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Wednesday, April 08, 2020

‘Liberal arts – A road less taken or a career that will flourish in future’

Liberal arts is the disruption in the field of education in India, however, there is a huge lack of awareness about the scope and benefits of such a program.

New Delhi | Updated: March 1, 2020 8:02:01 am
liberal arts, arts as a career option, BA degree, arts degree, offbeat courses, careers after 12th, unique courses, college admissions, education news, Liberal arts is not well known but diverse field (Representational image)

Eesha Bagga

In today’s dynamic world, being master of a single trait is surely not enough. Interdisciplinary education has become a pre-requisite. What if you get to study multiple courses from different fields to get a holistic, inter-disciplinary education in one degree program? A liberal arts education is the answer.

What is Liberal arts education?

Liberal arts is a multidisciplinary system of education that includes a diverse mix of subjects from various disciplines including humanities, sciences, commerce, and technology. Liberal arts is the disruption in the field of education in India, however, there is a huge lack of awareness about the scope and benefits of such a program.

The liberal arts curriculum provides a learning experience that empowers students with the skills to deal with change, diversity, and complexity, to make them problem solvers, critical thinkers and responsible members of the society.

Advantages of getting a liberal arts Degree

It prepares you for uncertainties in your career– A liberal arts education can translate to many different careers and you can choose one in favour of another.

You develop most sought-after soft skills– You polish your proficiency in writing, public speaking, presentation skills, collaboration work and creativity due to the nature of liberal arts courses.

Opens up a plethora of career options-With a liberal arts degree, you can branch out into many different careers.

It makes you a better leader– Not just a political leader, a liberal arts degree helps you in leading teams through creating, collaborating, inspiring and innovating in the corporate world too.

Prepares you for graduate school or masters- A degree in liberal arts expands your thinking and analytical abilities, giving you a better understanding through practical learning and deeper research.

Structure of liberal arts program

Liberal arts program is typically spread across three verticals: major, minor, and foundation a major is the field in which a student focuses during his/her degree.

Majors can either be pure majors (computer science, English, biology, and more) or interdisciplinary majors (politics, philosophy and economics; computer science and entrepreneurial leadership; english and creative writing; history and international relations).

A minor is a secondary concentration of courses that often complements the major. Few choices when it comes to a minor subject are:

— Performing arts
— Entrepreneurship
— Environmental studies
— Creative writing

Foundation courses are distinctive courses that introduce students to various styles of thinking, but also to inter-disciplinary and trans-disciplinary approaches. Some of the choices are:

— Great books
— Introduction to mathematical thinking
— Literature and the world
— Mind and behaviour

Liberal arts admission process

The Liberal arts admission process is not mainstream like any other curriculum. A holistic admissions process is adopted to ensure that each application is evaluated in its unique context. The admission process is usually divided in two rounds.The first round requires submission of your application form, taking the required entrances and some mandatory documents. The second round may includes aptitude test, on-the-spot essay, group discussion, and in-person interview.

Career prospects after liberal arts

Students who have completed their liberal arts education have assumed various roles such as equity research, analytics, client servicing, marketing, relationship management, banking, consultancy, HR, e-commerce, etc. If you are looking for jobs right after graduation,
journalism, advertising, writing, research, NGOs, financial analysis, banking and public relations, etc. are just some of the careers/fields that you can opt for.

With Liberal Arts, the world is your oyster…

— The author heads partnerships and alliances, Mindler.

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