Up for Great: Liberally Educated Business Professionals

Liberal Arts Education

Liberal Education was a symbol of an educated and elite during the ancient Greek times. It focused on the Trivium subjects like grammar, logic, and rhetoric which were further extended by medieval scholars to include quadrivium subjects like arithmetic, geometry, music, and astronomy. The former subjects were considered a foundation for latter. Both the subject aimed to help the pupil to be a self-conscious and active individual of civil society. Since then the liberal arts and science have been an essential part of higher education.

However, in the last couple of decades, Return on Educational Investment (ROI) had been the sole motivation behind students opting for STEM and career-ready fields thus challenging the contribution of liberal arts in producing graduates with higher salaries and questioning the relevance of liberal arts in today’s higher education for millennials.

Thus, it is vital to highlight how such an ancient educational subject still holds relevance today and contributes immensely in shaping up careers. Liberal education empowers individuals and enables them to deal with multiplicity, convolution, and changes by aiding students to develop strong communication skills, problem-solving and analytical skills. It provides them with comprehensive knowledge of their respective domain (arts, science, society, and culture) and ability to apply knowledge and skill in real-world settings- underpinning requirement for all professions.

Furthermore, it helps students develop a sense of social responsibility and an urge to give back to the society. The resultant outcomes of liberal education remain the same irrespective of the changes in courses and content w.r.t today’s world.

Need for Liberally Educated Business Professionals

Employers want to hire people who demonstrate strong ethical judgment and integrity. Individuals with strong inter-culture skills and aptitude for continuous knowledge enhancement are a valuable resource for any economic entity.

Evidently, successful careers require values like; critical thinking, negotiation skills, and teamwork with independent perspectives to connect the dots and solve various complex problems. Pupils with a grounding in liberal arts education had demonstrated the ability to communicate clearly and solve complex problems by being adaptable to new circumstances without much difficulty. Hence, liberal education is weighed equally important as to a student’s undergraduate experience.

Liberal studies foundation offers support in adjusting to new streams, careers and the jobs of the future. It is highly recommended for young professionals to prepare themselves for a successful career in today’s global economy.

Imagine a workforce capable enough to implement solutions to critical issues in the economy rather than putting it on the back burner and bearing arguments. Such skilled graduates will be able to build a gratifying career and a satisfying lifestyle. For them, success involves both ethical foundation and subject expertise, a combination of practical skills, and abstract knowledge.

However, having said that, it is interesting to find out the possibility of marrying ROI on education paradigm by interweaving liberal studies within the professional business program. Something that is attempted by a few institutions and is what Great Lakes College aspires to deliver.


The basic purpose of a liberal arts education is to liberate the human being to exercise his or her potential to the fullest.                                               Barbara M. White




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