When in doubt, choose the liberal arts. Steve Jobs, who was once a liberal arts student himself, explained its importance best, stating: “The reason that Apple is able to create products like the iPad is because we’ve always tried to be at the intersection of technology and the liberal arts.”
Today’s employers want flexibility and versatility in their recruits and a liberal arts qualification offers both. From literature or history to social science or philosophy, each subject was designed to teach students the fundamentals of navigating the complex and changing demands that come with an ever-developing world. The liberal arts nurture life-long, interdisciplinary learners as well — most importantly, those with a strong sense of social responsibility.
A strong liberal arts education provides students a solid foundation from which to build a knowledge base, and teaches certain habits of mind, such as clear thinking, sound reasoning and lucid writing – skills which students will use for the rest of their lives.
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke
The University of North Carolina at Pembroke is a master’s-level university with a spirited community of over 8,300 students. With a wide array of bachelor’s and master’s degree offerings, fantastic Pembroke faculty, and a diverse community of cultures, ideas and organisations at their fingertips, UNCP students are poised to excel in life.
Each UNCP student stands out in a warm and welcoming community that wants them to succeed — and experience a rare combination of opportunities, cultures and ideas that can’t be found anywhere else.
Located in the southeastern North Carolina town of Pembroke, UNCP has a rich American Indian history and is one of the safest campuses in the University of North Carolina System. With small class sizes, a low student-faculty ratio and one of the most diverse campuses in the nation, UNCP is a growing university that empowers students to go on to live vibrant, fulfilling lives.
UNC Pembroke offers 150 pathways to undergraduate and graduate degrees, including the 100% online MBA and Master of Nursing, as well as the three-plus-two dual engineering degree programme in partnership with North Carolina State University. The College of Arts and Sciences at UNC Pembroke is home to 14 departments, offering a robust range of opportunities to students keen on achieving optimum employability. UNC Pembroke is focused on providing students with digital, oral and written presentation, interpretation, critical thinking, and decision-making skills which they bring to their communities.
Service opportunities further develop the intellectual curiosities of students and transform them into responsible stewards. UNCP welcomes those on a non-traditional path, those who are first-generation college students, and active duty or military-affiliated to join the community. Through the NC Promise Tuition Plan, out-of-state undergraduate students enjoy this priceless academic experience for just US$2,500 per semester.
To learn more about one of the most diverse and inclusive universities in the country, click here.
A Centre College education lasts decades. Today, it’s also known as one of the country’s most innovative. Founded in 1819, Centre College is now ranked 29th on the Most Innovative Schools list by US News and World Report for its improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities.
One factor explains this liberal arts college’s track record in producing well-rounded, creative and analytical thinkers: the Centre Commitment. All students who meet regular academic and social expectations will be able to gain all of the following: study abroad, have an internship or research opportunity, and graduate in four years.
At Centre College, 85% of students study abroad at least once during their programme. Residential programmes take place in nine countries across the world. More than two out of five participate in undergraduate research projects. Since 2015, Centre students have interned in 24 countries. The national average time to graduation is five years — at Centre, it is four, or the extra year is on them. The US News and World Report ranked Centre in the top 20 liberal arts colleges that offer the best value in education for this.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Founded in 1867, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign has since cemented a reputation as a world-class leader in research, teaching and public engagement. Today, the University Library boasts an expansive collection of 14 million volumes.
Faculty members have been awarded Nobel Prizes, Pulitzer Prizes, and the Fields Medal in Mathematics. Illinois is consistently ranked among the top five universities for NSF-funded research. Hence, every student arrives curious and ends the day informed.
For more than 100 years, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (LAS) has played a crucial role in ensuring a third of the university’s learners — more than 14,500 students — excel in the life, physical, and mathematical sciences; humanities; and social and behavioural sciences to achieve no small feat: addressing the world’s biggest challenges and fundamental problems.
To teach them how, the college offers over 70 majors, 60 minors and several certificates — each designed to broaden horizons and promote the development of future-focused skills. Little wonder why a study of recent University of Illinois graduates revealed that new alumni from the College of LAS are successful in finding jobs and other first destinations within six months of graduation.
There are many reasons why 100% of Coe College students are guaranteed an internship, research or off-campus study opportunities; or why almost 100% of fresh graduates are employed or enrolled into master’s programmes within a year of graduating — but academic excellence is high up on the list.
As a coeducational liberal arts institution, Coe College ensures every learner succeeds by providing them with personalised attention. With a student-to-faculty ratio of 11:1 and an average class size of 16, all students develop enduring relationships while getting their burning questions answered.
“Coe does an excellent job in hiring amazing faculty that want their students to succeed,” confirms Ally Roeker, who was selected to intern at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia writing centre.
To prepare students for such opportunities, classroom sessions are discussion-based, meaning the soft skills of collaboration and critical thinking are easily obtained. All aspirations are welcome. At Coe, majors and areas of study include: African American Studies, American Studies, Biochemistry, Biology, Chemistry, Communication Studies, Data Science, Education, Environmental Science, Film Studies, History, Kinesiology, Literature, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Physics, Political Science, Pre-Dental and Pre-Engineering.
*Some of the institutions featured in this article are commercial partners of Study International