students, college is a smorgasbord of easy courses chosen for their lack of academic rigor. There is no serious “core curriculum.” Students spend limited time studying. Faculty and administrators make matters worse by allowing students to fill up their time with courses like UNC-Chapel Hill’s “Dogs and People: From Prehistory to the Urbanized Future” and “Music in Motion: American Popular Music and Dance.” When students can get a minor in “Social and Economic Justice” without ever taking a course in the economics department, it’s hardly surprising that businesses aren’t lining up to hire them.

In contrast to liberal arts studies, many STEM and similar vocational majors that focus on teaching specific content have not watered down their curriculum.

Related:

Advertisements

2 Responses to “The problem with a liberal arts degree is that ‘rigor has weakened’”

  1. Instead of backing down and apologizing for your major, champion your decision and make your employer see how valuable it could be.

    Like

Trackbacks

%d bloggers like this: