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Postgraduate Employment and Life

"A familiarity with the body of knowledge and methods of inquiry and discovery of the arts and sciences and a capacity to integrate knowledge across experience and discipline may have far more lasting value in….a changing world than specialized techniques and training, which can quickly become outmoded."

Liberal Arts Education for a Global Society. Carol M. Barker, Carnegie Corporation of New York, 2000.

Because of the flexible nature of the program, the liberal studies student may be able to craft a Plan of Study that directly addresses skills and knowledge areas related specifically to the requirements of the positions in which they are currently employed, or to meet the demands of future employment goals. However, the program is not designed to train, provide skills and expertise in, or otherwise satisfy the professional requirements of any narrow area of study related to a particular position in the world of work. Rather, graduate liberal studies allows the student to learn more about oneself and the world, to explore new areas of knowledge and ways of thinking, to discover the unexpected, to share new perspectives. Indeed, liberal studies programs cultivate the kind of broad vision that focused professional programs more often preclude.

These outcomes are certainly of value to the individual seeking personal enrichment and intellectual growth. But are they of value to employers? They will be valued by employers who seek creative and inquisitive minds, an appreciation for and ability to apply different methodologies to problem solving, an understanding of the increasingly interdisciplinary nature of knowledge, effective communication skills, and familiarity with diverse culture and thought.

And who are the employers who value these characteristics? They include institutions of education, the human services, and businesses involving sales and positions requiring the interpersonal skills necessary for interacting with others; and they represent the broad spectrum of American corporations. Corporate officials asked to indicate the most important areas for colleges to stress in preparing the future workforce mentioned the following (from Business-Higher Education Forum, "Spanning the Chasm: Corporate and Academic Cooperation to Improve Workforce Preparation". Washington, D.C.: January 1997):

  • Communication skills
  • Ability to work in teams
  • Flexibility
  • Ability to accept ambiguity comfortably
  • Ability to work with people from diverse backgrounds
  • Understanding globalization and its implications
  • Adequate ethics training

These attributes are fostered through a liberal arts education, and even more so through a graduate education in Liberal Studies at The College at Brockport.

"[A liberal] education liberates the mind from the bondage of habit and custom, producing people who can function with sensitivity and alertness as citizens of the whole world."

Cultivating Humanity. Martha C. Nussbaum, Harvard University Press, 1997

Last Updated 1/28/13