A recent Association of American Colleges and Universities report revealed that 80% of employers want their employees to have some experience studying liberal arts. Little wonder why. These subjects are known to teach students in-demand skills that make a professional productive.
Liberal arts degrees are a broad term used to encompass qualifications that focus less on the technical and scientific, and more on creativity and humanities. Therefore, those that choose this path are known to emerge as individuals with key skills in problem-solving, effective communication, and the art of debating. All are skills that are vital in a range of sectors and industries.
While some may think it’s too broad, vouching for business and STEM majors instead, research has proven that liberal arts graduates typically overtake their earnings over time due to their diverse skill sets. In fact, a liberal arts education has been championed by greats who have triumphed over the stereotype. Take Kamala Harris, for instance. Or Oprah Winfrey and Steve Jobs. These luminaries are just a few of the outstanding graduates that have emerged from studies in the arts, humanities, and social sciences.
Convinced? There are many universities in the US that can help you follow in their footsteps. However, when it comes to developing employable graduates, these three picks are a cut above the rest:
Fort Hays State University
There are many reasons why Fort Hays State University (FHSU) ranks among the top regional universities in the American midwest. Pair renowned academic excellence with unmatched affordability, and students get a recipe for success –– evident in the fact that 95% of its students secure jobs or higher education opportunities with ease after graduating.
However, professional development is one thing, and personal growth is another. This is where the College Of Arts, Humanities, And Social Sciences (CAHSS) steps in. Here, a liberal arts education enables learners to develop their own unique creative, communicative and reasoning skills –– all of which are crucial for a lifetime of success.
Located in Hays, Kansas –– a quaint and safe yet vibrant college town with plenty of food options, live music and theatre performances, art exhibits, and cultural festivals –– the college has the ideal setting to put artistic talent into action. Just take a peek into the Department of Art and Design, where students learn by doing under the supervision of an expert faculty.
As undergraduates, they take a glimpse into their futures in the US$14.2 million Schmidt Foundation Centre for Art & Design, with full access to state-of-the-art equipment, studios, computer labs, and everything else a budding artist or designer would need. They get involved with statewide and national organisations, are mentored by the best, and have many opportunities to explore the US and beyond. A suite of curricular and co-curricular activities are also available such as the Global Leadership and International Studies certificates.
The best part? The CAHSS experience is open to all nationalities and aspirations. With a Bachelor of Fine Arts, any artistic calling can come to life –– be it in photography, studio art, interior design, or graphic design and motion design.
Each pathway leads to outstanding outcomes. For example, CAHSS graphic design graduates can now be found excelling in esteemed companies such as Leo Burnett Worldwide, Yahoo, as well as Duffy Design, amongst others. To become one of them, learn more about joining the CAHSS here.
University of California, Berkeley
One word to describe UC Berkeley’s Arts + Design landscape? Rich. Here, classes that lead to certificates or degrees abound. Students are also given multiple opportunities to engage with research, explore venues on campus, join various students clubs, and attend exciting events.
Programmes span the visual arts, performing arts, literature, film/media, and design. The Art Practice Department offers a Bachelor of Arts degree that prepares students for productive careers in the visual arts.
While most enrollees focus on pursuing fine art careers with these qualifications, others use them as a means to develop their creative voices. Many use this platform as a golden ticket into the field of arts management, education, fashion, game design, graphic design, UI/UX, and much more.
The College of Letters and Science is just as impressive, setting aspiring undergraduates on an intellectual adventure of a lifetime. Here, students participate in projects at the forefront of science. They solve pressing social problems. They create art. They also explore diverse cultures and seek answers to today’s most pressing questions.
Majors offered include: Ancient Greek and Roman Studies, Art, Celtic Studies, Comparative Literature, Dutch Studies, East Asian Languages and Cultures, English, Film and Media, Italian Studies, Middle Eastern Languages and Culture, Philosophy, Rhetoric, a range of languages, and more.
Baylor University’s Department of Art and Art History offers students the finest undergraduate education with an exceptional faculty, formative curriculum, and outstanding facilities.
Three programmes lead the way: the BA in Art History, the BA in Studio Art, and the BFA in Studio Art. Various disciplines are covered such as ceramics, fabric design, graphic design, painting, photography, printmaking, and sculpture. Minors are also available in both art history and studio art.
Regardless of chosen paths, every student gets to enjoy an interactive experience thanks to their university’s efforts. This includes rubbing shoulders with internationally-known artists and speakers that love to frequent Baylor’s picturesque campus.
When they are unable to, conversations are held over Zoom. Thanks to their presence, virtually or physically, every student gets to converse and mingle with scholars and professional artists who are practising their craft across the globe.
Those looking for a more rigorous education that will transform them into informed and productive citizens of democracy and servant leaders of faith communities can turn to the College of Arts and Sciences. Here, anyone is welcomed to take part in a robust core curriculum that features key academic disciplines such as the sciences, social sciences, humanities, and fine arts.
The Creative Arts Experience is an added bonus, providing students with enriching programmes of art, music, theatre, film, and literature. Through a wide variety of fine arts events, they witness an additional focus on how these arts are seen through a culturally rich global lens.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International