The False Dichotomy: Liberal Arts or Career Education

Headlines proclaiming record low unemployment rates were a reality just months ago. But once COVID-19 began spreading across the U.S., businesses of all types were forced to close their doors. As the health crisis continues, many organizations are now having to make the difficult decision to lay off employees at a staggering rate. A recent labor report shows that unemployment claims rose another 2.1 million for the week ending May 23, bringing the total number of jobless filings to more than 40 million.

While situations such as these have traditionally prompted many people to seek additional education, the economic toll resulting from COVID-19 is far more severe than anything we’ve seen in recent history. Even if providing a residential college experience becomes possible in the coming months, it’s unlikely that many students will have a financial future that’s anywhere near as stable as it once was. What this means for liberal arts schools that charge more for tuition than low-cost online providers is that they had better prove their price points.

To further explore what institutions can do to support their students in this way, Collegis Education recently held a conversation with Dr. Adam Weinberg, President of Denison University. The discussion, which was led by J. Michael Locke, Collegis Education board member and education consultant, helped illustrate the importance of a liberal arts education in preparing students for their professional lives and explored how institutions can think about building out their career services in meaningful ways.

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Author: Collegis Education staff

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