The Surprising Benefits of a Liberal Arts Education

Once thought to be impractical, liberal arts degrees are surprisingly versatile and offer a great deal of potential career satisfaction and financial payoff. Moreover, liberal arts degrees provide the opportunity to work across a variety of disciplines. For a quality online program in liberal arts, consider the Bachelor of Science in Communication at Lamar University.

Financial Benefits: From Graduation to Pocketbook

Graduates often rate their degree program’s financial benefits as a deciding factor when choosing the appropriate major. Historically, an arts-based education or liberal arts degree tended to rank lower on the economic scale for graduates across all disciplines. However, with the emergence of new technologies, the demand for liberal arts degrees and graduates has grown substantially. The financial benefits of obtaining a liberal arts degree have also improved based on increased demand.

According to Inside Higher Ed, citing an Andrew W. Mellon Foundation analysis report from 2019, the financial outlook for liberal arts graduates is stable. “Specifically, the report says attending a liberal arts college for most students leads to meaningful economic mobility.”

With the popularity of social media and other digital media, there is a strong demand for liberal arts graduates to create content across platforms. Additionally, many employers prefer graduates with emotional intelligence, empathy and the “soft skills” needed to succeed in today’s modern workforce.

Many liberal arts graduates already possess these in-demand skills due to the subject matter of their majors. Obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Communication allows for liberal arts graduates to gain the required skills to work for Fortune 500 companies, nonprofits, celebrity brands and higher education settings.

Affordability: The Cost Is Right

The affordability of an online degree program is often based on the required courses, cost per credit hour, and overall tuition and program fees. For online bachelor’s degrees, lowered costs can boost the program’s affordability because of program structure. For instance, students in most liberal arts degree programs don’t face the lab fees and advanced practicum requirements associated with engineering and math-related degrees.

For the Lamar University Bachelor of Science in Communication program, the cost per credit hour is only $248 on average. This makes the Lamar University online program affordable and cost-effective when compared to other similar programs.

Overall, tuition and program fees can mean the difference between going into debt and being able to comfortably afford college coursework.

Versatility: The Power of Change

A common concern among college graduates is not having transferrable skills outside of their chosen major. With liberal arts degrees, this concern is less of an issue because of the versatility of the degree. A recent Wall Street Journal article noted liberal arts as one the most versatile degrees.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the skills gained while earning a liberal arts degree apply across a variety of occupations. Robert Vega, Director of Liberal Arts Career Services at the University of Texas at Austin, says, “Regardless of the industry, we need people who can solve problems, write well, speak well, bring multiple perspectives to decision-making; we need people who are good managers, who are cross-culturally competent.” These are all skills students gain through a liberal arts program.

Beyond the versatility of liberal arts programs in general, Lamar University’s Bachelor of Science in Communication program offers versatility in subject matter. The program has three main focal points, which can be summarized as an historical overview and the major methodologies, the impact of electronic media, and communication convention exploration.

MarketWatch, in fact, ranked communication as one of the 10 most versatile majors. “What’s surprising and important to note is that your major no longer dictates your career trajectory and we are seeing that liberal arts majors like psychology, sociology and economics propel grads to take on roles ranging from behavioral therapist to marketing specialist,” says LinkedIn career expert Blair Decembrele.

Solving the Higher Education Puzzle: Liberal Arts Online Degrees

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to deciding if an online liberal arts program is right for you, there are many benefits to consider. From financial stability to versatility, the outlook for liberal arts graduates is overwhelmingly positive.

Learn more about Lamar University’s online Bachelor of Science in Communication program


Sources:

Inside Higher Ed: The Economic Gains (Yes, Gains) of a Liberal Arts Education

The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation: The Economic Benefits and Costs of a Liberal Arts Education

U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics: Putting Your Liberal Arts Degree to Work

MarketWatch: 10 Versatile College Majors That Eliminate the Need to Decide Early on a Career Path

The Wall Street Journal: What’s a Liberal Arts Degree Worth?

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