Why Employers Are Hiring Liberal Arts Majors: Robert Morris University Why Employers Are Hiring Liberal Arts Majors | Robert Morris University

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Liberal arts degrees, once eschewed for not being specialized, have again become popular because of their combination of both broad-based and communication skills. Degrees with a liberal arts curriculum offer a wide range of classes, such as literature, languages, psychology, philosophy, business, and history. Since this degree is an amalgamation of many different (but complementary) subjects, students are not limited by a more narrow focus that leads to only one career.

Employers Are Looking for Liberal Arts Backgrounds

In fact, one recent survey of hundreds of high-level employers found that 30 percent of them would focus on hiring liberal arts graduates, which is nearly the number that are focusing on computing and engineering graduates. Surprised? Many people are. But the reasoning is sound, because more and more, companies are looking for students who are:

  • Curious
  • Knowledgeable
  • Adaptable
  • Problem-solvers
  • Task orientated
  • Superior communicators
  • Comfortable working in a team

These skill sets, sometimes known as “soft skills,” are now recognized as being just as critical to a company’s performance as hard skills (like computer programming or accounting) have been in the past.  

Why You Should Consider a Liberal Arts Degree 

Liberal Arts programs serve as an excellent “base” degree for those who are preparing to for entry-level employment or who want to enter law school, master’s programs, or medicine.

  • With an emphasis on oral and written disciplines, this degree offers an area of experience that is lacking for many of today’s students: communication. Many careers, regardless of their field, require that employees have superior communication skills, including law, medicine, management, counseling—even science. It’s a strength to be able to talk to people in every work environment—and it starts with a job interview where you’ll likely be assessed on your people skills.
  • Many CEOs site “having curiosity about the world around you” as the most important factor in a person’s education. Knowing how and why the world works, and having the ability to think critically, is part of the reason why so many liberal arts graduates are able to pursue employment is nearly any company and in any discipline.  
  • The curriculum works both ways: Students who are earning a traditional liberal arts degree will also benefit from the business courses that are often offered in a broad-based degree. 

Do Companies Hire Students with a Liberal Arts Degree?

Absolutely. Businesses often hire liberal arts graduates in every department, including human resources, sales, research and development, legal, public relations, and graphic design.   

Business known to hire liberal arts graduates are as varied as Target, the U.S. government, Sears, NBC, Deloitte and Touche, Starbucks, and Dell. Liberal arts coursework is also valuable to those who seek employment in healthcare organizations.

Robert Morris University believes that applying liberal arts courses and education to our degree programs—including business, engineering, nursing, and actuarial sciences—makes our graduates not only good employees, but knowledgeable people with varied interests. 

Years ago, RMU polled dozens of companies, asking what they’d most like to see from our graduates. Their answer, to a man, was excellent communication skills. In response, we developed the Communications Skills Program (CSP) that teaches RMU students how to develop skills in critical thinking, writing, group dynamics and oral communication. We’ve heard time and again that the companies who hire our graduates are impressed by students’ overall knowledge and adaptability. Implementing that program gave our students an advantage in the number of internships that became available, as well as the quality of the employers who offered graduates job interviews. 

Call or contact RMU today to learn more about our Communications Skills Program and the benefits of having a liberal arts education.