Why I learned to love a Liberal Arts degree

Ok, so two of my four kids do have a Liberal Arts degree as their undergraduate degrees. That’s one reason I promise you, that they can hold a conversation with anyone of any age and they have enough general knowledge to ask intelligent questions and join the dots on some big issues.

And when Michelle Obama gave the Commencement Address for her graduating class mates in 2012 at Virginia Tech in Virginia USA, my daughter couldn’t have been happier for pursuing a broad and interesting degree.

But prepare her for a particular career?  No.  And who cares.  Unless you have a single focus, technical dream such as to be a metallurgist, a knee surgeon or a tax lawyer, a broad and general higher education is just the ticket for growing up, building up an ability for critical thinking, speaking and writing  and understanding yourself  in the bigger world.

Compare that with the investment some of our top tier Law firms make in their graduate intake. One firm puts their articled clerks on a 6 month socio/cultural learning programme – the learning they missed out on at university while they were so intent on achieving High Distinctions and applied learning – which got them into their Firm of choice, but rendered them useless when it comes to engaging with clients and colleagues.

And, when you figure that 70% of what we do at work we learn from our experience at work, maybe that Liberal Arts degree sets up the kids better than ‘Basket Weaving’ or Arts in the pejorative as I remember it was once referred to.

What’s your perspective? Where did your Arts Degree take you?

Geoff Slade

Geoff Slade has worked at the forefront of the Recruitment industry for over 40 years. He is the Executive Chairman of Slade Group and was awarded a Centenary Medal for services to the industry.

Geoff Slade
Chairman
Slade Group
Level 7, 15 William Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: +61 3 9235 5100
gslade@sladegroup.com.au
sladegroup.com.au

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