“Technology alone is not enough. It’s technology married with the liberal arts, married with the humanities, that yields us the results that make our hearts sing” – Steve Jobs
In today’s dynamic scenario, being a master of a single trait is surely not enough. Interdisciplinary education has become a pre-requisite and there is arising a greater need for and focus on how to put your education and skills to use. What if you get to study multiple courses from different fields to get a holistic, inter-disciplinary education in a degree program? A Liberal Arts education makes your wish come true.
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. One can say that 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. This blog aims to provide all the information about the 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. It gives you the flexibility to design your degree. The program is such enormously diverse that it allows you to combine research and academic-focused programs in the fields of Economics, Public Relations, Archaeology, Advertising, Public Policy, Sociology, Training & HR, Psychology, International Relations, Academics, Social Work, Civil Services, Journalism/Media/Mass Communication, Corporate Communications, Research and Writing & many more.
Why Do We Need a Liberal Arts Education at all?
Did you know that Liberal Arts is one of the oldest subjects in the world? It is strange that it is yet to make a deep foray into the Indian educational system. A study of Liberal Arts enables society to probe the boundaries of subjects including literature, language, history, philosophy, mathematics, psychology and science.
We all know that the challenges and opportunities of this century are drastically different from that of the last one in scale, scope, and pace. Increased automation, climatic changes, artificial intelligence and the vagaries of nature will call for greater resourcefulness on how we cope with change.
There is endless information available today to anyone who has a smartphone and an internet connection, and I feel it is more important for our youngsters to learn ‘how to think’ through complex problems by looking for solutions from different perspectives. Once the critically thinking side of the brain is activated, the perspectives start to matter.
India has a diverse economy and students really need to learn how to interact with different individuals regardless of their gender, caste, race, religion, or class. I’m sure these students who possess and develop such talents and skills will grow to become valuable employees, citizens, and ultimately ‘adaptively versatile’ human beings.
This is exactly what Liberal Arts as a stream aims to achieve- it produces critical thinkers, who have the confidence and flexibility to continually learn new skills and material.
Advantages of Getting a Liberal Arts Degree
With the valuable skills and knowledge that you master during the Liberal Arts degree program, you move closer towards finding a career that you are extremely passionate about. It puts a great many doubts to rest as you study an eclectic mix of your favoured subjects during your course.
Take a look at its major benefits:
- It prepares you for uncertainties in your career– A Liberal Arts education can translate to many different careers and you can ditch one in favour of another. As a college student, you can also have the option to change your mind down the road if you so desire! A liberal arts education has stood the test of time because skills like critical thinking and problem-solving never expire.
- 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.
- Improves your analytical and critical abilities– Developing critical thinking and analysis is one common aspect of Liberal Arts Education.
- Enhances cultural understanding– A broader understanding through interdisciplinary studies of sociology, cultural anthropology, philosophy, international studies, etc. prepares you for enhanced cultural understanding.
- Opens up a plethora of career options-With a liberal arts degree, you can branch out into many different careers, such as journalism, public relations, writing, law, politics, linguistics, publishing, social work, psychology, management, public policy, civil services, marketing– and a lot more.
- 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. All these are prerequisites for higher studies and hence Liberal Arts lay a great foundation for your future education.
Structure of Liberal Arts Program
Liberal Arts program is typically spread across 3 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, History, Biology, and more)
or Interdisciplinary Majors (Politics, Philosophy & Economics; Computer Science & Entrepreneurial Leadership; English & Creative Writing; Politics & Society; History & International Relations; English & Media Studies).
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
• Visual Arts
• Environmental studies
• International Relations
• Media Studies
• Creative Writing
Foundation Courses are distinctive courses that introduce students to various styles of thinking, but also to inter-disciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches.
Some of the choices are:
• Environmental Studies
• Great Books
• Indian Civilization
• Introduction to Mathematical Thinking
• Literature & the World
• Mind & Behaviour
• Principles of Science
• Social & Political Formations
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 2 rounds:
The First round requires submission of your application form, taking the required entrances (specific to the University) and some mandatory documents.
The document checklist is stated below:
• Academic Record (9th -12th)
• Standardized Test-SAT/ACT (optional)
• Personal Essay(s) (short essays on specific prompts, as specified)
• Letter of Recommendation
• Statement of Purpose (SOP)
• Activity Scripters: This includes extracurricular, leadership, social impact engagements
If the candidate is shortlisted, he/she will be invited for the next round of the admission process.
The second round may include:
• Aptitude test
• On-the-spot essay
• Group Discussion
• In-person Interview
Career Prospects after Liberal Arts
Students who have completed their liberal arts education have assumed various roles like 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…
Liberal Arts Colleges in India attract all the top corporate companies, including:
3. McKinsey & Company
5. Bloomberg Quint
6. Max Healthcare
7. HDFC AMC
8. TCS Consulting
9. ITC Hotels
10. Federal Bank
How can Mindler help you make it to the right Liberal arts college?
Your coach will facilitate an understanding of the application process, help formulate a strategy, fix timelines for various milestones of the application process, research about programs that most perfectly fit your requirements and extend all the support you may require in your quest to apply to the best Liberal Arts colleges. In short, Mindler will provide you an end-to-end support to make it to the top Liberal Arts Program in the country. For any support, please call us at +91 87449 87449 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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