Despite rumblings that liberal arts degrees don’t hold strong value for today’s graduates, a new report reveals a number of high-earning occupations for liberal arts graduates to pursue–as long as they have specific skills.
Saving the Liberal Arts, the report from AEI and Burning Glass Technologies, offers an analysis of detailed information on job postings and worker resumes. The data reveal that employers are seeking employees with broad knowledge–the type of knowledge that comes from liberal arts–along with practical skills and knowledge.
Authors Mark Schneider, AEI visiting scholar, and Burning Glass Technologies chief executive officer Matthew Sigelman contend that liberal arts majors should tap into in-demand skills to improve their pay and potentially erase the salary gap with STEM graduates. Those graduates who lack practical skills, even if those skills require additional training, are more likely to be underemployed.
As student debt balloons, conversations about the value of a college degree have also increased. And with much of today’s career emphasis on STEM job openings, the value of liberal arts degrees may seem diminished.
(Next page: What can liberal arts majors to do ensure ROI on their degrees?)