Dr. Hanmee Kim
Intro: I believe that the purpose of a college education is to learn how to think critically and know what questions to ask. Liberal arts colleges strive to shape students into well-rounded people with a vast skill set which will prepare them for the world. Real-world problems rarely ever have textbook solutions.
Body 1: In the debate, I was on the side that was against the liberal arts education.
Our group debated that a liberal arts college is very expensive and require students to take courses that are unnecessary for their major. Students that know what they want to pursue have less time to focus on their field because of the required classes. Professional majors are intended to prepare you for a specific profession or job.
(List more reasons)
Body 2: Even though our group argued why a liberal arts education is worthless, I thought the advantages outweigh the disadvantages. I believe a liberal arts education can show a student what they are truly passionate in by taking classes they were always curious in or did not have the opportunity to take those classes before they came to college. Students under a liberal arts education tend to choose their majors according to their interest rather than choosing majors that specifically hone in on their career. A national survey of “business and non-profit leaders conducted by the Association of American Colleges & Universities (AACU) reported that: 93% of employers agree that a demonstrated capacity to think critically, and solve complex problems is more important than an undergraduate major”... “95% weigh with importance ethical judgment and integrity, intercultural skills, and the capacity for continued new learning”... “More than 75% want to see more critical thinking, complex problem solving, written and oral communication, and applied knowledge in real-world settings” (schoolmoney.org). This survey shows that a liberal arts education is crucial when looking for jobs.
Liberal arts majors, in contrast to professional universities, focus on the intellectual mastery of a certain topic or field, rather than on preparing students for particular professions.
Majoring in a liberal arts field can lead to a deep, scholarly understanding of a field. It also allows more flexibility after the students graduate because they can apply their knowledge to different jobs. Even if a student knew what he/she wanted to do after they graduate, that might not workout so a liberal arts education will prepare them to be adaptable in many different fields. Second, liberal arts degrees allow for flexibility and adaptability to new careers. Due to the broad and encompassing nature of a liberal arts education, students may able to apply their wide range of skills to a large number of careers and positions. With a long-term career perspective in mind, liberal arts majors may be better prepared for shifting and changing global job market demand and conditions.
Lastly, liberal arts degrees do pay off in terms of income, but more in the long run. A joint study by the National Center for Higher Education Management Systems (NCHEMS) and the AACU found that although liberal arts majors make less than professional majors in terms of annual income right out of college (age 21-25), they make more on average at their peak salary age (age 56-60):
Right out of college (age 21-25), the average annual salary for liberal arts majors is $26,272, compared to $31,183 among professional majors.
At peak earning ages (51-60), the average annual salary for liberal arts majors is $66,185, compared to $64,149 among professional majors.
Body 3: Also, a liberal arts education not only allows the students to adapt in many jobs, God can use that student more readily. Since a liberal arts education shapes a student to be knowledgeable in various fields of studies, they will be more open minded about the world, thus God can use him/her for His glory.
Education at a Christian college involves more than effective delivery of classroom content. It involves helping students see the world through the lens of a Christian worldview.
A breadth of preparation that gives graduates the versatility to excel in a wide variety of callings over a lifetime of work and ministry, including their service in jobs that have yet to be created
Conclusion: A liberal arts education matters in the world in this era. Critical thinking/problem solving, oral/written communication, teamwork/collaboration, information technology application, leadership, professionalism/work ethic and career management.
Harriman, David. “The Pros and Cons of a Liberal Arts Degree.” SchoolMoney.org, 1 June 2015, www.schoolmoney.org/pros-and-cons-of-liberal-arts-degrees/.
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