How Liberal-Arts Majors Fare Over the Long Haul

Skepticism over the value of a college degree, especially one in the liberal arts, is common these days. Rising college prices, increasing levels of student debt, and a still weak job market all heighten doubts. Return on investment has become a popular research question, and a higher-education association released on Wednesday a report arguing that a liberal-arts major is a worthwhile choice.

In recent years, new data have helped paint a detailed picture of what college graduates earn. Analyses have focused on what they make by major, or by degree program at particular colleges.

[Last] Wednesday the Association of American Colleges and Universities—a champion of liberal education—stepped into the fray with a report, based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s American Community Survey, that examines the payoff of a liberal-arts degree over the course of a career.

While the group does not buy into the idea that earnings are the most important college outcome, it had to respond to the “growing myth” that liberal-arts majors leave students “unemployed and unemployable,” said Carol Geary Schneider, its president. <Read more.>

Via Beckie Supiano, The Chronicle of Higher Education.