The liberal arts help business students to broaden their perspectives. Here’s why you should study liberal arts subjects during your management degree.
Studying at a top business school can make you a great candidate for positions in a broad range of industries. Yet, in recent years, many employers have become concerned that the standard business curriculum prioritises specialised, technical education at the expense of more well-rounded personal development.
For many top CEOs, the solution lies in the liberal arts. Liberal arts courses develop interpersonal and critical thinking skills not teachable through the math and science of ordinary business degrees. Many top business schools are taking notice, rounding out their core business and management curriculums with politics, psychology and world history courses that offer students a fresh perspective.
Are you curious about the benefits of studying liberal arts subjects during your management degree? Read on to find out more.
The Liberal Arts Build Key Management Skills
According to a 2014 New York University study, business graduates underperform in important areas like communication and critical thought when compared to their arts and science peers. Liberal arts subjects can help management students address this disparity through courses that prioritise writing, discussion and rhetoric.
Psychology and sociology courses also help business graduates build their critical thinking, interpersonal and managerial skills. Enrolment in even one of these courses can afford you a competitive advantage over future colleagues with a ‘strictly business’ educational background.
Liberal Arts Subjects Allow for Broader Business Perspectives
In their focus on subject-specific skills, business degrees are often criticised for being too narrowly focused. Liberal arts degrees, in contrast, offer more general training, but encourage students to ponder bigger questions and grasp more all-encompassing concepts.
Bridging this gap, students that study liberal arts courses during their management degree become more complete professionals. Courses focusing on history, politics, international relations and culture are especially helpful in broadening perspectives, preparing students to incorporate insights from a variety of fields and schools of thought.
Liberal arts courses help business students become better communicators
Thinking about big questions also prepares business students to challenge assumptions and maintain strong professional ethics. Many leading commentators attribute industry malpractice and financial crashes to narrow business perspectives that favour expediency over moral standards. Encouraging students to consider decisions from larger perspectives, the liberal arts help business schools train ethically-minded professionals.
Employers Look for Liberal Arts Courses in a Management Degree
Employer feedback might be the most compelling reason to study liberal arts courses. A recent study by the Association of American Colleges and Universities found that 80% of participating employers thought that all students should graduate with liberal arts training. Employers also describe an unhelpful compartmentalisation in higher education that keeps business and liberal arts studies separate.
Management degrees with liberal arts courses prepare students for better opportunities
While graduates of liberal arts degrees typically struggle in a competitive job market, completing some courses alongside more practical subjects can make you very attractive to employers seeking the most complete candidates. An effective bachelor programme in management will thus provide students with liberal arts training, building their skills and enhancing their professional profile.