Choosing a college major is a big decision. You’ll be spending the next four years, and possibly more, studying your major, so it’s important to choose something you’re passionate about and that will lead to a career you enjoy.
There are many different majors to choose from, and deciding which one is right for you can be overwhelming. Some students have dreamt of becoming engineers, so they choose STEM majors, while others are more interested in music and arts, so they study those.
Either way, if you’re looking for a degree that will give you a solid foundation for success, a liberal studies degree is a great option.
Liberal studies is an interdisciplinary field of study that encompasses subjects such as history, anthropology, humanities, philosophy, and literature. A liberal studies education emphasizes critical thinking and communication skills, which are valuable in many careers.
Liberal studies graduates can work in various fields, including government, education, business, and non-profit organizations. They are also well-positioned to pursue graduate degrees in many different disciplines.
A typical liberal studies curriculum includes social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences courses. Some programs may also offer courses in mathematics, performing arts, and foreign languages.
A bachelor’s degree in liberal studies (BLS) can be completed in four years at a traditional university or college. However, many programs also offer part-time and online options, making it possible to earn an online liberal studies degree while working full-time.
If you’re considering a liberal studies major, here are a few reasons why it’s worth it:
Liberal studies is not about memorizing and regurgitating information. It’s about understanding concepts and thinking critically about them.
When you pursue a liberal studies education, you learn to analyze and deconstruct ideas, critically evaluate them, and use that knowledge to propose solutions to existing problems. These are all skills that are highly valued in the job market.
Employers are looking for candidates who can think critically and solve problems. Liberal studies graduates are well-positioned to fill these roles because they have been trained to think independently and come up with creative solutions.
A STEM education is binary. You solve a question correctly, or you don’t. There is only one perspective to learn: that of science.
But it is not so in the liberal studies. No right or wrong answer exists, and everyone’s perspective is valuable. In liberal studies, you learn from diverse perspectives and understand where everyone comes from. You understand why people hold different opinions on issues, and that makes you a more empathic person.
You may often not agree with someone else’s perspective. A liberal studies education also teaches you how to disagree with someone’s point of view while maintaining respect and understanding their argument. As you enter the job market, this experience improves you at conflict resolution.
Getting a liberal studies degree is a good investment for your future. Liberal studies graduates are highly employable and quickly get jobs in both the public and private sectors.
While it is true that the average starting salary for those with a STEM degree is higher than those with a liberal studies degree, liberal studies graduates often experience rapid career acceleration during their 30s and 40s, where their wages grow faster compared to other study areas. This is because liberal studies graduates develop a variety of transferable skills, such as critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving, which are highly valued by employers in all industries.
It’s a stereotype that STEM students are overworked, underslept, and fueled by caffeine. Thankfully, a liberal arts education is much less stressful!
Liberal studies degrees are flexible, so you can easily manage your personal life and study at your own pace. You can even complete a liberal studies degree online part-time, which is not possible for most STEM degrees because of the required lab work. This makes liberal studies a good option for students who need to balance their studies with other commitments, such as a job or family.
As a liberal studies student, you can expect to write a lot of essays.
Good writing comes from clear thinking, and liberal studies is all about critical thinking and analysis. You’ll also write many term papers, which will teach you how to write concisely, effectively, and engagingly.
A STEM education teaches you specific technical skills, but in our rapidly changing world, predicting which skills will remain in demand is difficult. As AI develops, many technical jobs may become automated.
However, jobs in the liberal studies sector are likely to remain in demand. This is because a liberal studies education focuses on critical thinking, problem-solving, and enlightenment. While technical skills may become obsolete, AI cannot replicate human thinking. As such, people with a liberal studies degree will always be able to find work.
A liberal studies education focuses on developing your creative potential. While STEM degrees emphasize following the rules, liberal studies encourage you to understand and express your feelings and emotions to create something new and original. Liberal studies heavily encourage innovation and thinking outside the box.
Companies prefer individuals who can solve problems by thinking outside the box. Liberal studies students develop an innovative mindset that helps them in the job market and makes them more likely to be successful entrepreneurs.
Choosing a college major can be stressful. You have many options to choose from, including STEM fields, fine arts, and liberal studies. With the rise of technological advancements, interest in STEM fields has increased significantly. However, liberal studies remain very useful and offer many benefits.
A liberal studies education teaches you academic knowledge and helps you grow. It develops your critical thinking, problem-solving, adaptability, creativity, and innovative mindset. Liberal studies education is also generally less stressful than STEM education.
So, if you are considering a liberal studies degree, don’t worry; you’re on the right path!