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cuddeback-book“In recent years, many Americans have dissed the liberal arts, as parents, teenagers and the state and federal legislators, who provide much of the nation’s higher-ed funding, have clamored for practical degrees that focus on preparing college students for specific jobs,” writes Lynn O’Shaughnessy in a recent CBS News Money Watch article.

But, she says, according to the latest report from the Association of American Colleges & Universities, the focus that schools have had on career training is not working out so well, and now the thought is that students should be exposed to the liberal arts and sciences.

“The report, which was released today, concludes that employers ‘overwhelmingly’ endorse broad learning as the best preparation for long-term career success. Employers who were surveyed for the study said that this broad learning should be an expected part of the course work for all students, regardless of their chosen major or field of study,” says O’Shaughnessy.

Surprisingly to some, according to the survey, only 15 percent of employers say that it was important for new college graduates to have knowledge and skills that apply to a specific field or position. Although the liberal arts were definitely lauded, employers still want graduates to have some field experience as well as the broad education.

“Ninety-four percent of employers, for instance, said they are more likely to consider hiring recent grads who had an internship or apprenticeship with a company or organization,” she writes. “Nearly as many employers said they would also be more inclined to hire a new grad if he/she had completed a senior project that demonstrated research, problem solving and communication skills. And 81 percent said they’d be more receptive to hiring applicants who had taken multiple courses involving significant writing.”

Employers are looking for these various specific “soft skills” in their new hires – skills that liberal arts graduates generally have:

  • Ability to effectively communicate orally
  • Ability to work effectively with others in teams
  • Ability to effectively communicate in writing
  • Ethical judgment and decision-making
  • Critical thinking and analytical reasoning skills
  • Ability to apply knowledge/skills to real world settings

Christendom College’s broad liberal arts education, coupled with its dynamic career development program is the winning combination for success. The emphasis the college places on reading, writing, critical thinking, and effective communication, as well as the many opportunities students have to hold internships, on-campus employment, and interact with the many visiting professionals and speakers gives Christendom graduates the edge they need to excel beyond their peers and to achieve greatness in their post-graduate pursuits.

The full article may be read here.

 

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