Living on the Liberal Arts

Living on the Liberal Arts Living on the Liberal Arts

School of Liberal Arts


Making a living, making a difference, making a life.

The proof is in the pudding. The research is in. Despite what you may have heard, liberal arts graduates are faring well in today’s economy. They advance more quickly and end up earning as much or more than do their peers who majored in business or STEM fields. And philosophers definitely outpace plumbers in lifetime earnings.

When students leave Saint Mary’s College with a B.A. in one of our humanities, social sciences, or creative and performing arts programs, they take with them the intellectual skills, interpersonal and intercultural habits, penchant for lifelong learning, and facility for adaptation that promises success not only in their first job, but in the next one and the one after that. In the jobs and industries that don’t yet exist.

And even more importantly, they know how to find and make meaning in life. Research indicates that liberal arts graduates are more fulfilled personally and professionally than those from most other fields. Whether our graduates ultimately choose financially lucrative opportunities or opt for professional pathways that provide other kinds of enrichment, rest assured that they are well-equipped for success.

By way of evidence, here are some readings the Dean has bookmarked ...


Professional Placement & Success

Studies are showing that Liberal arts graduates are in high demand on the job market, and that liberal arts degrees and modern technology go hand in hand. A focus on the humanities, social sciences, and/or creative and performing arts develops critical and creative thinkers that major companies/ businesses are eager to hire— because in a rapidly accelerating digital world, STEM jobs can be substituted with artificial intelligence, but the arts cannot be replaced.


Personal & Intellectual Benefits

Brilliant minds both past and present make a case for the essential role of liberal arts in the modern world, arguing that technology is insufficient in the absence of the humanities.


Their Meaning & Broader Value

Study of the liberal arts is vital for a healthy, thriving society. They make for richer lives and a better world. Living on the liberal arts is not only a viable way of making a living, but also an opportunity to find fulfillment and engage fully in the complicated but invigorating experience that is human life.


Additional Information

Additional articles that make a case for the importance of the liberal arts.  And check out the Liberal Arts Bridge (LAB) program, for support exploring and preparing for future careers.