Students, listen up! In his book Excellent Sheep, William Deresiewicz explains why liberal arts graduates are so highly valued by employers.
He says that the liberal arts are not just places where you “learn to think; you learn that there are different ways to think. You study human behaviour in psychology, and then you study it in literature. You see what philosophy means by reality, and then you see what math and physics does. Your mind becomes more agile and resourceful, as well as more skeptical and rigorous. And most important of all, you learn to educate yourself” (151).
Deresiewicz quotes several recent surveys “that found that 30 percent of companies were recruiting liberal arts graduates, second only to engineering and computer science, at 34 percent, and far ahead of finance and accounting, at 18 percent. ‘Companies are looking for soft skills over hard skills now,’ said the head of the firm that conducted the study, ‘because hard skills can be learned, while soft skills need to be developed. And the latter seem to be in short supply.’
The survey cited by the Journal found that only 44 percent of employers believe that graduates have what it takes for any real advancement in their organizations. According to other studies, ‘only a quarter of college graduates have what it takes for any real advancement in their organizations. Graduates are said to have trouble ‘communicating and working in teams, and often struggle to see complex problems from a variety of angles’–exactly the kind of vision a liberal arts education instills” (152).
Why Employers Seek Students with Liberal Arts Degrees
"Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite & The Way to a Meaningful Life"
Free Press, 2014, pages 151-52
William Deresiewicz, in his excellent new publication, Excellent Sheep: The Miseducation of the American Elite & The Way to a Meaningful Life, provides powerful and clear reasons why the Liberal Arts and the Humanities lead to deep and meaningful careers.read more at Book "Excellent Sheep" »