A Liberal Arts Education – Is It for You?

Today’s job market is constantly changing, with new jobs being added all the time and old ones being automated at lightning speed. As such, you need to equip yourself with skills that go beyond textbooks, which can be applied to any industry or job. This is where a liberal arts education comes in.

What is a liberal arts education?

With a focus on interdisciplinary topics, liberal arts aims to provide students with a more holistic education by encouraging them to study a combination of social sciences, natural sciences, humanities and the arts. Through this style of learning, you can learn a number of skills, which are not focused on a single sector but can be transferred from one profession to another, thus benefitting you regardless of the industry you plan to work in. Critical and analytical thinking, creativity, leadership, innovative thinking and the ability to consider a variety of perspectives are just some of the things you can learn through your liberal arts degree.

Where can I study a liberal arts education?

When people think of studying the liberal arts, they think of going to the US, due to the number of liberal arts colleges scattered throughout the country, along with other colleges that offer liberal arts courses as part of their core curriculum for undergraduate students. For example, MIT, which is known for its rigours technical education, requires all students to complete courses in humanities, arts and social sciences (HASS). On the other hand, Brown University centres its programme around an open curriculum. This means that there is no core curriculum that students are required to take in order to graduate; they can choose subjects based on their interests and can shape their own education. The only requirement here is that students have to complete 30 courses in their time at the university, have one academic concentration and demonstrate written English skills.  

Apart from the US, you can also choose to gain a liberal arts education in the UK. King’s College London offers a BA in Liberal Arts, while University College London has an Arts and Sciences BASc where you can create your own bespoke programme, incorporating both arts and sciences subjects. Apart from this, The Netherlands also has a number of ‘university colleges’ like Erasmus College and Amsterdam University College that are a part of larger institutions and focus on holistic education. In India as well, there are a number of institutes for you to choose from such as Ashoka University, Flame University, Symbiosis School of Liberal Arts and Jindal School of Liberal Arts & Humanities, among others.

What can I do with a liberal arts degree?

After graduating with a liberal arts degree, you will be able to choose between multiple career opportunities – ranging from teaching to politics to research science – as employers across sectors and countries are attracted to individuals with a liberal arts background who contribute to the ever-changing corporate space.

So if you are unsure about what you want to major in or want some time to explore other options or just want a more holistic education, then consider a liberal arts education.

If you are planning on applying to the US next year, then read our blog post on how to get a head start on your applications. Those who are considering studying in The Netherlands, read our blog post here to know why this may be a good option. If you need some guidance on whether liberal arts is for you or the application process, then get in touch with us.

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