Students talking outside.

While the debate over the benefits of a specialized education versus a general one continues, there’s strong evidence supporting the value of a liberal-arts education in today’s economy.  

Recent studies show that one in 12 of the nation’s CEOs are liberal-arts graduates. A Dickinson College liberal-arts education is uniquely rooted in the arts and sciences yet focuses on global studies and active engagement. The ability to write well, think critically, separate fact from distortion and understand human behavior aren’t just necessary skills for success in business—they’re also vital to success in life.


“Students are clamoring for degrees that will help them secure jobs in a shifting economy, but to succeed in the long term, they’ll require an education that allows them to grow, adapt, and contribute as citizens—and to build successful careers. And it’s why many schools are shaking up their curricula to ensure that undergraduate business majors receive something they may not even know they need—a rigorous liberal-arts education.”

—The Atlantic, 6/28/2016

“Liberal arts majors reach leadership positions more often than people with technical degrees, according to a study of 15,000 executives in 18 countries. Ten years into their careers, the report says, humanities graduates are more often successful managers than any other major except business.”

—Fortune, 6/12/16

“A well-­rounded liberal arts degree establishes a foundation of critical thinking. Critical thinkers can accomplish anything. Critical thinkers can master French, Ruby on Rails, Python or whatever future language comes their way. A critical thinker is a self­-learning machine that is not constrained by memorizing commands or syntax.”

—The Wall Street Journal, 6/1/16

“There’s one area where humanities and social sciences majors have everyone beat: meeting employers' desires and expectations. Employers consistently say they want to hire people who have a broad knowledge base and can work together to solve problems, debate, communicate and think critically, the report notes – all skills that liberal arts programs aggressively, and perhaps uniquely, strive to teach.”

—Inside Higher Ed, 1/22/14

“My advice is simple, but well-considered: Get a liberal arts degree. In my experience, a liberal arts degree is the most important factor in forming individuals into interesting and interested people who can determine their own paths through the future.”

—Edgar M. Bronfman, Former CEO, Seagram Corporation, 10/17/13

“…employers first and foremost hire people who can communicate clearly, think critically and solve problems — all hallmarks of a traditional liberal arts education.”

—USA Today, 8/27/13

“In a recent survey of employers by the American Association of Colleges and Universities, executives said they were looking for graduates with both field-specific skills and broad knowledge in the liberal arts for long-term career advancement.”

—The New York Times, 6/12/13

“… the top ten majors with the highest acceptance rates for law school include philosophy, anthropology, history and English. Both organizations advise prospective applicants to choose majors that interest and challenge them, work hard for excellent grades, develop their research and writing skills and make the most of the opportunities that come their way …”

—Forbes, 10/29/12