At a time when thousands of students choose to opt for technical courses for better career options, a degree in Liberal Arts is still considered worthwhile and students with an arts degree can definitely have a great career.
Liberal Art is one of the oldest studied subjects of the world. In ancient Greece, scholars used to study liberal arts and a person educated in such a subject was regarded with great respect in the society. Though, the origin of Liberal Arts education is in the Europe, it lost its popularity with time. However, recently it was re-introduced in many educational institutions of Europe. In the United States on the other hand, the study of Liberal Arts had always been popular. There are many popular universities in the US for studying liberal arts.
In the United States there are many universities where students can obtain education on liberal arts. This is one of the oldest subjects studied by ancient Greeks. It includes knowledge about a variety of disciplines such as Humanities, Natural Science, Social Science and Formal Science.
What are Liberal Arts?
During ancient times liberal arts included knowledge on various topics which were essential for the free living of a person in a society. It aimed at the overall personality development of an individual vis-à-vis the society he was residing in. Knowledge of liberal arts helped a person to take part in public debates, defend oneself in courts, be a part of military services, etc.
However, with passage of time the concept of liberal arts has changed a lot. Therefore, according to the modern concept of liberal arts, liberal arts can be referred to as an interdisciplinary subject. The disciplines that come within the purview of modern liberal arts are Humanities, and Social Sciences. Sometime formal and natural sciences are also considered a part of liberal arts. While a person studies a particular subject from any of the above disciplines, it can be said that he is studying liberal art. Therefore, it is important to understand what the subjects are that can come under the category of liberal art.
- Humanities: Subjects like literature, philosophy, ethics, religion, linguistics, music, speech, theater, classical languages, modern foreign languages and many more falls under the category of Humanities.
- Social Sciences: Subjects such as law, gender studies, sociology, history, politics, geography, anthropology, economics, etc all are part of social science.
Since, a combined knowledge of these disciplines make a person worthy of free living therefore, they together make up the subject liberal art.
Value of Liberal Arts Degree at Present Times
There are a number of advantages that can be derived by pursuing liberal arts from US Universities. Both degree courses as well as diploma certificate courses are useful for finding jobs in future. However, in general the advantages that a student can get by studying liberal arts include:
- Prepares for wide range of sectors: A degree in liberal arts would make a student eligible for a wide variety of works in different sectors. The knowledge a person gains from studying liberal arts is quite vast covering a wide gamut.
- Scope for wide variety of career choices: He or she can pick a career option from an area of his or her liking. So automatically the career options for a person increases by studying liberal arts.
- Preference given by employers: Present day employers prefer students of liberal arts over other candidates. The reason is that they are more flexible while shifting work. They are more adaptable to new work as they have basic knowledge of all skills.
- Creates stronger base for graduate level education: When a student at the undergraduate level studies liberal arts he or she gains a stronger base of the subject he or she is going to pick for the post-graduate level of education.
Some notable differences are there between universities in the US and other dedicated liberal arts colleges. Liberal arts colleges characteristically depend solely on participation of the student and build up a great level of teacher-student interaction, collaboration and mentorship.
While universities like to offer priority in research work, liberal arts colleges include more teaching staff to teach full-time, compared to a combination of research professors and graduate student teaching assistants. Majority of the liberal arts colleges are residential and small, having smaller class sizes and enrollment and a lower teacher-student ratio, while teachers turning as mentors and also becoming research partners with the students. As a result of this a good cordial relationship grows up in the between the students and the teachers.
Top five Colleges in the United States for pursuing Liberal Arts
- Williams College
- Amherst College
- Swathmore College
- Bowdoin College
- Middleburry College
Author Bio: A digital media professional Sampurna Majumder loves creativity and challenges; with a strong focus on the education sector, she has written extensively about career, courses, colleges and others. The above post helps enlightens students who are planning to pursue higher education in liberal arts from US Universities.