General Question

LocoLuke's avatar

What are the advantages of choosing a broad liberal arts education over a more technical one in college?

Asked by LocoLuke (1126points) May 25th, 2009

Just as the my question says, what are the advantages and disadvantages?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

21 Answers

marcosthecuban's avatar

happiness? as an employer, ‘liberal arts’ education means low wage earner.

LocoLuke's avatar

and, assuming that after the liberal arts degree, I would continue my education (more technically oriented) into graduate school?

wildpotato's avatar

There are not many advantages unless you are going into grad school, that’s true in my experience. But know that any BA will help you make a higher wage, especially if you do a good job with GPA and departmental honors and such.

LocoLuke's avatar

I should also probably mention that I’m a junior in high school, not really sure what I want to do in life yet, but the two areas that appeal most to me are architecture and business.

veronasgirl's avatar

As an Art Education Major, I am required to have a liberal arts curriculum. Sometimes, it gets ridiculous and frustrating, I have so many extra classes to complete and I don’t feel like I have the time. But I have also been able to take a lot of very interesting classes that have enhanced my art education as well. I think in the end, provided you make an effort and take it seriously, the well rounded eduacation that a liberal arts curriculum offers is worthwhile. That being said, it also depends on your major, if you are going into the arts like myself then it is the way to go, if you are going to be pre-med, I probably wouldn’t reccomend it.

marcosthecuban's avatar

in that case, my encouragement is to make college play to your dominant hand- strengthen your strengths- make sure you’re enjoying the process.

Darwin's avatar

Architecture is a very specific field of study, often a five-year degree. Most Architecture students hate having to take any extra classes outside of Architecture because they have so much work to do in Architecture. They always told me that if you need to sleep more than four hours a night, Architecture is not the right course of study.

Perhaps you should go for the liberal arts degree and then get an MBA. At least it might mean to a future employer that you are creative and able to communicate as well as having been trained in business. It would give you a lot of flexibility in who might hire you, although you may also have a lot of competition.

Kayak8's avatar

The only real advantage of one over the other depends on what you decide you want to do in your career.

I have an undergraduate degree in English Education (read liberal arts). The ability to write has been of great benefit in any job I have ever had.

My masters degree is in science (and I am still happy that I have the ability to write).

Jeruba's avatar

Your education is not for your job but for your life.

A liberal arts education builds a strong foundation and a broad framework for whatever you go on to add to your life. It is deepening and enriching and affords you inner resources beyond what you need just to earn a livelihood. Acquisition of skills and technical knowledge is certainly appropriate and necessary for some careers, but a liberal arts education will stand by you no matter what direction you pursue.

Especially in uncertain times, specific job knowledge can be obsoleted overnight, whereas versatility, buoyancy, adaptability, and a capacity for abstract thought will prepare you to deal with whatever comes along.

noelasun's avatar

I strongly recommend a liberal arts college education; just in that fact that it (as Jeruba said) it is education that stays with you throughout your life, as well as serving as foundation for whatever study you will further pursue.

That said, I also (even more) strongly recommend that you look into specific liberal arts programs and pick a strong program. Liberal Arts denotes (these days) a very w-i-d-e spectrum of study, and you really want one thats worth your while.

noelasun's avatar

@LocoLuke and just out of curiosity, if you are considering a liberal arts education, where were you thinking of going?

LocoLuke's avatar

That’s the thing, I haven’t really made my mind up about anything yet, so I don’t know.
I have about 3.55 GPA from a fairly rigorous high school, along with 2210 sat score, so I think I’d be able to get into a pretty good college regardless of what I want to do though.

wundayatta's avatar

Do you want to get better prepared for life, or better prepared for a job?

LocoLuke's avatar

@daloon Best case scenario would be to finish my education with both. Then again, isn’t that what most people want?

wundayatta's avatar

Easier to find at liberal arts colleges, but it can be found at technical colleges, too. Similarly, some liberal arts colleges have excellent scientific or technical departments. You don’t really have to choose if you find the place that’s right for you. It’s just one more item on your list of priorities.

zephyr826's avatar

As a liberal arts graduate (I went to Saint Olaf, by the way), I strongly recommend it. Though it was on occasion frustrating, and there were at least three separate instances when I thought I wouldn’t be able to graduate in 4 years (another story altogether), the education I received there has made me a better conversationalist, a better problem solver, a better multi-tasker, and a better team member (all things that help in almost any field). In a world where most of us will change careers at least twice before we retire, having a more disparate background is a good thing. If you’re going to college just to get a higher-paying job, you should probably rethink the whole thing.

um ya ya

ratboy's avatar

A spiffy paper hat, and free meals between shifts.

janbb's avatar

I have a very broad liberal arts background (we didn’t have to declare a major) and a master’s in library science. I feel that my great undergaduate education gave a broad background of knowledge but more importantly an ability to learn fast and to think critically. I was out of my field working in other capacities for 15 years. When I came to librarianship, the internet and online catalogues had become standards. I was able to get up to snuff in a relatively short amount of time, partly, I believe, because of the ability to learn I got as an undergraduate. I have also started developing and teaching lit classes based on my undergraduate background. So I would highly recommend liberal arts.

cwilbur's avatar

@marcosthecuban: I should point out that I have a liberal arts education, and in a year I make more than it cost in college expenses for all four years.

Anyone who tells you that a liberal arts education will prevent you from making money is an idiot, plain and simple.

Nickjohns's avatar

My opinion technical education is more worthy than liberal arts because the world is more and more evolving technologically wherein liberal arts a student study general studies, sociology, culture etc. which doesn’t give you notable career compared to technical education.
below am giving some and advantages and disadvantages of liberal arts over technical education.

intellectual and personal development
Critical thinking skills
read and Writing skills
Lower salaries
Less career scope

Response moderated (Writing Standards)

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther