Why LAB? Liberal Arts Graduates and Career Outcomes

A laboratory for life after graduation. A bridge from the Liberal Arts to a meaningful professional life. A Liberal Arts Bridge to the first job, the next thing, and the future.

When students leave Saint Mary’s College with a B.A. majoring  in one of the humanities, social sciences, or creative and performing arts programs in the School of Liberal Arts, 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 also in the next one and the one after that. They are ready to adapt and succeed in jobs and industries that don’t yet even exist.

 

Despite popular misperception, liberal arts graduates are faring well in today’s economy. They advance more quickly and end up earning as much as or more than do their peers who majored in business or some STEM fields. And philosophers definitely outpace plumbers in lifetime earnings.

 

Even more importantly, liberal arts graduates know how to find and make meaning in life. Research indicates that they feel 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, they are well-equipped for success. By way of evidence, we have assembled some readings— recent news stories, articles, and data reports —that back all this up.

 

But we also know that liberal arts majors, nationwide, tend to take a little longer finding their first professional position. And experience tells us that it isn’t necessarily because they’re not competitive candidates: it’s often because they just haven’t had the guidance or structured opportunities to think intentionally about, explore, and prepare strategically for the move from graduation to full-time employment. This is why we offer LAB.