Academic Balance Beam
A few years ago, I had written an article questioning the worth of a liberal arts education. I had wondered where students’ job prospects lied after graduating with a degree in French or History. However, after growing as a person and encountering that the most well rounded people came from a liberal arts background, my breadth of understanding what a true education is all about expanded.
The statistics four years ago could have scared any scholar into jumping to a vocational school. Let’s be realistic, job opportunities were scarce and the only stable market consisted of those in the medical field. Now, with work opportunities stabilizing all across the board, technology no longer runs a company down the drain. People have learned how to use it as a tool rather than cower beneath it. Now, with this adaption society can return to the sustenance of what manifests life. As James O. Freedman was quoted in saying in The New York Times, “Liberal education opens our eyes…it’s about understanding yourself and having some resources to deal with everything life throws at you.” The former Dartmouth president speaks to the equal sentiment shared in articles written in the Huffington Post and Newsday.
While there is neither specific determinant nor formula as to what would be the perfect choice of college or university for a high school graduate, it is important that other than following their instincts and cost vs. benefit, there should never be a ruling out of a certain area of schools such as those in the liberal arts league. Various alumnae ranging from Hilary Clinton, Martha Stewart, Bob Woodruff and Bradley Whitford amongst others have shown that in various fields how their Political Science or English degree proved to useful.
Not only does a liberal arts education supplement the critical thinking skills required in any field, but it also helps stimulate interest and participate in learning about the world one lives in.