Making the Case for your Liberal Arts Degree

Ever wonder why an employer would rather hire you for a job over a candidate with years of experience in their specific trade?

Check out Debra Humphreys’ “Making the Case for Liberal Education: Responding to Challenges,” recommended by Undergraduate Dean Brian Reed. This report emphasizes the merits and practical value of a liberal arts education and is highly effective in expressing the general and transferable skills all Dartmouth students develop throughout their liberal arts academic journey.

Here’s one way to describe the difference between training and education: Training is learning how to perform a discrete task — like changing a tire. Education is learning strategy, methods, and questions you can use to approach any problem and explore solutions.

As New York Times columnist David Brooks discusses in an Op-Ed, “The New Humanism,” the “ability to enter other minds and learn what they have to offer [and]… to see patterns in the world and derive a gist from complex situations” are “in the range of deeper talents” that are important to our future. These critical skills are sharpened by the study of the liberal arts.

Recognize that you have continually acquired and honed numerous transferable skills and have thus developed a widely ranging skill set through not only your experiences but also through your coursework. Identify these transferable skills, which are often times either overlooked or taken for granted, and emphasize those of particular interest to an employer during  interviews.