Is a Liberal Arts Degree a Practical Choice?

Students and parents alike seem to be increasingly concerned about whether a degree from a liberal arts institution will actually be "usable" in the "real world." Can an English B.A. be a practical degree? Will taking all those core course requirements be a waste of time?

Columbia Spectator columnist Caitlin Brown explains why a liberal arts education is actually the best preprofessional preparation around: seems quite reasonable to assume that the critical skills formed in this otherwise idealistic pursuit of the intellectual are intended to play some role in making us smarter humans—or at least ones who would be able to adapt to the curveballs of job training for which little classroom experience can be of direct use. This is a basic idea behind an education in the liberal arts. It may seem like the opposite of preprofessionalism, but it is, in the strictest sense, a “preprofessional” endeavor, a sort of intellectual training that prepares us in a comprehensive way for the rigors of adapting to adult life and work.  

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