A new book, Rethinking Undergraduate Business Education: Liberal Learning for the Profession (Jossey-Bass, 2011), proposes to import liberal arts training into the business major to correct some of its deficiencies. An article in the Chronicle of Higher Ed says that this proposal is a response to Academically Adrift, a book claiming that business majors score well below liberal arts majors on a range of learning outcomes.The question, however, remains whether the business major can be corrected by quick fixes. An abundance of evidence (chronicled in this blog) suggests that a better solution is for students to study the liberal arts as a primary major augmented by business coursework and internships. CEO after CEO claims that liberal arts majors think more creatively and communicate better than business majors; they have better people and leadership skills; and they tend, over the long term, to rise in company ranks.
Newsweek Places Foreign Languages in Top Ten Most Useful Degrees
This Newsweek article reflects research conducted by Georgetown on the value of college degrees according to least unemployment after graduation, salary, long-term advancement potential, etc.
*thanks to Corry Cropper for link
Susan Crown Comments on Liberal Arts and Business
“A liberal arts education also offers the ability to focus on large ideas. We live in a world where everyone is multitasking, often skimming the surface and reacting to sound bites. But as undergraduates, we had the opportunity to read great literature and history, to focus and to consider. This developed a standard of depth and care that calibrates our work for the rest of our lives.”
Susan Crown, Henry Crown and Co. Investment Firm (qtd. in Victor E. Ferrall, Jr., Liberal Arts at the Brink, p. 19)
Martha J. Kanter on the Importance of Liberal Arts for Modern Society
“Anyone making the case for the irrelevance of liberal arts colleges
cannot explain away the oversize contribution that graduates of liberal
arts colleges continue to make to commerce, science, technology, the
arts, and higher education.
As you know, just 3 percent of American college graduates are
educated at a residential liberal arts college. Yet the alumni of
liberal arts institutions account for almost 20 percent of all U.S.
presidents. Roughly 20 percent of Pulitzer Prize winners from 1960 to
1998 in drama, history, and poetry earned their baccalaureate degrees at
liberal arts colleges and universities.
On a per capita basis, liberal arts colleges today produce nearly
twice as many doctorates in science as other institutions. And by some
estimates, about one in 12 of the nation’s wealthiest CEOs graduated
from a liberal arts institution.
At the same time, many of the key instructional breakthroughs in
higher education–the freshman seminar, single-course intensive study
terms, honors programs, and senior theses–were all first pioneered at
liberal arts colleges. It is telling that in China–where officials are
frustrated by the nation’s comparative lack of Nobel prizes and
innovation among university graduates–has now opened its first liberal
The obvious question that this record prompts, is, why have the
graduates of liberal arts colleges flourished? The answers are
several–but all of them highlight the continued importance of the
liberal arts model.
President of Davidson College Makes Moral Case for Liberal Arts Education
“Liberal education is about cultivating in students a set of
capacities and talents, rather than preparing them for a particular
profession or imparting to them a particular body of knowledge or set of
discrete skills. I think liberal education develops a person’s
capacities like nothing else.
[…] To help students cultivate
humane instincts, to develop creative and disciplined minds for lives of
leadership and service – I don’t think that’s a given at liberal arts
colleges, so it’s the combination of those things that makes for a
compelling education and a compelling community.
education is always going to be expensive. It’s highly selective. It’s
labor intensive, and it’s never going to be generally available in any
society. It costs too much. So if you’re going to make the case for it,
you have to make the case that somehow the existence of those
institutions disproportionately benefits the community.”
Prestigious Scholarship Deadlines
Scholarships & Fellowship Opportunities
► Alpha Kappa Alpha Merit Scholarship: Offers $750-$2,500 to undergraduate and graduate students who are excelling academically. Deadline: April 15, 2012
► DAAD: German Studies Research Grant (DAAD):
The DAAD offers the opportunity for undergraduates and graduates to
study abroad in Germany. At least two years of college German, or the
equivalent, are required. Deadline: May 1, 2012
► Mitchell Scholarship: The Mitchell Scholarship funds graduate study or a second bachelor degree at any university in Ireland or Northern Ireland. July 1, 2012
► Marshall Scholarship: The Marshall Scholarship funds graduate study or a second bachelor degree at any university in the United Kingdom.July 1, 2012
► Rhodes Scholarship: The Rhodes Scholarship funds two years of graduate study at the University of Oxford. July 1, 2012
USA Today: Liberal Arts Lend an Edge in Down Economy
Recent college graduates who as seniors scored
highest on a standardized test to measure how well they think, reason
and write — skills most associated with a liberal arts education — were
far more likely to be better off financially than those who scored
lowest, says the survey, released Wednesday by the Social Science
Research Council, an independent organization.
found that students who had mastered the ability to think critically,
reason analytically and write effectively by their senior year were:
•Three times less likely to be unemployed than those who hadn’t (3.1% vs. 9.6%).
survey of 925 young adults who graduated college during the economic
recession, offers a snapshot of how they were faring two years later:
74% were receiving financial help from parents
65% had student loans, owing an average $27,200
46% owed an average $1,880 on credit-card debt
22% had “moved back home” with their parents or relatives
9% had student loan debt averaging more than $50,00
Source: Social Science Research Council
•Half as likely to be living with their parents (18% vs. 35%).
•Far less likely to have amassed credit card debt (37% vs. 51%).
WSJ Questions Value of the Business Degree
“The biggest complaint: The undergraduate degrees focus too much on
the nuts and bolts of finance and accounting and don’t develop enough
critical thinking and problem-solving skills through long essays,
in-class debates and other hallmarks of liberal-arts courses.
Companies say they need flexible thinkers with innovative ideas and a
broad knowledge base derived from exposure to multiple disciplines. And
while most recruiters don’t outright avoid business majors, companies
in consulting, technology and even finance say they’re looking for
candidates with a broader academic background.”
The Interviewer Asks Skeptically: “Why an English degree?”
The student answers: “Your
company will teach me the industry. My degree
taught me to learn, analyze, and think through complex issues. It’s
also taught me to communicate effectively through writing and speech.
That’s what I’ll bring to your company.”
The manager stated that he was very skeptical, and not sure why he
was interviewing an English major. The student’s answer, however, sealed the
deal. He was the only non-business major among the applicants.
This was reported by a BYU English major who just landed his first job in supply chain management…
It helps to know that the student enhanced his degree with internship experiences. He also learned from our crack advisors how to discuss his humanities training in ways that employers find valuable.
What College Is For
From the Chronicle of Higher Ed:
“What makes the American college experience valuable–and how can we preserve it? Andrew Delbanco, director of American studies at Columbia University, wrestles with those questions in his new book, College: What It Was, Is, and Should Be. He spoke with us about why liberal education is a principle worth fighting for and how colleges can lead the charge.”