Recent debates about whether or not college is worth it have focused almost exclusively on whether or not you will get a good job after graduating, or if your education was wasted.
However, these discussions ignore one of the most important benefits that higher learning can give you — personal growth.
This may sound vague, but I’ll explain more in detail what we mean here later on. For now, just believe me when I say this: personal growth is way better than earning a high-paying job.
There are many ways to achieve personal growth such as through reading books, listening to podcasts, practicing yoga, etc. Some even argue that achieving personal growth is the main reason people spend money on self-help books and courses, and studying something outside of their major.
Liberal arts majors tend to focus more on educating others about different topics, which helps them achieve personal growth.
Here, we will discuss some ways that liberal arts degrees help you achieve personal growth.
1) By teaching you how to read, they teach you how to look at life as a reader.
Many people who do not go into art or design learn how to read while pursuing a degree in communication, journalism, literature, or any other related field.
By being able to read things from start to finish and identify patterns and themes, you have learned how to look at life as a reader.
Greater career versatility
One of the biggest reasons why liberal arts education is so valuable is that it teaches you to look at things beyond your field of study. This includes looking at your area of expertise, outside your major, and thinking about how what you learned elsewhere can be applied to something new.
Liberal arts courses may not be totally unrelated from your major, but they are definitely interrelated. For example, history is rooted in understanding human culture and behavior, so studying history applies fundamental concepts across different time periods.
Literature is rich with examples that apply universal themes such as love or death. There’s even an element of storytelling and rhetoric in many literary disciplines.
Art has some formal rules like proportions, colors, and shapes, which help organize complex ideas. Artists use this knowledge to create their own styles.
In fact, many artists start out doing art for fun before learning more rigorous skills like drawing from the body or realism.
Greater career satisfaction
All too often, people get into higher education to gain professional knowledge and skills. But what few realize is that part of their studies goes far beyond this! Students are constantly being exposed to rich intellectual environments where they can explore different ideas and concepts, learn about history and cultures, study humanities (the humanities are made up of literature, language, music, etc.), and pursue academic disciplines like psychology or sociology.
This exposure allows them to develop understanding and appreciation for the human mind, culture, and spirit. It also helps them find personal meaning in their lives by exploring how we as humans connect with each other and our surroundings.
Higher education should be seen not only as an opportunity to hone your profession but also as an opportunity to grow as a person. In fact, many experts believe it is more important than ever before to emphasize the importance of educating students outside the classroom.
Another way liberal arts colleges contribute to social responsibility is through giving back to the community. Many have foundations or programs focused on improving literacy, enhancing educational opportunities, supporting youth development, and promoting health and wellness.
Some even focus on research and innovation or creative expression to keep society moving forward. All of these efforts help strengthen communities and make them feel better connected to one another and to the world around them.
Greater job opportunities
Recent studies have shown that education in liberal arts is just as important as education in science, business or technology. This has everything to do with how much the average person needs to know about other areas beyond math, sciences and hard skills like engineering.
Liberal arts courses focus more on teaching students how to think critically about different topics and educating them on various academic disciplines such as history, literature and philosophy. All of these play an integral part in helping people learn how to apply what they already know in other areas of life.
Students who major in humanities are not only educated well, but also possess key transferable skills such as leadership, communication and teamwork. These qualities can be applied in many areas including careers.
People with degrees in humanities are twice as likely to stay employed than those without bachelor’s degrees, according to research conducted by Georgetown University.
Humanities majors also earn slightly higher salaries on average than workers with no college degree. According to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, individuals with at least a Bachelor’s Degree made $1,000 per week ($48,800 annually) while those with less than a high school diploma earned $775 (or $32,500 per year).
Another reason why acquiring an education in the humanities is worth it is because you get to explore all sorts of ideas and concepts. By doing this, you will expand your knowledge base and understanding of the world around you.
In our increasingly technology-driven society, less emphasis is placed on creative thinking as a skill. With the availability of almost anything you want to create or view, creativity has become limited to making things that have already been made before.
In order to make something new that people will like, you must first learn how to use and add components to materials that are already known. The more familiar you are with material, the easier it is to work with it and apply it in novel ways.
Liberal arts education teaches students not only about individual concepts, but also how to combine ideas into one cohesive whole. This systematic approach to learning helps develop your ability to think creatively, as you are working towards creating an idea that comes together naturally.
Students who major in liberal arts fields are trained to analyze information beyond just whether it works or does not, but why it works (or doesn’t). Students in these areas are exposed to many different points of view so they can connect what they know to other knowledge, forming their own opinions.
Overall, liberal arts skills help train the mind in all sorts of non-tech ways. These include reasoning, analysis, communication, and problem solving.
Learn to prioritize
A liberal arts education teaches you how to make decisions by giving you several options, not just for courses or majors, but for everything in life.
This is important as we spend so much time looking at all sorts of things — from apps and websites to messages and conversations –and then deciding what to do with them.
By putting things together yourself rather than being told about them, you’ll learn more about them and how they work. You’ll also realize that some parts don’t necessarily go well together, and you should try to separate themselves out.
Prioritizing means figuring out which ones are less important than others and sticking to your plans even if you don’t feel like doing something else. This applies to both big projects and little tasks such as taking a shower or reading an article.
Liberal arts students know how to take care of their own personal needs, and learning how to do it for other people makes them good teammates and friends. They can help each other through difficult times and keep each other motivated.
They also understand how power works and are aware of inequities inherent in our society, making them able to recognize and fight against oppression.
Learn to adapt to change
Changing times can be difficult for some people. These changes may include changing jobs, locations, or even fields of study.
If you are in a job that has changed due to budget cuts, then it is time to look at other opportunities. Finding new work can be tough, but if you are willing to explore outside your normal area, you will find what you need to succeed.
The same goes for looking into different educational paths or switching careers. If you have been working in one field since college, it is time to expand yours.
By educating yourself about various subjects, you will solidify your knowledge in those areas. You will also know how to apply what you learn in different situations, which comes in very handy.
Liberal arts education teaches students to analyze information and concepts from all sources, so they can connect them together. This way, you are not limited to only learning from textbooks and lectures, but instead can access free resources anywhere, anytime.
This versatility is what sets liberal arts apart from others.
Develop your leadership skills
One of the most important things that liberal arts can help you with is developing your leadership skills. You will learn how to motivate people around you, how to communicate more effectively, and what it means to be a leader.
Liberal arts courses look at different themes and concepts, use diverse styles of writing, and focus on having an in-depth understanding of something before trying to apply it somewhere else.
By applying this to college life, you get extra points for being a strong leader because you understand the concept well!
You’ll also find yourself in the situation where someone doesn’t seem to be listening to you, so you must figure out what makes them listen.
Cultivate your creative side
A major in liberal arts is not just about learning lots of information, it’s also about developing your creativity and self-expression.
Liberal arts are pretty much defined as knowledge that goes beyond what you learn in school – art, literature, music, philosophy, etc. all fit this category. They focus more on exploring diverse areas of study rather than being focused only on one thing.
By embracing diversity and different ways to express yourself, you cultivate your artistic side. You enjoy creating things, so you start making them. Plus, you learn how to analyze different materials and concepts, which helps you develop other creative skills like writing or lecturing.
Your career can be related to art, so whether you’re thinking about becoming an artist, teacher, or business person, studying these fields is important.