A liberal arts degree-or a general education degree, as they are often called-does not have clear benefits that translate into the workplace. In fact, research suggests that an overwhelming majority of employers believe there is no correlation between how well educated someone is and whether or not they will succeed in their position.
There are some theories about why this might be the case, but none fully explain it. What we can say for sure is that most people who hold leadership positions were at least moderately well-educated, if not completely college graduates. So offering such individuals a bachelor’s degree may feel good, but it isn’t necessarily a smart move unless you really need to emphasize your educational background.
Liberal arts degrees focus more on teaching students fundamentals like reading, writing, math and reasoning than them applying what they’ve learned in these areas towards specific career goals. These include things like educating future generations, fostering critical thinking and understanding diverse viewpoints, and promoting global awareness through exposure to different cultures.
Because of this, many experts believe that emphasizing education beyond just learning basic skills removes important barriers to employment.
There are times when an arts degree can help
Sometimes people assume that all liberal arts degrees are the same. This isn’t always the case, however! Some programs offer more career oriented skills than others. For example, while some departments may focus on literature, other departments may teach you how to design logos or use Photoshop effectively.
Some students get so focused on learning about art and humanities that they forget that many careers require you to do things like develop creative ideas and concepts, communicate them clearly, and be able to analyze situations and materials consistently.
These types of literacy and communication skills can be applied in several areas. A student with an arts degree who is looking for employment might find themselves under-qualified and unemployed after graduation, if they don’t look outside of their field.
There are times when a business degree can help
A few years ago, having only an undergraduate degree would have left most people with very little professional potential. However, now that almost every profession requires at least some form of college education, it is not as limited as it was before.
Business degrees offer training in various fields such as marketing, finance, supply chain management and more. These areas all relate to running a company so they are important to know how to identify needed and for whom.
Some businesses also require higher levels of academic achievement or certification which can be acquired through additional studies. For example, accounting professionals must get their CPA license after taking courses about financial statements and regulations.
It is not uncommon to find entry level positions requiring just a high school diploma but with no background in social media or marketable skills. People with less than a bachelor’s degree may need to learn these things on the job, limiting their career opportunities.
Liberal arts degrees are not always transferable
Some people believe that a degree in liberal art is worth it because you can easily find work as an artist, writer, or speaker depending on your field.
However, this isn’t necessarily the case.
Most employers look at whether someone has a college diploma before giving them a job. This means they will base their decision to hire off of things like if you have a high school diploma, so they won’t give you a chance unless you get one.
Furthermore, most universities offer students lots of opportunities to earn money through different student organizations, competitions, contests, and advertisements. If you aren’t interested in joining these groups, then you are missing out on potential income.
This also applies to attending events and lectures that relate to your major. Most colleges hold open forums and conversations with professors and other professionals to promote themselves, so why wouldn’t you attend?
If you want to make extra money, there are ways to do it without leaving the house! You just need to be willing to put in some effort.
You may not get a job in the field
Recent studies show that more than half of all humanities majors never actually use their degree outside of studying literature, art or culture. In fact, many students are spending additional money to remain in college by taking expensive courses like English, history and sociology.
Many liberal arts degrees focus heavily on topics such as writing, linguistics, philosophy and communication skills, making it difficult to transfer these skills into other fields. These areas are important to have, but they are not necessarily related to jobs that offer higher paychecks.
Liberal arts degrees can be valuable to your career if you are willing to look beyond the classroom for employment opportunities. For example, nurses, teachers and public servants require at least some knowledge of language, math and social sciences, so having an education in those areas is helpful.
However, there are ways to stay within budget while still getting the same quality educational experience. Some schools offer online versions of classes which can save you significant tuition fees each semester.
You may not enjoy the field
Some say that a liberal arts degree is no longer worth it because most of what employers look for in their employees can be learned through online courses or via social media. Employers now expect graduates to have at least some knowledge in business, marketing, communication, and technology.
This argument seems solid until you consider two things: first, how much money an employee will make being educated in these areas, and second, whether or not the individual really wants to learn about business, marketing, communication, and technology.
I’m talking about you, if you love making things! I’m talking about you, if you like to create pictures and stories with your hands and mind. I’m talking about you, if you are passionate and creative and want to do something meaningful with your life.
A lot of people don’t know what they want to do with their lives. They aren’t sure if they want to go into business, teaching, medicine, engineering, etc. – so they pick a random profession and try to do their best with it.
But this doesn’t work when there are too many options- you end up wasting your time trying to fit the square peg of your choice into the round hole called “professionally successful”.
There are many other job opportunities
Recent studies show that there is no link between having an arts or humanities degree and increased income, unless you choose to be an artist or teach art. If you decide to become an artist, then having an artistic background can definitely help your career!
Artists with at least an associate’s degree in the field of fine arts have almost twice as much annual revenue as those who do not, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
But what if we told you that most people with bachelor’s degrees also are artists? In fact, more than half of all bachelors degree holders said they practiced drawing, painting, sculpture, or music at some time during their life.
Given this, it seems clear that whether or not an arts education is worth it depends on what you plan to do with your life and how creative you want to get. Starting early could ensure better employment options for you.
Some employers look negatively on degrees from certain schools
Many employers now require that you have at least a bachelor’s degree, if not higher to be considered for employment. Due to this, some colleges are becoming very popular because they produce quality graduates who are well-educated.
These companies recruit heavily online so having a degree can prove yourself as an efficient worker. Since most of these jobs don’t require in person interactions, people with non-degree backgrounds can still gain valuable skills by moving down a level educationally.
However, there is one major downfall to obtaining a college degree — the cost!
Graduating with a Bachelor’s degree will almost always set you back around $30-$50k USD per year (more depending on how expensive your school is). This isn’t cheap!
Most students cannot afford to go away when they graduate due to the expense of living costs. In fact, many can’t even survive being a few months paychecks away from receiving a solid “paying job”.
So is getting a college degree worth it?
Absolutely not unless you have the money to spend easily on graduating. Even then, it’s questionable whether or not it’s worth it.
Some jobs are not a good use of your time
Many employers look at a liberal arts degree as a way to spend money by offering additional discounts or rewards for having such a degree. But what this really means is that they expect you to waste more money online, buying things that do nothing for you.
Many large companies will advertise themselves as being socially conscious, but if you check their websites, you will see that they make lots of expensive products that people buy because of the marketing budget instead of whether it is needed or not.
This article will talk about some examples of these unethical practices. If you want to pursue an education beyond the basics, think twice before investing in courses or materials related to social justice, ecology, or other non-profit focused areas.